REI Community
The Thumb Area
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Coyne Crack T 
Down Your Throat With A Hairy Goat! T 
Flake Variation T 
Higher Expectations T 
Indecent Exposure Variation T 
Monkey Lip T 
Nob Job T 
Robbins Crack T 
Robbins' Route T 
S-Crack T 
S-Direct T 
S-Direct, Variation T 
S-Matrix T 
Spring and Fall T 
Spring Fever T 
Standard Thumb, The T 
Summit Pitch, The T 
Thumbing To Bogota T 
Unsorted Routes:


YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a R

Type:  Trad, 7 pitches, 800', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a R [details]
FA: George and Jeff Lowe, 1967 (S-Direct), Variation by M.Bitter and friends.
Page Views: 16,412
Submitted By: Mark Michaels on May 8, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (80)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Shayne Durfee leading S direct.

Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed MORE INFO >>>


Climb S-Crack, or Standard Thumb/Indecent Exposure to Lunch Ledge.

S-Direct tackles the immaculate slab left of the Standard Thumb "Trough" pitch.

R-rating still deserved despite new bolts in recent years.


Standard Rack to climb one of the routes to Lunch Ledge....then just a few draws on the S-Direct Slab, plus some slings to tie off knobs!

Photos of S-Direct Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Bob casually cruising and posing for photos on the...
Bob casually cruising and posing for photos on the...
Rock Climbing Photo: still posing...
still posing...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2
Pitch 2
Rock Climbing Photo: steep... and run-out
BETA PHOTO: steep... and run-out
Rock Climbing Photo: sea of granite
sea of granite
Rock Climbing Photo: S-Direct
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbers on the third pitch out on a sea of granit...
Climbers on the third pitch out on a sea of granit...
Rock Climbing Photo: Niels Tietze and Singer Smith climbing the Thumb o...
Niels Tietze and Singer Smith climbing the Thumb o...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Ogden belay
The Ogden belay
Rock Climbing Photo: Ryan about to get a glimpse of the "Sea of en...
Ryan about to get a glimpse of the "Sea of en...

Comments on S-Direct Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 25, 2015
By Nathan Fisher
Aug 23, 2004
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

The bolts on the pitch in question are there. Bolt 1 is above the anchors, bolt 2 is long traverse right, bolt 3 is another 30+ feet up (1/4'er), and bolt 4 now exists. A new 3/8" next to an old 1/4'er. From this point we wandered left to the overlap with gear placement above the Variation. Those (1/4 inch) anchors were not what my partner and I deemed safe, so we traversed back right to Nob Job's anchors. Twin ropes are imperative on this route. We also did not do the final pitch. This allows you to exit more gracefully. 2-rope raps from Nob Jobs anchors twice, then from the Lunch Ledge.
By Tea
Feb 26, 2006

The always perfect wordsmith styling of the Ruckman guide sez it all..."bold elegance on a sea of white granite". Very fine route. I think the variation straight up after the crux is a better line. Bold and memorable.
By James Garrett
Jul 10, 2006

It is now possible to climb all the way to the summit block of the Thumb and rappel down to the
Thumb gully via the Matrix and NobJob (may be easier pulls and more direct)....albeit with two ropes!
By Arie
From: Smog Lake City, Utah
Aug 25, 2007
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R

When we climbed this in fall 2005 I swear the bolts must have been replaced (if so- many, many, thanks). I'm sure I would have crapped my pants climbing this with 1/4"ers. Much praise to whomever replaced the bolts and saved my skids.
By Boissal
From: Small Lake, UT
Oct 6, 2009
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R

The 3rd bolt on P2 is still a button-head, looks solid but made me feel a bit queasy. Kinda strange since all the other bolts have been updated.
I clipped everything with a shoulder-length runner + long draw and rope drag was non-existent.
On my first trip up there I clipped the 3rd bolt and traversed up and left to the overlaps instead of going up to the 4th bolt. It was pretty mellow as the slab gets more featured and there's gear/chickenheads to sling. This time I went straight up to the 4th bolt (stout) then traversed left to the anchor and if felt considerably harder and more runout. I placed a nest of really poor micros in a flake halfway between the bolt and the anchor and was puckered until I grabbed the chain.
I still feel like the first slab pitch is the crux though...
By Tim Wolfe
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 28, 2010
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R

Stunning. This is THE CLASSIC slab route at this grade in Little Cottonwood. Do not miss this route.
By Stan Pitcher
From: SLC, UT
Oct 22, 2010

ya Tim it is! Time to go back and do this beauty again- tis the season!
My favorite way is to start with a Standard/Indecent Exposure until its possible to work right to the 5.8 groove pitch of S-Crack. This is a fantastic pitch and doesn't require doubles of anything if I remember correctly. And I definitely agree with Tea that the direct variation after the crux is the way to go unless you enjoy combining your slab run outs with rope drag!
By mikewhite
Jun 11, 2011

Replaced 3 bolts at the belays and the last 1/4 inch lead bolt(now a Big Fatty 1/2") today.
By mattieD
From: SLC, UT
Jun 22, 2011

Thanks for putting in those new bolts. This is an amazing route and I agree the direct second pitch is well worth it.
By Landon McBrayer
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 29, 2012

A few commets about the "description" given here.
1. all the bolts are present; most of them are new-ish.
2. All the belays have bomber rap-ready bolts.
3. Don't make a belay in one of the overlaps on pitch 3. The chains are just above the final (third) overlap.
4. Take a handful of cams (fingers to tight hands) for the overlaps on P3.
5. The route can be rappelled with a 70m, as follows: from the top of the 5.8 squeeze finish in the big roof (set of chains) to the top of P3; from the top of P3 to the top of P2; from the top of P2 to Lunch Ledge. Walk down lunch ledge to the chains atop Indecent Exposure; from there, three more straightforward raps to the dirt.
By 801maxwell
From: SLC
Jun 4, 2013

Landon's rappel info was great, one 70M rope was fine. Happy to not have walked off!
By Sir Camsalot
From: thankgodchickenhead, Ut
Oct 27, 2013

Stellar route!
By S.Cohen
Sep 12, 2014

Such a great slab climb! We linked up the first two runout slab pitches into one amazing, long pitch of perfect slabbing. Favorite slab route i've done in LCC. Have yet to climb the fin tho.. Until then.

The descent is straightforward. Rap off the summit to the east, scramble east for 50 yards or so into a notch with a big pine. Rap here to the east. This will put you at the top of the plumb line gully. Scramble down this gully hugging the right hand side eventually putting you back on the trail below the plumbline finger crack .10a..
By Ryan Arnold
Oct 9, 2014
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R

Super fun! The 5.8 chimney variation on pitch 4 is easier than it looks and totally worthwhile. I was able to basically toprope the crux with a #1 and #2 camalot set in sequence. A large cam a few moves later provided peace of mind but wasn't really necessary from a safety standpoint. You have to climb without protection for 50 feet to get to the chimney, but it's 5.6 or less. We rapped with a single 70m all the way to the ground in 45 minutes using Landon's directions.
By Ball
From: Oakridge, OR
Oct 23, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R

Ryan, that beta is worthless for most people who eat. I'm a SKINNY mofo and could not protect beyond the first piece.

I found the run-outs not as severe as people had led me to believe. There were lots of rice crispies on the route, but I scratched them off with my oversized clown shoes.

The down-climb seemed obvious to me; just avoid the first gully and get the rope ready to rap three times. I wouldn't suggest rapping the route unless you lost a shoe.
By Kevin Chuba
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 25, 2015

Holy shit, S_Direct Slab via indecent exposure.
4 quickdraws
10 Runners AND 3 double length
Standard BD rack to a #4... DOUBLES in .3 .4 .5
Placed on nut
C3's are not clutch but placed a red or a yellow
Bring the cord just in case
We rapped off the summit to the east with one 70 meter rope... Knots to the bitter ends were applied! Some of the manky-ished shit i have ever rapped off of.
By spencer donovan
Oct 25, 2015

Such a gorgeous hunk of slab! During his recent lecture at the U of U, George Lowe mentioned this as his favorite route in the Wasatch, so you know it's good. I timidly scoured the internet for weeks beforehand searching for any specific info regarding the R rating. Personally I assume anything with an R indicates a no fall zone/ankle busting potential etc. Sure the runouts are hearty, but with those big shiny new bolts worst case scenario would just be some nice scrapes and bruises.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About