Type: Trad, Alpine, 550 ft (167 m), 5 pitches, Grade II
FA: George & Jeff Lowe, 1970
Page Views: 20,803 total · 87/month
Shared By: Vince Romney on Sep 1, 2004 · Updates
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, GRK, D Crane

You & This Route

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Description Suggest change

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.

Protection Suggest change

Everthing from #4 Camalot to small nuts. Having a lot of mid-sized cams was very handy.