Type: Trad, 80 ft
FA: Heinz Zak, Paul Davidson- early 80's
Page Views: 4,672 total · 31/month
Shared By: JJ Schlick on Aug 12, 2006
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

You & This Route

16 Opinions

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Acid Test Crack or Ice Cream Dreams. Know it as either, but love it all the same. This route was listed as Acid Test Crack in Tim Toula's historic, A Cheap Way To Fly, and many locals refer to it as such, with all do respect to Heinz. Definitely one the best sections of 5.12 fingers at the Forks!

Start out by bouldering fractured rock on thin holds to gain the crack proper. This section is a bit touch and go, and many preplace a cam above this section on rappel to protect it, however, many do it from the ground as well. After the initial nerve test, button down the hatches for some sequencey fingers and tips moves. When the crack tightens down expect to find some good boulder problem cruxes. Take your rests wisely. Hard climbing from bottom to top with several good shakes.

This is by far one of my favorite pitches at the Forks! If you are looking for something which is steep, dramatic, and stunning, then you need to look no further. It does see onsights, but not often.


Far south end of the Gold wall


Sparse at the bottom. The rest of the route is G. Wires, and a lot of finger sized pieces.


Kole DeCou
Flagstaff, AZ
Kole DeCou   Flagstaff, AZ
Excelent route, one of the best for sure. I probably wouldn't go so far as to call this R, since the runout is 5.10 climbing on a 12a route. You get a bomber #1 Camalot at about 10 ft. I was a bit scared the first time up since I hadn't TR'd the start, but it turned out to be pretty solid. I actually think the start of TL Bush is worse (because you can't bail and jump in a pond if you get scared). Aug 19, 2006
Just a bit of history for the readers: the name "Acid Test Crack" originated with an early attempt and eventually successful top rope ascent by Paul Davidson (I'm sure psychedelic drugs had nothing to do with it!). But later (early 80's?) Heinz Zak passed through on a climbing trip and on-sighted it on lead- renaming the route "Ice Cream Memories". So with all respect to my buddy Paul and the cam-lobe-shaped dent on his forehead from testing the gear at the start, I think the route should actually be called "Ice Cream Memories". Cheers, Larry Coats Apr 25, 2007
Actually, I think Heinz named it Ice Cream Dreams...

Jump off the start into the Pond ?
Huh... Either the pond is way full or someone's tripping.
Given that you're climbing above a bunch of broken blocks with lousy landings and you've got what, 20ft of high ball, sounds like an R to me.
I sure don't recall any bomber piece on that loose start.
As Larry mentioned, I have the scar to prove it.
I placed the gear and stood on it then decided to bounce on it to test it. Thwack... right between the eyes. Maybe someone has cleaned the route off and opened up the crack ?

I personally think Acid Test is a better name than Ice Cream whatever, but it's a long standing tradition that the first lead gets to name a route.

BTW - Heinz was there the day we TR'd it (Tim and I) clean.
I suspect seeing us on it might have suggested it as a lead to him.
We did tell him that the crack would protect very well and the bottom for shit. Of course, there were no TCU's back then. Heinz just ran it. I guess if you can 3rd class Seperate Reality, then bouldering the start isn't that bad. Nasty landing though. Apr 8, 2008
Kole DeCou
Flagstaff, AZ
Kole DeCou   Flagstaff, AZ
Yea, the pond was way full one day and for some reason I was having trouble getting gear in the pod. I looked back and saw I could jump for it, but ended up getting the gear in instead. I think that pod must have been cleaned up because now it's a solid #1 camelot. Never tested it though. Apr 9, 2008
LeeAB Brinckerhoff
  5.12a/b PG13
LeeAB Brinckerhoff   ABQ, NM  
  5.12a/b PG13
Fun, multiple cruxes but good rests in between. Fingers, face and stem/overhanging. Aug 18, 2008
I noticed the same thing and had to comment on Davidson's Dihedral. Mark apparently just likes tossing out low star ratings for routes that are obviously better. Why? Who knows? Sep 2, 2010
Because, Mark's a guy who can ?

edit: looks like past comments are getting deleted... Sep 2, 2010
chuck claude
Flagstaff, Az
chuck claude   Flagstaff, Az
Just as a warning for October 2011. There is a large wasp nests in the top of the hand pod about 1/3 of the way up the route. Man, were they pissed when I disturbed them. Oct 2, 2011
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
I cleaned the dirt and pebbles off Acid Test this last weekend. Was dismayed to find several of the shitty starting holds missing. What was always off balance, and chossly, is now worse, and more difficult. Hopefully we will get down to solid rock some day.... I did it as a warm up, but the bottom moves now check in at .11 or so. May 21, 2012
JJ - my fear would be that by the time you get to good rock, the column falls into the pond... Just one of the things that amazed me about Heinz Zak's third class of the start. Those lousy cubes were all over the place at the time and I remember thinking, man, if that one or that one goes, this is really going to be hard. Surprised it took almost 30 years to get cleaned properly ;-) Aug 14, 2012
Kole DeCou
Flagstaff, AZ
Kole DeCou   Flagstaff, AZ
If the start gets too hard, you can start to the left in a thin corner (start of Liquid Sky?). Has anyone led it this way? It's around 5.11 and the gear looked very thin. At least the rock is solid over there, and the moves are fun. Mar 28, 2013
  5.12c PG13
  5.12c PG13
I would agree that the opening moves are closer to 11 than 10. And there are still holds that will come off in time. Be aware if you choose not to pre-place.

With regards to the last boulder problem, its probably a letter grade or two harder for those with less than a 71" wingspan... Jun 1, 2017