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The Thumb

The Thumb

The Thumb

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Utah, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 40.57620°N / 111.75591°W

Object Title: The Thumb

County: Salt Lake

Activities: Mountaineering, Trad Climbing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Elevation: 7360 ft / 2243 m


Page By: Garon Coriz

Created/Edited: Aug 20, 2017 / Aug 30, 2017

Object ID: 1005347

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The Thumb is the highest feature in the Gate Buttress climbing area of Little Cottonwood Canyon. It stands 1,520 feet above the parking lot. All routes to the top are technical, requiring traditional rock climbing skills and gear. There are many variations for climbs on this rock including S-Crack (5.8), Indecent Exposure (5.7), Spring Fever (5.10a), S-Direct (5.9+R), Nob Job (5.10dR), Coyne Crack (5.11d). The easiest route, Standard Thumb, is rated as YDS 5.7, which in Little Cottonwood, can be misleading as many climbs are deemed seriously sandbagged. The hardest route is 5.12a on featureless slab that has a fixed rope on it.
Summit Block of The Thumb
Summit Block of The Thumb

Getting There

The parking lot for the Gate Buttress is on the north side of the road 1.5 miles up-canyon from the Park and Ride parking lot at the mouth of the canyon. 


Below is the rough breakdown of the climbs of The Thumb. See the routes section for further details. 

PitchStandard RouteCoyne CrackS-CrackIndecent ExposureS-DirectSpring FeverNob Job
25.55.11d or C15.8----
35.6-5.11d or C15.7---
45.6/5.7-5.8+ OW5.7---
Lunch Ledge-------
 54th class  -- 5.6 5.9R4th Class 
85.7R or 5.5---5.7R--
95.2---4th Class--
103rd/4th Class--- --
115.5--- --

Red Tape

Consult with the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance that has been working with the LDS Church on maintaining access to the Gate Buttress and climbs contained therein.

When to Climb

Climbing is possible year-round but most climb this area in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Heat can be a major factor so cooler days and early starts are preferable.
5.8+ Off-width
5.8+ Off-width


There are no camping areas near the climb.


Summit Block of The ThumbDescent Gully5.8+ Off-widthScreefield EdgeVariation of the Thumb