Type: Trad, 70 ft
FA: John Wilke, Jay Anderson, John Rutt, and Joe Cupps
Page Views: 15,773 total · 76/month
Shared By: Mark Morehouse on May 3, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Aeon Aki, Mike Snyder, Jake Dickerson, Taylor Spiegelberg

You & This Route

109 Opinions

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Access Issue: Dirt roads reopened as of June 2014 Details


This route is the gem of the Upper Blair area and one of the best at Vedauwoo. Park at the end of FR 705AF. Spectreman Buttress is on the south east end of The Heap, which is the farthest north formation in Upper Blair. Follow faint trails from the parking area around either the north or south sides of the Heap to the far end. You can't miss the route. It is at the top of a huge slab with clear views in the opposite direction of the back side of Central Vedauwoo.

The route is straightforward, 70 feet of hard, overhanging jamming with some ok stemming, but few rests. You can set gear anywhere you want to and there are good anchors at the top. Have fun!!!


Camalot sizes 1 #0.5, 1 #0.75, 3 #1, 4 #2, 1 #3, this may be overkill, but I set a lot of gear. Use the #3 at the bottom and save one # 2 for the top.
Jesse Ryan  
Superb. Get on it. The gear is beyond solid - so no excuses. The gear recommendation is perfect, you won't need much more than that. In fact you'll be headed up this faster placing with spacing. May 6, 2002
Casey Bernal
Wheat Ridge, CO
Casey Bernal   Wheat Ridge, CO
A little beta for a rest half way up just before the crux - there is a rail out to the right that you can get both feet on and press you back against the left wall - no hands. If you have small hands (#1 cam size), the first part will be the crux, but if you have any bigger hands the steep #1 cam sized crack after the rest is definitely the crux. This is one that you have no good reason not to go for it. Jun 20, 2002
The real cool thing is that if you fall it is super clean. I agree with everyone else, no excuses jump on. Sep 28, 2002
I have been to most of the best crack climbing areas in the country and can say without hesitation that this is one of the best cracks anywhere. Very steep, excellent size, very safe and very pumpy. Go for it! Mar 15, 2003
It would be hard to imagine a more amazing feature in a more beautiful, uncrowded setting. This gets my award for the prettiest spot at Vedauwoo... it would be nice if there were a few more moderates in the area, but then it would probably be as popular as the Nautilus. The gear list is almost perfect, though you could get by with one less #1 and #2 camalot (backcleaning from the rests), and still get a piece every body length. Aug 11, 2003
What is up with Vedauwoo grades. In the book, Automotive Supply House is rated 11b, but Sperctreman is rated 11c. Sperctreman is definitely a grade easier than Automotive Supply House. Sandbaggers! Mar 6, 2005
Fort Collins, CO
nolteboy   Fort Collins, CO
Vedauwoo Mega Classic. Pictures don't do justice as to how steep this route is. Your own eyes don't even tell you the truth. It's only after you've lowered off the anchors, and are somehow standing on the ground at a point 15 feet or so out from where you started, that you look up and go, "whooooaaaa!!!" Jun 1, 2005
Brian Weinstein
Brian Weinstein  
The route is beautiful. Sustained 11- until the exit move. I thought that to be the crux at 11c. It looks like it eases off from the bottom but is actually the least straight-forward and most awkward move of the route. Aug 9, 2005
The tier above Spectreman has a bunch of really fun 5.10 cracks. You can access it from around the corner of the Mystery Blocks. A short 5.7 OW will get you up to the base of the cracks. The steep stemming crack is 5.11 and I think it's called Real Men Don't Spread Their Legs. Mar 20, 2006
Golden, CO
Monty   Golden, CO  
Steep, pumpy, and classic. Go hop on it. Jul 6, 2006
This is the best route in the known universe. A visit to Vedauwoo is not complete until you have sent The Spectreman. Big fat manly hands are a disadvantage and will make you seem weak as a school girl unless you have advanced technique. Jul 9, 2008
School girl hands are a must and never a disadvantage while sliding your mittens inside this crack. Sometimes a soft touch is all you need to work the Spectreman to your advantage;) Oct 20, 2008
John Wilke led on the first ascent. Myself, John Rutt, and Joe Cupps followed. about a million years ago, Maybe '80? '79? I bet it was '79. I think it was the summer before John Rutt died in the Buggs....

We rated it .11b in those EB days. For years later, there was talk of rating it .11a, because 'we couldn't climb that hard.' Nov 5, 2009
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
No real stopper moves, but the pump will wear you out and when the jamming gets thin, it's tough. DO it before you are too tired for the day. There are good placements and good stances adequately spaced to place from to make this a safe route to really push yourself on. Jun 12, 2011
Nick Stayner
Wymont Kingdom
Nick Stayner   Wymont Kingdom
Mega classic, one of the nicest granite crack pitches I've ever climbed (or seen). Enduro Corner training? Aug 31, 2012
Golden, Co
WadeM   Golden, Co
Great pitch...do it!!!!! Jun 23, 2014
A worthy note regarding the grade of this route is it was originally done without sticky rubber using by today's standards clunky toed shoes. This is likely why this feels relatively soft compared to hand/fist cracks and OWs at the same grade at Vedauwoo by today's standards. Aug 21, 2014
Moritz B.
Moritz B.  
The funky no-hands rest halfway up is unbelievable! A very good route! Oct 12, 2015