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
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.
|Pitch||Standard Route||Coyne Crack||S-Crack||Indecent Exposure||S-Direct||Spring Fever||Nob Job|
|2||5.5||5.11d or C1||5.8||-||-||-||-|
|3||5.6||-||5.11d or C1||5.7||-||-||-|
| 5||4th class ||- || -||-|| 5.6|| 5.9R||4th Class |
|8||5.7R or 5.5||-||-||-||5.7R||-||-|
|10||3rd/4th Class||-||-||-|| ||-||-|
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.
There are no camping areas near the climb.