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Devils Thumb (Boundary Peak 71, Devils Thumb)  Alaska/British Columbia   #3097
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Boundary Ranges / Stikine Icecap

Height: 2777 m -> 9111 feet
Prominence?: 1027 m above Devils Thumb Pass
Line Parent?: Mount Burkett (10.0 km away, at bearing 24 degrees)
Greater Parent: Kates Needle (20.0 km away)

Location:   57.09139,-132.36945     57:05:29, -132:22:10   8V 659386 6330632 (46 km NE of Petersburg).   AreaCode: FN72/AD96
First Ascent: Sunday August 25, 1946 Fred Beckey, Robert Craig, Cliff Schmidtke
Devils Thumb Northwest Face
A spectacular rock spire on the BC-Alaska border, the Thumb is regarded as one of the most desirable and difficult climbs of the Coast Mountains. The standard route up the east ridge requires 5.8 climbing (either by the original Beckey line or via the Culbert/Douglas/Starr direct variation [see 50 Classic Climbs]). The north face is infamously 2000m high, vertical, mixed rock and ice, and unclimbed despite 30 years of attempts from some of North America and Europe's strongest climbers. In the spring of 2003, well-known Canadian mountaineers Guy Edwards and John Millar disappeared during a North Face attempt.

USGS gives 9077' (2767m).

First Ascent: The first ascent party used a boat to get up the Stikine River, then manually ferried supplies up onto the Flood Glacier. They had several attempts on the peak, each time turned back by storms. But finally they made it, as described on page 42 of the 1947 CAJ:

Upon arrival at camp we spent the rest of the day soaking in the brilliant sunshine and drying clothes. Following an early dinner, rucksacks were made up for the final summit attempt. An air of restrained pessimism prevailed in the tent. Away at 2.00 a.m. we made exceedingly good time to the cache spot, slowed only by 300 feet of glare ice and the resultant step cutting. The plan of attack was to try the south face hoping to push a route through in a traverse up and to the left. The weather had remained crystal clear and considerable snow had been melted off the rocks by the previous day’s sun. Working slowly onto the face we found the going on the slabs exposed and holds lacking. Midway, as it became apparent that further progress might be costly, we decided to try once more the questionable ridge route. A steep traverse brought us to the point of the piton traverse. This we managed in good time, Cliff leading, emerging on the ridge at the point of our bivouac. Moving steadily up the ridge we were at the “step” by noon. To our delight, surveillance in better light revealed that we might push a route through. Beckey led on a traverse to the left and then, from a piton anchor position, straight up. Another piton, another twenty feet of rope, and he was over! Once past the “step” we worked over a few nobs and suddenly found ourselves only 200 feet from the summit on a narrow ridge, exposed, but almost without gradient. Within a few minutes Devils Thumb was ours. At 2.30 p.m. we shook hands on the summit — if an ascent had been earned we felt this one had.

Name Notes: Note that it is officially spelled without the quote. Eg: Devils Thumb not Devil's Thumb. In general nothing should be spelled with single quote characters. The reason for the government policy was that it is more complex for database programs to handle data with the single quote characters, because it is often a control character.

Trips within 1 km

2004.01.01 Proof from old Mtn record field Mike Cleven
2004.01.01 Proof from old Mtn record field Mike Cleven

Subject Photos   View Thumbnails
19 Devils Thumb Northwest Face John Scurlock
10 Devil's Thumb - East Face John Scurlock
7 Devil's Thumb Upper North Face John Scurlock
7 Devils Thumb Kevin Altheim
6 Devils Thumb - Southeast Face and East Ridge Kevin Altheim