This is the first published account of Tooth or Consequences, a relatively new route (2009). It climbs one of the more unique features in all of Red Rock, a “tooth” shaped tower/feature that sits atop the prow (arête) separating Challenger Wall from Jet Stream Wall high above Pine Creek Canyon (south and slightly west of Cat in the Hat). As with most routes on Jet Stream Wall, the rock on Tooth or Consequences is good by Red Rock standards. The FAer’s sought the obvious breaks and cracks up the arête turning to the left side for the more sustained fixed pro climbing in the upper reaches.
The best approach for Tooth or Consequences follows the same approach of a well known classic above Pine Creek Canyon named Adventure Punks (5.10d). The starts of both routes are only about ten minutes apart despite not sharing the same wall. To the left of Adventure Punks is a cairned (2012) lightly traveled path that starts up the huge ramp below Challenger Wall. The first pitch of Tooth or Consequences begins on the left side of a triangular 200-foot-high buttress which leans against the base of the prominent arete which separates the Challenger Wall from the Jet Stream Wall. Begin to the left of a significant roof (and lone pine tree). Several pieces of fixed pro (5.10) lead the way up the left side of the overhang on black rock. The climbing eases for the last half of the pitch to a fixed belay. The second pitch is a stellar pitch for the grade at Red Rock (5.8) on good rock. It follows an obvious crack system straight up to a large ledge past one piece of fixed pro. After moving the belay across the cactus filled ledge to the arête ahead, climb lesser quality rock up the left side of the arete via intermittent cracks (5.8). The fourth pitch (5.10) is an outstanding face pitch up heavily varnished scoops on the left side of the arete. The fifth pitch works its way up crack systems that lead generally leftward (5.8.) The sixth pitch heads up to an exposed overhang which includes an athletic move (5.10) to gain the steep face left of the arete which leads to a semi-hanging belay . The seventh pitch (5.10) is outstanding: exposed, steep, with varnished edges and ends at a good ledge. The final pitch starts on the slab and turns the arête to the left which is the crux of the climb (5.11). A slightly overhanging side pull and dyno to a solid hand ledge allows you to clip a bolt, make one or two more moves at the grade and then follow up much easier (5.9) ground to the top of the "tooth’s" (tower) summit.
As before mentioned, Handren’s guide book references climbing the Olive Oil descent gully to the top of Jackrabbit Buttress and then descending west to reach Jet Stream Wall. The much preferred approach is to park at Pine Creek trail head, take the left fork of Pine Creek past Cat in the Hat and continue up canyon just as you would for Adventure Punks. Once you pass the pocketed wall on the left that folks place stones in, look for cairns that cut up and back left towards Adventure Punks, the Challenger Wall and Jet Stream Wall. Continue traversing back east until you hit the long wide slick rock ramp below Jet Stream wall. Tooth or Consequences starts before the class three scrambling that leads upward to the Jet Stream Wall, on a large (two pitches tall) triangular shaped buttress directly below the slightly overhanging “tooth” which is very visible above.
1st Pitch- 35m- 5.10/ Locate several pieces of fixed pro off the deck that run up the left side of a large overhang. The crux involves a few thin and reachy moves (well-protected) over the bulge on the left side of the overhang and into a peaceful crack that angles up right to the base of a pod/larger crack at a fixed belay.
2nd Pitch- 35- 5.8/ Follow the crack up into a well varnished steep face with multiple options. I stayed middle for the most part passing directly over one piece of fixed pro. The rock and gear protection is fantastic and the climbing options several. Belay at a fixed station just below the broad vegetated ledge above.
3rd Pitch- 35m- 5.8/ Move the belay up to the base of the arête and tree above. Take off up the left side, passing a piece of fixed pro, and into cracks up lesser quality rock to a fixed belay below a heavily varnished wall.
4th Pitch- 35m- 5.10a-b/ This is a great pitch. Follow the scoops and fixed pro with intermittent short cracks, trending up and left on the solid black rock.
5th Pitch- 35m- 5.8/ Climb up and left through a small roof and then slightly right into a corner. Continue trending up and left on fast ground to a small ledge. Use the left fixed belay on the wall above, the right will be used on rappel.
6th Pitch- 30m- 5.10a/ Follow several pieces of fixed pro above the left fixed belay via edges. Turn the arête slightly to the right and run up an easy corner to the base of a white rock overhang with a piece of fixed pro. This is the most dramatic move of the route except for the 5.11 crux on the "tooth" itself. Gear protects, with plenty of extension, in the finger crack to the right. Then make a dramatic move and clip the fixed pro on the overhang itself and pull on positive holds up and over to the left side of the arête. Reach down and extend the draw or sling on the bolt allowing the rope to swing over to the left side to avoid rope drag. Continue up the face on the left to a semi-hanging fixed belay.
7th Pitch- 30m- 5.10b-c/ Another very good pitch, about as hard as the first pitch. Follow fixed pro up the steep face, then trend back right to the arête. Watch for a loose block out on the arête towards the end. Land up on a sloped ledge (fixed station) below the northwest side of the “tooth”.
8th Pitch- 35m- 5.11c (5.9 A0)/The 5.11 climbing on this pitch (route) includes two moves at most and can be easily aided (A0). An attentive belay is needed: If you fell on the crux where the sloping slab transitions into the steep arete, you might hit the slab. From the belay, make a stiff slab move up the right side of the arête clipping a piece of fixed pro. Once your left foot reaches a solid stance on the arête proper, extend your legs and find a hidden side pull on the right of the arete. Make a short dyno for the bomber hand rail above, clip a piece of fixed pro while hanging (you are now safe from hitting the slab)and quickly mantle up to find more positive features above. There will be no features on the left side of the arête up to this point. The climbing eases into mellow cracks to the top of the “tooth”. A fixed belay is on top of the summit block and a fixed rap is on the right edge.
We used a 70m rope with a meter missing and had some very reachy raps. I recommend a true 70m rope. From the summit of the tooth, rap down the northwest face to the previous belay. Rap the 7th and 6th pitches. On the next rap, trend climbers right pass the fixed belay and locate a rap station down and right below the ledge. Hit all the remaining fixed belay stations. The last rap is a bit of free air over the large roof at the base.
70m rope. We took a single rack of cams to C4 #1 and did not place any wires. The FA party took a #2 Camalot and a selection of wires in addition to the above-mentioned gear. There are a couple of loose blocks on the route, helmets strongly advised, not near as clean as Jet Stream wall to the left. This is a shaded route, but the sun gets high enough in May that we had sun on us almost 50% of the time. However, this route has enough elevation, that despite mid 90's in Vegas, I threw a beanie on for a pitch or two. Half a dozen double binered shoulder length slings, half a dozen draws. None of the pitches exceed 40m so the light rack works well if you are a seasoned trad climber.