Type: Trad, Alpine, 400 ft, 5 pitches, Grade II
FA: 1970, Lowe brothers
Page Views: 13,965 total · 80/month
Shared By: Vince Romney on Sep 1, 2004
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

118 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


This route ascends the crack system that travels roughly right up the middle of the rectangular formation that extends out from the south summit. This "thumb" formation was first ascended in 1959, via both sides of the formation. It wasn't until the Lowes showed up in 1970 that someone took a crack at the middle.

Begin on the left side of a large blocky formation at the base of the "thumb" and ascend via a series of cracks to a belay at a piton (use small cams to back up the belay). Optionally, you can combine pitch 1 and 2 with a 60m rope.

Continue up via this crack series to a shelf that extends nearly all the way across the formation and set up a trad belay (use your cordelette!).

From this shelf, work up the cracks to the obvious middle crack, and belay at the next obvious shelf.

From here, follow the cracks to where they exit to the left of the face. Now, suck it up and face the exposure! This is an awesome, exposed crack that moves up the overhanging left face of the formation to the top. Move fast, and use some runners on your pro to avoid drag if you climbed the right crack on the previous face. Belay at the two-bolt belay at the top of the formation.

From here, descend down to the ledge that connects north to the flake system, and climb the long pitch up these flakes and cracks to the summit.

This is definitely the best route on the "thumb" formation, but the fourth pitch (third if you combine 1 and 2) demands a lot of the leader, so be ready to commit to it.


Everthing from #4 Camalot to small nuts. Having a lot of mid-sized cams was very handy.
super fun route. The last pitch has some massive loose blocks as big as people. Careful descending the gully if there is still snow. Jul 16, 2005
Matt Chan
Matt Chan   Denver
Great route that is very continuous from start to end. First pitch belay is at a pin midway up the 'Y' crack feature in the center of the thumb (5.7+). Pitch 2 belays at a nice ledge and belay perch about 120' (5.8). Pitch 3 also belays at a large ledge at ~100' or continue up to the left side of the thumb, just below the crux (5.8). If you do it this way, P3 is long (180'+), but allows you to talk to your belayer during the crux. The belay stance for this option is a small perch with a horn at the start of the handcrack. After the crux (5.9), there is a bolt at the top of the thumb (didn't see a second). Then traverse left to a lieback crack that you can take to the top of the South Summit Wall (5.6). Walk up and over towards the descent for the ? Wall (rap Pete's). The 5.9(?) variation to the final pitch looked like great fingers. Jul 24, 2006
Stan Pitcher
Stan Pitcher   SLC, UT
With a 60m rope you can do it in 4 pitches. We did two full rope pitches to get to a nice ledge below the crux pitch. This climb eats nuts and only a single set of cams (to 3 camalot) is necessary. The final pitch has poor rock quality compared to the stellar rock on the other pitches so beware of its 5.7 rating. What is this 5.9 last pitch variation? Aug 18, 2008
Sandy, UT
notmyname   Sandy, UT
Great Route!
Linking pitches is a bit hard with rope-drag. I thought the 1st pitch was the crux - moving left out of the big crack gets a bit thin on the gear. 5.7 climbing with 5.9 gear. My favorite is the pitch before the 5.9 handcrack. Beautiful climbing on knobs with a bomber crack for gear!!! Aug 4, 2009
Greg Gavin
Greg Gavin   SLC, UT
Don't be scared away by the 4th pitch. It is a soft 5.9+ if you compare it to gordon's hangover or after the fall. Jul 12, 2010
Sam Grenlie
LCC, Utah
Sam Grenlie   LCC, Utah
The 5th pitch is a little confusing. After traversing the small ledge to the obvious, left-leaning 5.7 layback you will be tempted to continue up and left getting sucked into a chimney system. Don't do that. Instead, at the top of the 5.7 layback take a step out and RIGHT to nice patina and cracks OR continue straight up flakes and cracks to the summit.

The 5.9 variation is the 'Coors Variation' and it goes directly up to the South Summit from the top of the thumb formation - instead of traversing the shelf into the 5.7 layback. Although both routes almost converge near the top out. Jul 19, 2010
Courtney Pace   Sandy
Ill second Greg G's comment. Dont be scared away by the crux pitch. If you are comfortable doing a tight #3 camalot jam then you will cruise it. I found the first pitch to be harder. Route finding proved to be an issue on this route even with the description in hand. Mar 3, 2012
Eric and Lucie
Boulder, CO
Eric and Lucie   Boulder, CO
I too found p1 to require more care than the p4 crux, which is a splitter jam crack.
Great route.
On p5, we traversed the small ledge to the obvious flakes, climbed those for a while, then stepped right into a gorgeous splitter crack and followed that straight up to the top. Really fun pitch, I thought. Jul 5, 2012
greg t
Chevy, Silverado
greg t   Chevy, Silverado
You can link the 1st 2 pitches with a 70m. Super fun route Jun 21, 2013
Sam Cannon
Salt Lake City, UT
Sam Cannon   Salt Lake City, UT
We linked pitches 2 and 3 accidentally, but it worked really well (60 meter rope).

Anyone who gives this route less than 4 stars but gives Triple O's 4 is high. This route is consistently amazing with one of the most aesthetic crux pitches anywhere. Super classic. Aug 5, 2013
greg t
Chevy, Silverado
greg t   Chevy, Silverado
Gave the green C3 a mediocre removal attempt with no such luck. Its stuck real nice. It would take some advanced shenanigans to get out. Good luck. Jul 19, 2014
K Blase
Salt Lake City, UT
K Blase   Salt Lake City, UT
Can be done in 3 long pitches with a 70 m rope. 2 pitches to the top of the thumb. With a 60, we were about 25 feet short when linking the first two pitches and 10 feet short linking pitches 3 and 4. Jun 28, 2015
Ryan Arnold
Ryan Arnold  
Coors variation features 30 feet of 5.9R face climbing followed by a dirty, vegetated corner with some large scary loose blocks. My two cents: not worth it. Aug 31, 2016