Type: Trad, Alpine, 300 ft (91 m), 2 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 2,250 total · 18/month
Shared By: Bill Lawry on Mar 27, 2011
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

You & This Route

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A description of the route when down climbing

The photo ain't much to look at, even if the camera lense didn't have a finger print on it. Still, this is the view from the top generally looking south and down at the start of the SE Ridge route. Down climbing the route begins alongside the tree on the right side of the photo.

Find the healthy tree on the right side of the above photo (i.e., south side of the top of The Thumb). John Kear indicates this tree is about 150 feet south (SE) from the summit (agree).

Down climb easy dirty ledges immediately next to that tree to a sloping dirty ledge that trends to skier's left (SE). A dozen or more feet down this "dirty" ledge is a tree with a half-foot or so diameter trunk; there is a nice flat ledge on the ridge line a few feet above the base of this tree. Although that ledge looks inviting, continue traversing about 10 feet to the SE just below the tree and find the beginning of a clean ramp that trends downward to skier's left - follow it.

The easiest rest of the way down is second class, pretty much keeping a little to skier’s left of the ridge line. Near the bottom, look for a notch that cuts back skier’s left, dropping into forest duff.

If a free solo down climb of the most exposed part of the ‘walk off’ is out of the question, consider wasting a sling and biner on the mid-way tree, meat anchor belay behind an out cropping before the tree,  and last person goes down on TR.

A description of the route as climbed from below

This route is actually the standard descent route. But by itself it can make for an enjoyable part of a day up in the alpine for non-climbers with an experienced climber.
P1: Ignore the interesting looking short pinacle to the SE of the pod. Instead, head in the opposite direction up the SE Ridge towards the summit of The Thumb. The angle of ascent will lessen to almost horizontal towards the end of the pitch to a point where the ridge significantly steepens. Belay at a tree. 2nd class, maybe 3rd; ~130 feet.

P2: Continue up the ridge via a very obvious ledge system on climber's left of the ridge line. 4th class, ~150 feet.

If the return involves down-climbing the route or you are descending after climbing a different route, the lowest ledge of P2 is not obvious until almost down to the very top of that ledge.


The Thumb
Head up boulder fields and sparse forest above the La Luz Trail towards the SE end or left side of this photo:
We headed up the obvious boulder field on the far left side of photo on our approach to the SE Ridge, when the boulder field was full of snow. The La Luz Trail is visible in a couple spots where it crosses the boulder field. Near the top we then trended rightward to the notch at the skyline. Photo courtesy of [[105787518]].
Gain the ridge proper at a localized low point in the ridge where there is a ~2 foot wide notch standing about four feet off the forest duff. This deposits you in a mostly flat pod - roughly 8 feet diameter - on the ridge proper where the party can drop any gear not being taken to the top.


If making traditional leads out of this, take a half dozen or so pieces of pro ... there's a couple trees for belay anchors plus a large block on top to loop the rope around.