Center Thumb 5.9
South Summit Wall, Lone Peak Cirque
About the Climb
Tom’s Thumb is a very prominent pillar resting against the South Summit Wall that attracts the eye of every climber visiting the amazing Lone Peak Cirque. The rock on this obelisk is of excellent quality and provides very secure gear placements. It is no surprise that Center Thumb is one of the best routes in the Cirque. A true classic!
Center Thumb links weaknesses and ascends crack systems shooting straight up the middle of the pillar formation. This is one of the best 5.9 climbs in the Cirque and should not be missed if you visit the area. The route is not very sustained but very varied and continuous, with most pitches checking in at 5.7 or 5.8. The crux is a short but steep and exposed hand crack that drops you on top of Tom's Thumb, and it's spectacular. Every pitch on this route is fun and varied, with mostly hand and finger cracks, and also features lots of cool knobs and patina. As with all the routes in the Cirque, the Summit is incredible and offers fantastic views of the Wasatch Range.
Lone Peak Cirque sits high above a pristine alpine meadow, where melting snowfields provide the only source of fresh water, so plan accordingly. The approach is fairly long and strenuous, and most parties will want to spend at least one night to camp once up there. Beware of fast moving thunderstorms.
If the route is busy, it is possible to climb the Left Thumb (5.8), which ascends the (vegetated) seldom climbed left side of the Thumb, and joins back into Center Thumb for the last 2 pitches. A couple of variations are also possible on the last pitch (5.7 and 5.9+), and are mentionned on our GearLoopTopo.
Once you reach the top of the formation, you will follow the descent trail back to the base of the Question Mark Wall. From here, it is easy to climb another route to fill your day, and take advantage of the wonderful afternoon light that this wall receives. If you have not climbed the Lowe Route (5.8) yet, don't waste your time and get on it. The Answer (5.8) is also a nice variation. If you're looking for something a little more sustained, don't miss the chance to climb Out of the Question (5.10b), which is simply incredible, or the Doomsday Book (5.10b). If you don't feel like getting on another multi-pitch route, check-out the quality Pika Paradise (5.8) corner.
If you are looking for other Wasatch multi-pitch climbs at a similar grade, but don't feel like hiking all the way up to the Cirque, you should try Pentapitch/Sasquatch (5.8-5.9), Tingey's Terror/Torture (5.8-5.10a), Eleventh Hour (5.8), Precious Lost (5.10a), or The Thumb/S-Direct (5.9+).