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The Thumb

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Blame Canada S 
Brace Y'self aka Pin Job T,S 
Center Slot T 
Confines of Power S 
Descent Route T 
Epic Sushi Party S 
Konichiwa S 
Left Center T 
Mind Over Matter T 
Never Mind, It Doesn't Matter T 
North Overhangs T 
Opposable Distraction T,S 
Pigeon Perch T,S 
Pixie, The S 
Rest in Peace S 
Right Center T 
Rooftop Rodeo S 
South Ridge of the Thumb T 
Sucker Punch S 
Thumb Up My Arse T,S 
Thumb's Up S 
Uphill Cracks T 
Vapor Trail S 
Zig Arete S 

The Thumb Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 8,400'
Location: 40.357, -105.5167 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 7,611
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Nate Christiansen on Sep 16, 2006
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Beta photo for the uphill part of the Thumb.


The Thumb and Needle are the 2 more popular crags on top of Prospect Mountain. The routes on The Thumb vary from 5.0 to 5.12a. The Thumb is short (2 pitches at the very most) but offer excellent exposure to the town of Estes Park.

The Thumb has a one rope rappel for the summiter that is off of the west side from slings from a good well-marked chockstone. There is another rappel involving 2 one rope rappels down the north face.

Eds. The original description for The Thumb & The Needle was split for clarity.

Getting There 

The Thumb and the Needle lie on top of Prospect Mountain and the eaisest way to get there is to drive either from CO Highway 7, leaving town until you reach Peak View drive. Take PVD until you see a gold sign on your right that says "Prospect Highlands". This is Curry. Take that sharp right turn. Continue up this short road that will eventually turn into gravel and park at the cropping just short of the gate. Please do not attempt to park in the way of the landowners. The trail starts just up the gully and goes for an enjoyable yet steep 5 min. approach. The first rock you will see is the Needle. Less than 100 yards further uphill is The Thumb. The Thimble is a sliver of rock lying just E of The Thumb.


To descend the Thumb, you can find a set of slings just below the level of the summit on the West Face. Rappel 95 ft to the ground. You can also descend with a 60m single rope by rappeling off the North Face TWICE. You can also spiral down the descent climb, 5.2 heading SW and following the path of least resistance.


Per Nathan Welton:

East Face
A. Left Center, 8+, 1p, 80', gear.
B. Unknown, bolts.
C. Brace Y'Self, 10, 1p, 95', gear, pins, & bolts.
D. Unknown, bolts.
E. Right Center, 7 PG-13, 1p, 180', gear.
F. Center Slot, 8, 2p, 180', gear.
G. Thumb's Up, 10-, 1p, 90', bolts +/- gear.
H. Thumb Up My Arse, 11-, 1p, 100', bolts + gear.
I1. Blame Canada, 10+, 1p, 90', bolts.
I2J. Epic Sushi Party, 10, 1p, 90', bolts.
J. Zig Arete, 10, 1p, 80', bolts.
K1. Confines of Power, 11+, 1p, 80', bolts.
K2. Vapor Trail, 12, 1p, 85', bolts.
L1. Mind over Matter, 12-, 1p, 140', gear.
L2. Never Mind It Does't Matter, 11, 2p, 140', gear.
L3. North Overhangs aka North Roof, 9-, 2p, 220', gear.
M. Sucker Punch, 12, 1p, TR.
N. The Pixie, 12, 1p, 65', bolts.
O. Konichiwa, 12+, 1p, 65', bolts.
P. Pigeon Perch, 9, 1p, 70', gear & bolts.
Q. Rooftop Rodeo, 11-, 1p, 100', bolts.
R. Uphill Cracks, 7, 1p, 90', gear.
S. Opposable Distraction, 11+, 1p, 100', gear & bolts.
T. Rest in Peace, 11, 1p, 100', bolts.
U. West Face.

South Face
V. Unknown, 8, 1p, 70', TR.
W. Unknown, 7, 1p, 70', TR.
X. Unknown, 6, 1p, 70', TR.
Y. Unknown, 5, 1p, 70', gear or TR.
Z. Unknown, 2, 1p, 70', gear.
AA. Descent Route, 4, 2p, 200', gear.
BB. South Ridge of the Thumb, 3 R, 2p, gear.

Also note that you can descend off the northwest face in a single 30m rap from the chains atop Rest in Peace.

Climbing Season

For the Prospect Mountain area.

Weather station 1.8 miles from here

24 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',9],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Thumb

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Thumb:
Thumb's Up   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Zig Arete   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Confines of Power   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Thumb

Featured Route For The Thumb
Rock Climbing Photo: Allen about 1/2 way up.

Right Center 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13  Colorado : Estes Park Valley : ... : The Thumb
This is an obvious line on the East side of The Thumb. It does receive a star in Gillett's but not Rossiter's guidebook. Not too bad when you're trying to squeeze in something between downpours. You can do this in 1 or 2 pitches; however, the 2-bolt anchor depicted in Rossiter's guide seems to be gone.From the trail's junction with The Thumb, head right about 50 feet. Look up & see a right-angling, right-facing, obtuse dihedral with blackish lichen (a touch slippery when wet). Thi...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of The Thumb Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: View of Long's Peak and Estes Park from the top of...
View of Long's Peak and Estes Park from the top of...
Rock Climbing Photo: SE Face of the Thumb. Nice view of school slabs & ...
BETA PHOTO: SE Face of the Thumb. Nice view of school slabs & ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jaclyn, 8, soaking up the sun on a South face TR.
Jaclyn, 8, soaking up the sun on a South face TR.
Rock Climbing Photo: Erin, 4, on one of the multiple TRs on the South f...
Erin, 4, on one of the multiple TRs on the South f...
Rock Climbing Photo: Kira, 10, on one of the multiple TRs on the South ...
Kira, 10, on one of the multiple TRs on the South ...

Comments on The Thumb Add Comment
Show which comments
By John Dubya
Sep 7, 2012
According to a local guide I talked to up there today, there are 2 new lines bolted this summer just to the right as the trail meets The Thumb. He said there was a ".10 and an .11". I led, on-sighted both routes, and agree with the general assessment of the grades. The route on the left is definitely easier with just a few moves of 9+ or 10- and 6 or 7 bolts to chain anchors if I remember correctly. The route on the right starts with a few gear placements (small cams and an old TCU you can clip) and then fairly sustained climbing through 4 bolts to a 10+/11- crux going to the last bolt. The rock on this route is a little loose in places, so be aware, otherwise really fun on both! Does someone want to confirm these grades, add a name, etc?
By Nathan Welton
From: Estes Park, CO
Jul 9, 2013
The names and grades those two routes have been confirmed with the FA, local guide Eli Helmuth, and added to the database. They are Thumbs Up, 5.10- and Thumb Up My Arse, 5.10+ or perhaps 5.11-. Time will tell as consensus grows.

Also note that you can descend off the northwest face in a single 30m rap from the chains atop Rest in Peace.
By Emil Briggs
Aug 4, 2015
Decent climbing but some loose friable rock on these still. I broke a small hold off Thumbs Up and the obvious clipping hold below the crux bolt flexes enough so that it's probably not going to last much longer.
By Seth Hogan
From: Frisco, Co
Jul 20, 2017
Left a yellow sling of draws, would love to get them back for the right price! 716 679 6012.

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