Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
The Thumb

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
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: 5,138
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Nate Christiansen on Sep 16, 2006

22° | 14°

31° | 17°

38° | 16°

43° | 21°

45° | 22°

34° | 17°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Kira, 10, on one of the multiple TRs on the South ...


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.
IJ. 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

Weather station 1.8 miles from here

23 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',2],['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:
North Overhangs   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 220'   
Zig Arete   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Thumb's Up   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Epic Sushi Party   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Thumb Up My Arse   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
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 Light on P1.

North Overhangs 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c  CO : Estes Park Valley : ... : The Thumb
This is a fun, steep route that skirts some large overhangs on the north side of the Thumb.*note*: if you follow the guidebooks' beta, this is only a one-star route! Read on....Hike around to the north side of the Thumb, and find the large, left-facing corner directly below a large roof about 2/3 of the way up. P1. Climb this fun 5.8 corner past several bulges, but do not belay below the roof as the guidebooks recommend. This pulls you away from the line, but worse, there are incredible amoun...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Local Information for The Thumb
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: 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: 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: Beta photo for the uphill part of the Thumb.
Beta photo for the uphill part of the Thumb.

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.

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!