Peak(s):  Devil's Thumb - 7,820 feet
Devil's Horns - 7,900 feet
The Pyramid - 7,700 feet
Date Posted:  08/11/2013
Modified:  02/20/2014
Date Climbed:   08/10/2013
Author:  Brian C

 A Day with the Devil - Flatirons  

Devil's Thumb via East Face Left Side (5.7+++)
The Pyramid via North Face (5.4)
Devil's Horns via South and East Face(s) (5.2)

August 10, 2013

Partner: Don

***This is report 2 out of 3 on my Colorado's "Devil's Thumb" series...

Approach: Start and the South Mesa Trail and follow signs up into Shadow Canyon. As you work up the backside of the southern ridge of Bear Peak, keep an eye bent upward toward the formations above you and to the right. Stay on the trail until the Devil's Thumb looms above you and then leave the tail. Work up into a large boulder field and prance up the talus to a notch on the right side of Devil's Thumb between it and the Pyramid. All of these formations can be accessed from here.

Route on the Pyramid:
From the notch, scramble over to the north face of the Pyramid. Find the NE corner and ascend a narrow ramp to the east and then scramble back south to the summit. 5.4. To descend, down-climb the route.

Route on Devil's Thumb:
P0 - 4th class - From the notch, scramble north until you are directly below Devil's Thumb. Scramble up to the east as high as possible while staying on easy terrain. Set up a belay at an obvious vertical step near the southern edge of the face.
P1 - 5.7+++ - Work up toward the imposing overhang above passing a large wide crack below your feet. The thin face above is overcome with some small chipped holds that deposit you immediately below the overhang. Somehow levitate up the overhanging, flaring crack to gain the easy slabs above. Note the metal pipe sticking out of the rock and then romp up easier terrain to the summit. Belay from chains. To descend, from the chains, make a 60M rappel to a stance below the overhang. You will not reach hiking terrain! Carefully scramble back to the ground.

Route on the Devil's Horns:
These are the two small formations to the north of Devil's Thumb and the higher summit is the northern one. Scramble to the north of Devil's Thumb and follow the easiest path to the north until you reach a small alcove to the south of the northern summit. Work up the southern face and up the final bit on the east slabs. 5.2. To descend, down-climb the route.

Gear: This can be done with a single set of cams from 0.4-4 and a set of nuts.

Thoughts: All of these summits are the epitome of Flatiron adventure climbing. This terrain does not see many climbers, and has a very wild feel to it. To be expected, this also leads to some exfoliating rock and a very healthy crop of lichen. The Pyramid is a unique summit and has a commanding view of the Maiden and the unique summit arch on the Flying Flatiron. Devil's Thumb is also known as Toponas and is truly the greatest sandbag in the Flatirons. The "5.7" overhang is quite short, but the moves are closer to 5.10 than they are to 5.7. Other than the crux 15 feet, the forgettable climbing deposits you on another fabulous summit. Finally, the Devil's Horns are unique features that sit nestles between Devil's Thumb and the Devil's Wings. Many unique alcoves and tunnels are passed en route and offer some interesting scrambling and exploring. If you are looking to be all alone in your adventures, look no further.

More photos can be found here...

And he played fire on the mountain, run boys, run.
The devil's in the house of the risin' sun.
Chicken in the bread pan, now they're pickin' out dough.
"Granny, will your dog bite?"
"No, child, no."
- Charlie Daniels


 Comments or Questions

Those aren't chipped holds...
08/11/2013 23:27
Those are the left over bores for metal tubing that used to constitute a ladder up the crack. A real head scratcher, with the long bushwack and scrambling just to get to the base of the climb, why would you have a ladder there? How an overhanging corner crack ever garnered a 5.7 rating is also amazing. Maybe Gerry Roach had too long a time between climbing it and writing his guide book. Congratulations on a rarely visited summit. Though strictly speaking the climbing is not super for the effort on the approach, it is one of the best summits in the Flatirons. Up there with the 3rd and Seal Rock, in my opinion, only those don't overhang on all sides.

Brian C

08/12/2013 02:10
I figured those were from the ladder. I tried to find out when and why that was put up there put all I could figure out was a reference that it was used ”for tourism”. Who knows what that means.

We did think it was a neat perch. Have you done the Fist? I think that's the best Flatiron summit I've been on.

I Man

08/12/2013 03:18
Haven't they ever heard of 5.8-?

Brian C

08/12/2013 12:33
Matt! That's my addition to the rating since it's not 5.8 either. Haha.


08/12/2013 16:38
Roach gives a 5.7 in his old pocket sized guide, Jason Haas gives it an 5.8- and says its ”a layback”. I did not lay back the corner so maybe it was indeed easier than the way I did it. But still lie-backing an overhung 5.7 corner crack? I just don't see how it could be considered 5.7. I was scared sh..less when I pulled the crux, I remember that, took me 3 tries. There's an aid line on that thing I'd like to go back and do. I'll put ”the Fist” on my todo list if the summit is really that good. Yodeling moves is another amazing summit. See if you can sack up and do the 4th class without pro... I couldn't.

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