Thumb Descent

Page Type
Utah, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hiking, Mountaineering
Spring, Summer, Fall
Time Required:
Less than two hours
Rock Difficulty:
Class 3

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Created On: Aug 20, 2017
Last Edited On: Aug 20, 2017


This is the description for the descent from the top of The Thumb. There are a total of 2-5 rappels with lots of 3rd class downclimbing and some moderate routefinding challenges.

Getting There

Climb The Thumb.

Route Description

Rappel 1 (100'): From the summit rappel anchor, descend to the east.
You can hike uphill and around the left side of a large rock formation for easy 3rd class downclimbing or you can traverse straight across a little clearing to a large pine tree. The meandering uphill and traverse to the east can be a bit confusing, which makes the rappels more appealing.
Rappel 2 (60'): From the obvious rappel anchor on the large ponderosa rappel down and to the climber's right (skier's left) to another tree with easily visible slings. 
Rappel 3 (70'): Rappel straight down to the trail where a cairn sits.
Follow the faint climber's trail that clings to the rocks on skier's right. You pass between oak trees and other forms of brush. About 150 vertical feet down the trail, the rap anchors can be seen in the distance where the gully narrows near a large ponderosa pine on the left side of the gully. There comes a point in a clearing where you have a choice of following the ledges to the right or downclimbing to the left. Going left proved easy enough though climbing shoes helped with stability. After veering back to the right down some slabs, traverse to the left to descend the correct gully where the anchor sits. 
Rappel 4 (60-70'): 2-bolt anchor on the left side of the gully at the narrowing. 
Continue down the gully and veer right as soon as possible. Avoid going straight down over the large slab below. Traverse right and down through the oak brush. There is a large cairn on this ridgeline. Continue down and right on the slope from the cairn; this should drop you into Plumbline Gully. Traverse right part-way down (it gets harder to traverse the further down you go). Once firmly in the gully, it is straightforward.
Rappel 5 (60'): There are slings on a fairly large oak tree in the middle of the gully. Rappeling from here saves a steep downclimb and negotiation of fixed ropes.
Continue to the bottom of the gully over straightforward terrain to connect with the main climber's trail. The base of the Thumb is 7 minutes up the trail from here if you need to grab your packs.

Essential Gear

A 60-meter rope. Traditional climbing gear.

Thumb Descent

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