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North Overhangs 

YDS: 5.9- French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 16 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 220', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.9- French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 16 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 110
Submitted By: Charles Vernon on Jan 1, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (9)
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Allen Light on P1.


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.

Photos of North Overhangs Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Allen on P2 just before the crux.  Cool orange lic...
Allen on P2 just before the crux. Cool orange lic...

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By Nate Christiansen
Feb 9, 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.
By Darin Lang
Feb 10, 2003

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.
By Crusty
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.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 10, 2003

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.
By Nathan Welton
From: Estes Park, CO
Jul 9, 2013

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.

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