REI Community
Las Agujas (The Spires)
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Aguja Celo Rey S 
Aspire S 
Crack Test Dummies S 
Dirty Dreams S 
Easy Over S 
Fall of Eve S 
Gettin' Wood S 
Gondwanaland S 
Handsome Mike's Modeling School S 
Jungle Honey S 
Off the Notch S 
Pangea S 
Peek-a-boo Jesus S 
Sunnyside Up S 
Through the Looking Glass S 
Uber Machismo S 
Young Crankenstein S 

Crack Test Dummies 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Sport, 3 pitches, 250'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Dane Bass & Curtis Mai 2002
Page Views: 2,297
Submitted By: Charles Konopa on Dec 20, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (60)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Setting up the rappel


The entire climb pretty much follows the large crack system.

P1: 5.7 Climb up the crack, easy at first, but the bolts are spaced further apart. There are some 5.7 moves shortly before the belay. 100 feet.

P2: 5.9 Continue up crack using stemming, face climbing and some hand jams along the way. The book said this was 5.8, but it felt plenty harder than that. This is a long pitch with some wayward bolts, so use slings when necessary. 138 feet to a 5 bolt anchor and a nice belay stance.

P3: 5.7 airy. 12 feet. 1 good bolt, then 3 rusty rings, then a chain anchor on either side of the top. To finish the climb, gently walk a few feet over the loose blocks to the summit and stand tall.

Descent: Lower one person down 12 feet to the good anchors. Then only one person has to rap off a single chain. From top of pitch 2 do a long rap to anchors on Gettin' Wood (down and upslope a little) Then another long rap to the ground. We did the raps with a 70m rope, but had extra each time.


On the shady side of the downhill spire at large crack/chimney looking feature.


10 bolts or so.

Photos of Crack Test Dummies Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Old pins on the way to the summit
Old pins on the way to the summit
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 3 of Crack Test Dummies.  Notice the 1 good ...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 3 of Crack Test Dummies. Notice the 1 good ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The wind wasn't too strong, so I went for the tipy...
The wind wasn't too strong, so I went for the tipy...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1 of Crack Test Dummies
Pitch 1 of Crack Test Dummies

Comments on Crack Test Dummies Add Comment
Show which comments
By Jason Halladay
From: Los Alamos, NM
Jan 1, 2008
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

It's a shame there isn't a better anchor setup on the summit because setting up a belay just 10 feet below the summit and doing all the shenanigans to get up to the top and back down to the top of P2 is time-consuming and awkward.
In any case, a better finish than going up the standard P3 with crappy rings for protection is to make an airy step left from the top of P2 to the nicely bolted east face. The climbing is no more than 5.7 there too.
Using two 60m ropes tied together we were able to rap from the top of P2 all the way down to the ground going over the route Gettin Wood.
By TaraR
Feb 9, 2008
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This routes can be dangerous. We didn't have a problem, but it felt sketchy and I was worried about loose rock the whole time. The next day - another couple pulled a more-than-human sized boulder off the second pitch that came tumbling to the path below. I would say, avoid the route since there are countless better climbs here.
By JeanGClimbs
From: Reading, VT
Mar 16, 2009

I completely agree with TaraR. I climbed this hoping to have a great time headed to the top of the large spire - this is a potential death route due to loose rock along the entire route. The climbing is awkward and unpleasant and the bolts are wayward. Avoid this route - if you really want to bag a moderate on the spires, try Celo Rey.
By Michele Evans
Jan 7, 2014
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I think this climb must have cleaned up since the earlier remarks. There wasn't much for loose rock. A little muddy in spots but easy to avoid. This route is steep and awkward at the top for the 5.9 leader, and very run out. Brought some gear & placed a few nuts & a #3 and it made the climb enjoyable instead of scary. Going all the way to the top is worth it, a fun little summit.
By Rob D.
From: Brooklyn, NY
Mar 29, 2014

worst climb on the spires, easily the worst climb we did while we were in Potrero. Bolts are poorly placed, line is awkward, and climbing is uninspiring. There is no reason to do this climb.
By jonathan.lipkin
From: Brooklyn, NY
Mar 31, 2014

I climbed this with Rob. I led the first pitch, and while the climbing is easy, the bolts are placed in a way that if you fall, you will break your ankles on a ledge. The second pitch is confusing, exposed and run out.

There is not much loose rock left, but still an awful climb.
By Anna Parker
Oct 29, 2016

If you climb this route early enough (start in dark) you may be blessed with the sound of my watch alarm beeping at around was lost somewhere up this route. To make this post worth your time it is actually quite hard to communicate from the end of pitch two to your belayer/climber below. The echoes in the canyon are crazy..*beep beep, beep beep*
By Seth Hogan
From: Frisco, Co
Jan 28, 2017

Though I wouldn't say this is runout, it is definately runout for P Chico. A bit of crack experience will help, there isn't a whole lot of loose stuff but, some, and they are pretty big. This route is definately not for a 5.9 leader. It almost has an alpine feel to it and is fairly dirty. Probbaly the worst of all the routes on the spires.
By Dan Africk
From: Brooklyn, New York
Mar 20, 2017
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R

This route is so horrendously runout, and the pitons so sketchy, that I consider this a trad route. Half of the 'bolts' on P2 are rusty old 'ring pins' that look like they'll snap in a strong breeze, and there are several in a row. The bolt at the crux had the hanger removed, leaving just the bare bolt to taunt you (and ensure some gnarly gouging if you slip)..

The only trad gear I brought to EPC was 4 tricams, 2 pink and 2 black, which I fortunately had on my harness this day. I placed all of them on P2, starting with a pink at the crux. I had two trad draws with me and made a third, but really needed more.

I actually think it would be a fun climb, with some nice crack / off-width / stemming moves, if it wasn't so terrifying! I say it's worth doing, if you come prepared with some trad gear and plenty of alpine draws to reduce rope drag. I managed with just pink and black tricams, but similarly sized cams (and some a bit bigger and smaller) will make your life easier.

If you climb this without trad gear or a very high risk tolerance, the long unprotected crux will certainly get your adrenaline pumping..

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About