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The Dragon's Tooth 

YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 400', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Ed Webster and Chester Dreiman, Oct. 1982
Page Views: 1,703
Submitted By: Vic on May 14, 2011

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The Dragon's Tooth.
2014 Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>

Description 

The Dragon's Tooth is a somewhat neglected moderate in the canyon that is definitely worthy of more traffic than it sees. Although it doesn't quite compare in quality to Maiden Voyage, it seems about on par in difficulty. The highlights of the route are the short, but fun finger/hand crack on pitch one and the juggy climbing through flakes and cracks on pitch three. The beginning of pitch 3 is a little runout and airy off the belay.

P1. (5.8/5.9) Start by climbing left around a corner on lower angle terrain and into a short hand crack. Do not start in the grungy looking chimney or flaky, right-facing corner. Move up and left into a crack system that leads to a short OW crack. After the OW, traverse right and make some face moves to reach the thin crack on the slab with bushes in the base. Follow the fingers to flaring hand crack to a ledge and move left below a section of cracks and blocky terrain.

  • Breaking this pitch up into two helps with rope drag, otherwise it's a full 60 meters

P2. (5.7) Climb a short pitch (80' or so) up the blocky stuff to a stance on the left side of the tower.

P3. (5.8/5.9) Start this pitch by climbing an airy move back onto the face of the tower. Follow a shallow peg groove up and right for about 20' (not the best gear). When you reach a stance, do not continue to the right - instead move left towards a section of steep flakes and cracks on the left side of the tower. Continue straight up until you reach a large, sloping ledge/slab. Stay on the left side of the slab and move up to one final steep move that will put you on the summit.

To descend, locate a rappel station on the back side of the summit block. Do a short rappel into the notch between buttress, then traverse a giant terrace system for about 150-200' to locate the final pitch of The Casual Route/Casually Off-Route. This pitch ends at a large ledge system and from here, either hike the bushy exit gully to the rim or climb the direct pitches at junky 5.8ish


Location 

Locate the first major buttress on skier's left when descending the SOB Gully. The Dragon's Tooth is the detached pillar directly before The Casual Route/Casually Off-Route buttress.

Look for the thin crack in the middle of the slab when looking up at the route from the base. This crack is at the end of the first pitch. Scramble up to the ledge with a large juniper and rope up there.


Protection 

Standard rack, plus one #4 - lots of runners.



Photos of The Dragon's Tooth Slideshow Add Photo
Start of P2.
Start of P2.
The start of the route.
The start of the route.
The final step before the summit.
The final step before the summit.
Comments on The Dragon's Tooth Add Comment
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By Jeremy Werlin
Jun 14, 2011

A fun route, well worth doing.

By Jay Brown
From: Aspen, Colorado
Apr 2, 2012

Good, tired, second day route, except for hiking out the rest of the height out.

By John Peterson
May 14, 2012

Definitely a worthy route. I expect it will clean up some more and become as clean as Casual / Casually Off.

On the approach, you can cut over fairly high to the base of the route, avoiding all poison ivy. This looked a little dubious, but by slithering down a 15' chimney, I wound up near the top of the slabs below the route. From the bottom of the chimney, I went up an easy gully and then traversed right into the slab near its top, easily beating my partner to the base.

I wouldn't use the term OW to describe the lower part of the first pitch - the crack opens a bit but not that wide (#3 Camalot worked fine). We had rope drag issues and belayed at the tree on the left to break the pitch up.

The crack pitch was really nice, but the leader needs to protect the move left at the top of the crack to keep the second happy.

We were intimidated by the first move on the last pitch - you can see a great foothold from the belay, but you can't tell if it stays hard or eases up. It eases up - it's just the step out onto the face that's a problem but we ended up climbing up about 15' to a horizontal crack that joins the pitch at the bush.

The rap slings were in good shape - nice little summit. After the raps, we decided to head back to SOB. This worked quite well - we were able to contour over without losing much elevation at all. We could have left our shoes in the gully without any problem. There's a little loose rock crossing a small ridge, but the rest was easy. It was way better than fighting the chockstone and going up to the campground. We parked at the ranger station which made things very convenient. We might head back and clean up some of the loose rock and brush soon.

By Fritz N.
From: Montrose, Colorado
Sep 2, 2013

Enjoyable route. After rapping the Tooth, we took Casual to the rim. Especially fun climbing on the blocky arete just above and right of the walkoff gully chockstone/cave.

Rap anchor is in good condition as of 9/2/13.