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Chris Reinholt finishing up the last few moves of ...
Zumie's Thumb is large, detached spire at the top left extreme of the Upper East Face of Long's Peak. The tiny summit of this spire was first reached by Tom Hornbein, Dexter Brinker, and Harry Waldrup, who in 1951 hiked in from the back side, rappeled into the notch behind Zumie's Thumb, then climbed to the summit. Later in 1959, Chuck Schobinger and John Amato climbed the full buttress from the east.
The climb starts near the top of Lamb's Slide, immediately right of the upper right branch of Lamb's Slide, and below prominent, double crack system inside a shallow chimney.
Note: the following pitch descriptions come from a winter ascent and may very somewhat from the preferred summer route.
Pitch 1: Climb blocky terrain up to the double crack system inside a shallow chimney. Climb this system then work left, around an arete and up easy terrain to a belay.
Pitch 2: Climb right up a slab/ramp then up towards a ledge system below (from left to right) two left-facing, corner systems and steep chimney.
Pitch 3: Climb the steep, dirty, but surprisingly fun, chimney system to a wild exit traverse right. Work up then step left around an arete to an excellent belay ledge. This chimney worked well for a winter ascent, but summer climbers may prefer the left-facing corner about 15 feet left of this chimney.
Pitch 4: Step back right into perfect double crack system in a less then vertical corner leading to a roof. At the roof, traverse right, climb up then back left and around an arete. Continue up wide cracks then up a short, right facing corner to an amazing belay stance below the crux headwall. Watch the rope drag on this pitch and be sure to use an extra long runner before traversing out from under the roof.
Pitch 5: Climb up the east-facing headwall following multiple crack system topping out onto the south face. Continue up splitter cracks on the south face passing a few blank slab sections on your way to the tiny summit.
Descent: From the summit, rappel south. With a single 60m rope, five rappels will get you to the top of the upper right arm of Lamb's Slide.
Winter ascents: this route lends itself well to a challenging winter ascent. Our ascent on 11-7-09 is one of the best routes I've ever done in the mountains. Most of the route can be climbed with gloves and boots; the occasional bare-handed move is required. The route had everything: classic snow climbing leg workouts, dry splitter cracks, hard mixed climbing and exposed slab climbing in mountain boots. I drytooled the crux headwall but without crampons on. The bare soles stuck better to the rock and didn't leave behind scratch marks. My partner followed the pitch bare-handed with his pack on his back and mine hanging from his harness, until he could get high enough clip my pack to the tail of the rope I had lowered down. We topped out late and rapped down in the dark, finishing the day by kicking countless steps down the upper right arm of Lamb's Slide by headlamp.
Stoppers and cams up to a #3 Camalot and a #11 Hex.
Chris Reinholt following the third pitch of Zumie'...
Zumie's Thumb. Photo by Leo Paik. (I just added ...
Is it Colorado or Patagonia? Chris Reinholt midwa...
The crux headwall of Zumie's Thumb. Splitter crac...
By Scott Matz
From: Loveland, CO
Dec 21, 2009
Chris, great climb (both Chris's) that's a big ascent in November.