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Routes in Aguaworld

Aqua Velvet S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Burn Tough S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Crash Test Dummies S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
February Summer S 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Four Twenty T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Mashed Potatoes S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Pile of BS (Bat Shit) T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Pipe Dreams T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Retro'd Hardman S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Scavenger T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Smoke ‘'Em if You Got '‘Em T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Snatch, The T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
T.H.C S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
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Type: Sport, 70 ft
FA: Steve Habovstak, Randy Kieliszewski, 1996
Page Views: 399 total · 5/month
Shared By: John Steiger on Jul 20, 2012
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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A remarkable route, but not for the usual reasons. First, edit the star down to a half, which is a feature that you can’'t toggle on MP (perhaps thankfully), but which seems to fit this route perfectly. From a pure climbing experience perspective, this may be one of the chossiest, if not the chossiest, 5.11s in BCC. It'’s amazing just how bad the rock is in places. On the other hand, it'’s kind of cool -- constantly wondering whether something is going to blow adds an, um, unique element to the experience. If a hold does blow, one is very unlikely to get hurt. The bolts are close and the climbing sufficiently overhanging that any detached choss should fly harmlessly away. There is a long horizontal band of guano (or pack rat poo) just after the fourth bolt; it can be easily avoided but you probably should wash your hands before you dive into the chips and salsa later.

From an historical perspective, it'’s amazing that this was originally put up trad, apparently done entirely on gear. It’'s shown in Ruckmans’ guide as Drop Test Dummies (5.11d, no bolts, one star). If, back in 1996, Steve just launched up the thing with nothing but a trad rack, it'’s gotta be one of the boldest FAs in BCC in recent history. According to a 2003 post on by Tosser, "this “sick trad line that never gets climb[ed]” was retrobolted"; I’'m assuming Tosser is either Steve or Randy. In any event, the kicker here is that, according to the post, the 14 bolts that now grace the route were drilled on lead! Master, I am unworthy….

So, for these reasons alone, anyone who considers themselves a true BCC geek (and climbs at this grade) must do this route. It shares the first four bolts with Mashed Potatoes, then steps left to more bolts (and the crux) that eventually snake to the chains. Rating may be soft.


From the approach trail's intersection with the aqueduct terrace, walk west along the aqueduct trail under the opening bolts of T.H.C./Aqua Velvet and past the section of trail that drops 8 or so feet below the old terrace line then steps back up. Once back at terrace level, walk maybe 20 feet until an obvious vegetated break in the cliff can be easily scrambled up to a large ledge on a prow-like pillar to the left, about 20 feet above the level of the aqueduct terrace. Dummies' first bolt should be readily apparent.


14 draws. The chains had fixed biners for lowering as of June ‘12.


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