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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+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
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
Type: Trad, 220 ft, 2 pitches, Grade II
FA: unknown
Page Views: 128 total · 1/month
Shared By: Charles Vernon on Dec 31, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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This is a fun, steep route that skirts some large overhangs on the north side of the Thumb.

  • note*: if you follow the guidebooks' beta, this is only a one-star route! Read on....

Hike around to the north side of the Thumb, and find the large, left-facing corner directly below a large roof about 2/3 of the way up.

P1. Climb this fun 5.8 corner past several bulges, but do not belay below the roof as the guidebooks recommend. This pulls you away from the line, but worse, there are incredible amounts of pigeon shit here and you will be sitting right in it.

Instead, about 20-30 feet below the roof (~80 feet up), step right and belay on a nice ledge with a 2-bolts.

P2: continue up the corner to the roof, and make an airy 5.9- traverse to the right, with tricky gear, to get around it. Continue up a steep easy corner, festooned with birdshit (most of which can be avoided) to the top.

It might be possible to do the whole route in one pitch with a 60 meter rope, although my guess is that the route is a bit longer than that. [Eds. it is possible with rope drag.]

Descent: 2 single-rope rappels from bolt anchors to the climber's left of where you topped out, or one rappel with a single 60m rope from slings on the west side of the summit. There is no walk-off; the easiest downclimb is long, convoluted, and about 5.2.


Standard rack to #3 Camalot.


Nathan Welton
Estes Park, CO
Nathan Welton   Estes Park, CO
The easiest way to get down is to just do a single 30m rap off the chains of Rest in Peace, which are 15 feet west of where you top this route out. Just walk toward the Continental Divide and you'll see them. Jul 9, 2013
Charles Vernon
Tucson, AZ
Charles Vernon   Tucson, AZ
In response to Nate's first comment--if you're up there, definitely do the second pitch. The traverse around the roof is the best and most exposed climbing on the route, IMO. Getting around the birdshit above involves convoluted stemming, as I recall. Heck, it makes the climbing more interesting anyway.

Oh, and like Mr. Crusty says, if you rap just left of the route, you can easily get some very cool TRs in. Feb 10, 2003
From a rope solo ascent 9/2002, I had rope to spare after climbing this in one pitch with a 60m. After rapping from the top left as described above, you have a top rope access to Ziggarete (5.10c) or Confines of Power (5.11d). The bird doodoo seems to vary seasonally. The belay under the roof is a cool perch for people as well as pigeons and should be enjoyed if the poo isn't too bad. The poo on pitch two is fairly easy to avoid by stemming left. Nice, quick after work climb. Feb 10, 2003
Darin Lang  
Fun route with a relatively short approach, and great views from the top. The 5.9 traverse can be protected reasonably well with TCUs or Aliens in a crack in the roof itself, above your head. In light of the orientation of said camming units, I felt it prudent to use two. YMMV.

The bird excrement in the final 20 feet or so, while unsettling, can probably be avoided with skillful moves. Because I lack Charles' skill in this regard, I got a nice handful. Builds character.

Best route on the Thumb. Feb 10, 2003
North Overhangs' first pitch is much cleaner than the second and for those who do not want to deal with the crap and make it a clean 1 pitch, I believe there is a 2 bolt anchor to the right of the corner crack about half way up the climb. It is maybe 30-40' below the 5.9 traverse. Also, if wanting to avoid the 5.9 traverse, a left traverse is easier, but is gives you terrible rope drag no matter how much you try. That pitch takes big gear (3-4") the whole way. Leads right up to the 2 bolt anchor Charles is talking about. Feb 9, 2003

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