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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:

The Thumb Area Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 40.5746, -111.7574 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 23,014
Administrators: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Vince Romney on May 13, 2004
Forecast:
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BETA PHOTO: The Thumb from Middle Bell Tower.

Description 

This buttress is the biggest chunk of rock in the canyon, and the only place in LCC where you can link 10 or 11 pitches of quality crack, slab, and face climbing and choose between ratings from 5.7 to 5.12 to reach the summit. The view from the top of the Thumb is superb and well worth the all day outing. "S-Crack" defines Thumb climbing, and with the "S-Direct" variation proves that the boys (including the Lowes and former mayor Ted) had their S*** together way back in the 60's when they developed this rock.

Getting There 

Park at the Gate Buttress. Then, prepare for a bit of a slog. Follow a series of paths that head left from the Gate Boulders. I've done this a dozen times or more and I don't think I get the same trail twice. Either way, head west until you get to the huge talus field. Head west across, and simultaneously up the talus hill until you reach the base of the Waterfront buttress. This is the steep, dark-stained block above the dense scrub oak forest. From here, traverse west along the base of the buttress (harder than it sounds) until you reach an area where you are tempted to scramble up, out of the trees. Don't do it! Down hike just a bit to continue west and then move back uphill to the base of the buttress, and shortly you'll emerge out of the forest and you'll be on the trail at the base of the Plumbline wall (a great warm-up climb is the Plumbline 5.10a). Stash your packs in this area, as this is where you'll end up on the descent. From here, traverse west and up for about 200 feet and you'll be standing at the base of the Thumb routes.

Climbing Season



Weather station 3.2 miles from here

18 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',2],['5.8',2],['5.9',3],['5.10',6],['5.11',3],['5.12',1],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Thumb Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Thumb Area:
The Summit Pitch   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 45'   
The Standard Thumb   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 11 pitches   
Indecent Exposure Variation   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches   
Higher Expectations   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   
S-Direct, Variation   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   
S-Direct   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R     Trad, 7 pitches, 800'   
Spring Fever   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   
Robbins Crack   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
Nob Job   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b X     Trad, 2 pitches, 300'   
S-Matrix   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 3 pitches, 400'   
Spring and Fall   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 45'   
Coyne Crack   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, 70'   
S-Crack   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, 4 pitches, 350'   
Monkey Lip   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Trad, 65'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Thumb Area

Featured Route For The Thumb Area
Rock Climbing Photo: Greg on Coyne Crack

Coyne Crack 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a  UT : Wasatch Range : ... : The Thumb Area
Short and sweet, this is a steep finger crack visible near the base of the thumb. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in UT

Photos of The Thumb Area Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Summit!
Summit!
Rock Climbing Photo: Two parties of climbers on The Thumb.  Nov. 23, 20...
Two parties of climbers on The Thumb. Nov. 23, 20...
Rock Climbing Photo: Thumb in the clouds. Photo by Blitzo.
Thumb in the clouds. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Couldn't have timed the summit any closer to n...
Couldn't have timed the summit any closer to n...
Rock Climbing Photo: November sunset on The Thumb.
November sunset on The Thumb.
Rock Climbing Photo: Centered in this photo is the Thumb Area.
BETA PHOTO: Centered in this photo is the Thumb Area.
Rock Climbing Photo: An update on Greg's photo.  It has two additional ...
BETA PHOTO: An update on Greg's photo. It has two additional ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Here is my crappy update to Lee Jensen's nice topo...
BETA PHOTO: Here is my crappy update to Lee Jensen's nice topo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Showing the walk off descent route from the summit...
BETA PHOTO: Showing the walk off descent route from the summit...
Rock Climbing Photo: j foote on the slab pitch
j foote on the slab pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: The general area of the Thumb from across the stre...
BETA PHOTO: The general area of the Thumb from across the stre...

Comments on The Thumb Area Add Comment
Show which comments
By JPFox
From: SLC, UT
May 17, 2010
The approach to The Thumb has improved, following the directions above if you keep an eye out there is a tracked out path along the base of the talus field, (very easy to find on the way out) and as the "trail" heads into the woods around the Waterfront Area there is a pretty obvious trail now, it goes all the way to the base
By goatdavemac
From: Flat Rock, NC
Apr 12, 2013
I was on the Thumb formation last fall, and had to bail....but, looking at the photos of the decent/rap options, is there a route that climbs the right angling crack in the "big roof"?
By Greg G
From: SLC, UT
Apr 13, 2013
mr. goatdavemac - you're speaking of the S-Matrix which has very little beta here. Check the guidebook for more information, and a topo.
By Charlie S
From: Ogden, UT
Apr 29, 2013
It is possible to rap the entire buttress down the main face using double 60m ropes. Some are a stretch, and the first couple of raps are so low angle that you'll be fighting with the rope.
By JSaarela
From: Park City
Nov 11, 2016
Don't underestimate the descent. Tried to follow the topo for the descent trail, but couldn't seem to find the route. Though coming down in the dark didn't really help. Unless you can find the trail on the topo, expect the walk-off decent to take a good bit longer than the supposed 1.5 hours.