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Gory Thumb 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a PG13

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 200'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a PG13 [details]
FA: Jim McCarthy and Dick Williams (1954). FFA Dick Williams (1964)
Page Views: 1,810
Submitted By: Tim Schafstall on Apr 22, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (48)
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The crux seam of Gory Thumb offers less for the ha...


Williams describes 2 pitches, but P2 is rarely done and contains some lichen. Most people rap or do P1 as a TR in conjunction with P1 of Raunchy and Wild Horses. I have not climbed P2, so cannot describe it accurately. See the Williams' guide for a complete description.

P1 - The original start was from the right edge of the small ledge with a tree; however, better climbing is had by starting from the ground and that is the way the climb is now described in the Williams' Guide.

Climb the face, angling up left to the corner and a small rooflet. Traverse right (moving past the thin crack of Wild Horses in the center of the thin white face) to the far right crack in that face. Climb up the crack (crux, sequency), then continue up easier rock past several horizontals to a nice ledge. Set up a directional, then traverse left to the pine tree belay/rap.


Begin on the face/arete at the far right edge of the lower Raunchy block, in a small alcove created by a corner.


Standard Gunks Rack.

Photos of Gory Thumb Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike starting up Gory Thumb.  The climb continues ...
Mike starting up Gory Thumb. The climb continues ...

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By Ivan Rezucha
From: Fort Collins, CO
Oct 19, 2008

It's a bit easier and positive to climb the face just right of the thin crack.
By blah blah
Oct 25, 2009

2nd pitch of this climb is full value - steep 5.8 face... long, enjoyable, and fun...
By Michal Pasniewski
Jun 20, 2011

The beginning first 15ft is a highball problem with no pro - I could not fit any thin gear. You can connect with the Wild Horses crack, and then traverse right to follow the corner, 2 #2 C4s useful. I found the route easier than the 5.9 var. of Raunchy.
By Steve Moulding
From: New York
Jun 8, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

Climbed this (P1 only) years ago (mid 1990s?). Onsight lead in good style. I seem to recall the protection was quite thin (v. small wires).
By Pawel Janowski
From: WA
Sep 22, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

The start is fun, maybe 5.7, but yes it is a high-ball with little gear possibility. Crux is fun but literally one move. Above the crux, staying out of the small right facing corner and moving straight up the face makes for a more interesting and consistent route in my opinion.

Also, this route is to the right of Wild Horses, but MP has it left of Raunchy so maybe an admin could fix that in the order listing? Got it - thanks! JSH
By Andy Weinmann
From: Silver Spring, MD
Aug 10, 2015
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

The boulder problem at the bottom can be protected with a nut or micro cam but you have to take the time to finagle it in. The upper crux can be protected with a #3 or #4 brass offset and the same size RP/IMP (sorry, it was one of those two sizes). I found the crux to be rather a technical sequence, heady and reachy and certainly not a one-move wonder (I'm 5'6")...and there's an ankle-breaking ledge below you. After the crack it's smooth sailing.

Recommend linking to P2 of Raunchy. Interesting moves off the tree to gain the face and then some fun roofs, if a little loose in places.
By Keyan P
From: Brooklyn, NY
Sep 11, 2017
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R

If you plan to do the second pitch make sure you feel very solid on 5.9. There is no gear for the first ~12ft and only a nail drive bolt and a rusty pin until the left facing corner at ~30ft. The climbing after that is sustained 5.8/5.9 face with good gear, but far apart. The rap tree at the top had good slings but the tree is not healthy and questionably safe to rappel off.
By lucander
From: Stone Ridge, NY
6 days ago
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

Keyan - I was climbing nearby when you were on that. Very possible you were on p. 2 of Wild Horses (old bolt, harder climbing). Gory Thumb p. 2 continues traversing a little more right before going up, pretty easy (5.6ish).

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