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Devil's Thumb
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YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
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Submitted By: Josh Janes on Aug 4, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (16)
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BETA PHOTO: Devils Thumb NE Face

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  • Description 

    Toponas is one of the two "moderate" routes up Devil's thumb (the other being the "Left Side" route). Both are found on the east face, immediately below a small overhang which prevents easy access to the summit.

    Toponas is the obvious, right-most crack (facing the rock) set in a dihedral that you see almost immediately after crossing to the east side of Devil's Thumb from the north. The climb is only about 20-25' long, and requires a very long approach, but my suggestion is that if you want to summit Devil's Thumb, you may as well climb it while you're here. The first ten feet or so is a thin finger crack with stemming feet on both sides of the dihedral. This is well-protected with stoppers. Above here the fun begins - the crack immediately flares into an offwidth that is strenuous for an 8 but fortunately not too long. The bottom of the offwidth is protected by a loose bolt. I recommend being solid at the grade before leading this - mostly because you're out in the middle of nowhere and a fall would be... inconvenient.

    Descent: Once you summit, a little searching will reveal two bolts right on top of the thumb. You can rap east off of these, but I recommend downclimbing south east to an exposed ledge above the "Left Side" route. Here you'll see the remains of an old ladder - a two-foot metal pole sticking straight up out of the rock - which is perfect for rappelling.


    Small & medium stoppers to protect the first half, medium cams for setting up the belay and the upper half. Nothing big.

    Photos of Toponas Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Short but sweet. Photo: Mark Roth.
    Short but sweet. Photo: Mark Roth.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Devil's Thumb Toponas crux.
    BETA PHOTO: Devil's Thumb Toponas crux.

    Comments on Toponas Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Anonymous Coward
    Dec 27, 2004

    This has got to be the highest overhead summit in the Flatirons. An entertaining day. Somebody should really go up there and replace the rap anchor!
    By Bruce Hildenbrand
    Oct 7, 2005

    Mike Munger and I replaced the 1/4" Rawl protection bolt on this climb with a 3/8" x 3.5" SS Rawl bolt.

    The hardware for this work was provided by the American Safe Climbing Association ( They appreciate your support.
    By Clint Locks
    From: Boulder
    Oct 19, 2008
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    From the chain anchors on top, a 60 meter rappel comes up a little short. It will, however, deposit you on a small ledge from which you can easily down-climb the ~12 remaining feet to the ground. Also, if you choose to rap from the steel rod above the "Left Side" route instead, the down-climb to that is not a 'walk in the park'. Mike, Bruce and ASCA: Thanks for the bolt!

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