Type: Trad, 800 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: George and Jeff Lowe, 1967 (S-Direct), Variation by M.Bitter and friends.
Page Views: 19,043 total · 104/month
Shared By: Mark Michaels on May 7, 2004
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed Details


Climb S-Crack, or Standard Thumb/Indecent Exposure to Lunch Ledge.

S-Direct tackles the immaculate slab left of the Standard Thumb "Trough" pitch.

R-rating still deserved despite new bolts in recent years.


Standard Rack to climb one of the routes to Lunch Ledge....then just a few draws on the S-Direct Slab, plus some slings to tie off knobs!


Nathan Fisher
St George
Nathan Fisher   St George  
The bolts on the pitch in question are there. Bolt 1 is above the anchors, bolt 2 is long traverse right, bolt 3 is another 30+ feet up (1/4'er), and bolt 4 now exists. A new 3/8" next to an old 1/4'er. From this point we wandered left to the overlap with gear placement above the Variation. Those (1/4 inch) anchors were not what my partner and I deemed safe, so we traversed back right to Nob Job's anchors. Twin ropes are imperative on this route. We also did not do the final pitch. This allows you to exit more gracefully. 2-rope raps from Nob Jobs anchors twice, then from the Lunch Ledge. Aug 23, 2004
The always perfect wordsmith styling of the Ruckman guide sez it all..."bold elegance on a sea of white granite". Very fine route. I think the variation straight up after the crux is a better line. Bold and memorable. Feb 26, 2006
It is now possible to climb all the way to the summit block of the Thumb and rappel down to the
Thumb gully via the Matrix and NobJob (may be easier pulls and more direct)....albeit with two ropes!
Ciao Jul 10, 2006
Smog Lake City, Utah
  5.9+ R
Arie   Smog Lake City, Utah
  5.9+ R
When we climbed this in fall 2005 I swear the bolts must have been replaced (if so- many, many, thanks). I'm sure I would have crapped my pants climbing this with 1/4"ers. Much praise to whomever replaced the bolts and saved my skids. Aug 25, 2007
Boissal .
Small Lake, UT
  5.9+ R
Boissal .   Small Lake, UT
  5.9+ R
The 3rd bolt on P2 is still a button-head, looks solid but made me feel a bit queasy. Kinda strange since all the other bolts have been updated.
I clipped everything with a shoulder-length runner + long draw and rope drag was non-existent.
On my first trip up there I clipped the 3rd bolt and traversed up and left to the overlaps instead of going up to the 4th bolt. It was pretty mellow as the slab gets more featured and there's gear/chickenheads to sling. This time I went straight up to the 4th bolt (stout) then traversed left to the anchor and if felt considerably harder and more runout. I placed a nest of really poor micros in a flake halfway between the bolt and the anchor and was puckered until I grabbed the chain.
I still feel like the first slab pitch is the crux though... Oct 6, 2009
Tim Wolfe
Salt Lake City, UT
  5.9+ R
Tim Wolfe   Salt Lake City, UT  
  5.9+ R
Stunning. This is THE CLASSIC slab route at this grade in Little Cottonwood. Do not miss this route. Jun 28, 2010
Stan Pitcher
Stan Pitcher   SLC, UT
ya Tim it is! Time to go back and do this beauty again- tis the season!
My favorite way is to start with a Standard/Indecent Exposure until its possible to work right to the 5.8 groove pitch of S-Crack. This is a fantastic pitch and doesn't require doubles of anything if I remember correctly. And I definitely agree with Tea that the direct variation after the crux is the way to go unless you enjoy combining your slab run outs with rope drag! Oct 22, 2010
Replaced 3 bolts at the belays and the last 1/4 inch lead bolt(now a Big Fatty 1/2") today.
Jun 11, 2011
mattieD   SLC, UT
Thanks for putting in those new bolts. This is an amazing route and I agree the direct second pitch is well worth it. Jun 22, 2011
Landon McBrayer
Salt Lake City, UT
Landon McBrayer   Salt Lake City, UT
A few commets about the "description" given here.
1. all the bolts are present; most of them are new-ish.
2. All the belays have bomber rap-ready bolts.
3. Don't make a belay in one of the overlaps on pitch 3. The chains are just above the final (third) overlap.
4. Take a handful of cams (fingers to tight hands) for the overlaps on P3.
5. The route can be rappelled with a 70m, as follows: from the top of the 5.8 squeeze finish in the big roof (set of chains) to the top of P3; from the top of P3 to the top of P2; from the top of P2 to Lunch Ledge. Walk down lunch ledge to the chains atop Indecent Exposure; from there, three more straightforward raps to the dirt. Sep 29, 2012
801maxwell   SLC
Landon's rappel info was great, one 70M rope was fine. Happy to not have walked off! Jun 4, 2013
Sir Camsalot
thankgodchickenhead, Ut
Sir Camsalot   thankgodchickenhead, Ut
Stellar route! Oct 27, 2013
Such a great slab climb! We linked up the first two runout slab pitches into one amazing, long pitch of perfect slabbing. Favorite slab route i've done in LCC. Have yet to climb the fin tho.. Until then.

The descent is straightforward. Rap off the summit to the east, scramble east for 50 yards or so into a notch with a big pine. Rap here to the east. This will put you at the top of the plumb line gully. Scramble down this gully hugging the right hand side eventually putting you back on the trail below the plumbline finger crack .10a.. Sep 12, 2014
Ryan Arnold
  5.9+ R
Ryan Arnold  
  5.9+ R
Super fun! The 5.8 chimney variation on pitch 4 is easier than it looks and totally worthwhile. I was able to basically toprope the crux with a #1 and #2 camalot set in sequence. A large cam a few moves later provided peace of mind but wasn't really necessary from a safety standpoint. You have to climb without protection for 50 feet to get to the chimney, but it's 5.6 or less. We rapped with a single 70m all the way to the ground in 45 minutes using Landon's directions. Oct 9, 2014
Oakridge, OR
5.9 R
Ball   Oakridge, OR
5.9 R
Ryan, that beta is worthless for most people who eat. I'm a SKINNY mofo and could not protect beyond the first piece.

I found the run-outs not as severe as people had led me to believe. There were lots of rice crispies on the route, but I scratched them off with my oversized clown shoes.

The down-climb seemed obvious to me; just avoid the first gully and get the rope ready to rap three times. I wouldn't suggest rapping the route unless you lost a shoe. Oct 23, 2014
Kevin Chuba
Salt Lake City, UT
Kevin Chuba   Salt Lake City, UT
Holy shit, S_Direct Slab via indecent exposure.
4 quickdraws
10 Runners AND 3 double length
Standard BD rack to a #4... DOUBLES in .3 .4 .5
Placed on nut
C3's are not clutch but placed a red or a yellow
Bring the cord just in case
We rapped off the summit to the east with one 70 meter rope... Knots to the bitter ends were applied! Some of the manky-ished shit i have ever rapped off of.
Oct 25, 2015
Such a gorgeous hunk of slab! During his recent lecture at the U of U, George Lowe mentioned this as his favorite route in the Wasatch, so you know it's good. I timidly scoured the internet for weeks beforehand searching for any specific info regarding the R rating. Personally I assume anything with an R indicates a no fall zone/ankle busting potential etc. Sure the runouts are hearty, but with those big shiny new bolts worst case scenario would just be some nice scrapes and bruises. Oct 25, 2015
Nathan Stegenga
Spokane, WA
Nathan Stegenga   Spokane, WA
Standard Thumb - Indecent Exposure - S-Direct - Thumb Summit seems to be a popular linkup, so here's some general pitch beta if you are trying to do the linkup.

(Start of Standard Thumb)
P1 - low 5th class slab to the right of a chimney, then traverse left to a ledge into main gully (solo if comfortable)

P2 - vertical cracks on right, then traverse left across slab (little runout) to a piton. Climb the OW/chimney on left into low angle gully past original bolts (smashed) up to two bolt anchor at about head height on your left

(Start of Indecent Exp. var.)
P3 - steep twin cracks and over into the trees or stay out left on the face. Build a gear anchor where the trees end

P4 - up hand/arm crack onto knobby slab, then go right at the "roof" on underclings and sidepulls. You will see a bolted anchor on your right, but just keep on going up to Lunch Ledge. Plenty of options for anchors - we slung a big horn

(Start of S-Direct)
P5 - short pitch up outrageous chicken head jugs and into a shallow groove to a bolted anchor

P6 - up a small squeeze/flare and step right onto the sea of granite. Plug a piece or two and then commit to the delicate dance on the crystals. Bolted anchor and semi-hanging belay

P7 - We opted to climb straight up (S-direct variation) past two bolts (second bolt looks older) & through the overlaps (fingers to small hand sized gear). I believe the original S-Direct goes right after the first bolt and then gradually heads back left. Either way, you end at the bolted anchor above the 3rd overlap

P8 - Up 5.6ish knobby slab. Head right around the "roof" (similar to P2) on underclings and belay at tree (backed it up with a large cam) or climb the 5.8 offwidth/squeeze

P9 - Up easy slab and pick a tree to belay from

P10 - Scramble unroped to the notch north of the summit

P11 - Easy step across move, clip bolt and mantle. Scramble to summit - bolted anchor

Descent: Pretty straightforward - plenty of beta here already. May 1, 2018