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Routes in The Thumb

Blame Canada S 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Brace Y'self aka Pin Job T,S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Center Slot T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Confines of Power S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Descent Route T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Epic Sushi Party S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Konichiwa S 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Left Center T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Mind Over Matter T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Never Mind, It Doesn't Matter T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
North Overhangs T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Opposable Distraction T,S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Pigeon Perch T,S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Pixie, The S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Rest in Peace S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Right Center T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Rooftop Rodeo S 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
South Ridge of the Thumb T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a R
Sucker Punch S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Thumb Up My Arse T,S 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Thumb's Up S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Uphill Cracks T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Vapor Trail S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Zig Arete S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
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Description [Edit]

The Thumb and Needle are the 2 more popular crags on top of Prospect Mountain. The routes on The Thumb vary from 5.0 to 5.12a. The Thumb is short (2 pitches at the very most) but offer excellent exposure to the town of Estes Park.

The Thumb has a one rope rappel for the summiter that is off of the west side from slings from a good well-marked chockstone. There is another rappel involving 2 one rope rappels down the north face.

Eds. The original description for The Thumb & The Needle was split for clarity.

Getting There [Edit]

The Thumb and the Needle lie on top of Prospect Mountain and the eaisest way to get there is to drive either from CO Highway 7, leaving town until you reach Peak View drive. Take PVD until you see a gold sign on your right that says "Prospect Highlands". This is Curry. Take that sharp right turn. Continue up this short road that will eventually turn into gravel and park at the cropping just short of the gate. Please do not attempt to park in the way of the landowners. The trail starts just up the gully and goes for an enjoyable yet steep 5 min. approach. The first rock you will see is the Needle. Less than 100 yards further uphill is The Thumb. The Thimble is a sliver of rock lying just E of The Thumb.


To descend the Thumb, you can find a set of slings just below the level of the summit on the West Face. Rappel 95 ft to the ground. You can also descend with a 60m single rope by rappeling off the North Face TWICE. You can also spiral down the descent climb, 5.2 heading SW and following the path of least resistance.


Per Nathan Welton:

East Face
A. Left Center, 8+, 1p, 80', gear.
B. Unknown, bolts.
C. Brace Y'Self, 10, 1p, 95', gear, pins, & bolts.
D. Unknown, bolts.
E. Right Center, 7 PG-13, 1p, 180', gear.
F. Center Slot, 8, 2p, 180', gear.
G. Thumb's Up, 10-, 1p, 90', bolts +/- gear.
H. Thumb Up My Arse, 11-, 1p, 100', bolts + gear.
I1. Blame Canada, 10+, 1p, 90', bolts.
I2J. Epic Sushi Party, 10, 1p, 90', bolts.
J. Zig Arete, 10, 1p, 80', bolts.
K1. Confines of Power, 11+, 1p, 80', bolts.
K2. Vapor Trail, 12, 1p, 85', bolts.
L1. Mind over Matter, 12-, 1p, 140', gear.
L2. Never Mind It Does't Matter, 11, 2p, 140', gear.
L3. North Overhangs aka North Roof, 9-, 2p, 220', gear.
M. Sucker Punch, 12, 1p, TR.
N. The Pixie, 12, 1p, 65', bolts.
O. Konichiwa, 12+, 1p, 65', bolts.
P. Pigeon Perch, 9, 1p, 70', gear & bolts.
Q. Rooftop Rodeo, 11-, 1p, 100', bolts.
R. Uphill Cracks, 7, 1p, 90', gear.
S. Opposable Distraction, 11+, 1p, 100', gear & bolts.
T. Rest in Peace, 11, 1p, 100', bolts.
U. West Face.

South Face
V. Unknown, 8, 1p, 70', TR.
W. Unknown, 7, 1p, 70', TR.
X. Unknown, 6, 1p, 70', TR.
Y. Unknown, 5, 1p, 70', gear or TR.
Z. Unknown, 2, 1p, 70', gear.
AA. Descent Route, 4, 2p, 200', gear.
BB. South Ridge of the Thumb, 3 R, 2p, gear.

Also note that you can descend off the northwest face in a single 30m rap from the chains atop Rest in Peace.

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Thumb

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Thumb's Up
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Zig Arete
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Rest in Peace
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Confines of Power
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Thumb's Up
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Sport
Zig Arete
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Rest in Peace
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Confines of Power
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Thumb »

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According to a local guide I talked to up there today, there are 2 new lines bolted this summer just to the right as the trail meets The Thumb. He said there was a ".10 and an .11". I led, on-sighted both routes, and agree with the general assessment of the grades. The route on the left is definitely easier with just a few moves of 9+ or 10- and 6 or 7 bolts to chain anchors if I remember correctly. The route on the right starts with a few gear placements (small cams and an old TCU you can clip) and then fairly sustained climbing through 4 bolts to a 10+/11- crux going to the last bolt. The rock on this route is a little loose in places, so be aware, otherwise really fun on both! Does someone want to confirm these grades, add a name, etc? Sep 7, 2012
Nathan Welton
Estes Park, CO
Nathan Welton   Estes Park, CO
The names and grades those two routes have been confirmed with the FA, local guide Eli Helmuth, and added to the database. They are Thumbs Up, 5.10- and Thumb Up My Arse, 5.10+ or perhaps 5.11-. Time will tell as consensus grows.

Also note that you can descend off the northwest face in a single 30m rap from the chains atop Rest in Peace. Jul 9, 2013
Decent climbing but some loose friable rock on these still. I broke a small hold off Thumbs Up and the obvious clipping hold below the crux bolt flexes enough so that it's probably not going to last much longer. Aug 4, 2015
Seth Hogan
Frisco, Co
Seth Hogan   Frisco, Co
Left a yellow sling of draws, would love to get them back for the right price! 716 679 6012. Jul 20, 2017

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