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Las Agujas (The Spires)
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Crack Test Dummies 

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

   
Type:  Sport, 3 pitches, 250'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Dane Bass & Curtis Mai 2002
Page Views: 1,201
Submitted By: Charles Konopa on Dec 20, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (27)
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Old pins on the way to the summit

Description 

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.


Location 

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


Protection 

10 bolts or so.



Photos of Crack Test Dummies Slideshow Add Photo
Pitch 3 of Crack Test Dummies.  Notice the 1 good bolt and 3 rusty rings you get to work with.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 3 of Crack Test Dummies. Notice the 1 good ...
Pitch 1 of Crack Test Dummies
Pitch 1 of Crack Test Dummies
The wind wasn't too strong, so I went for the tipy top.  There is room enough for one.
The wind wasn't too strong, so I went for the tipy...
Setting up the rappel
Setting up the rappel
Comments on Crack Test Dummies Add Comment
Show which comments
By Jason Halladay
Administrator
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 Davis
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.