Type: Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, Grade III
FA: Dennis Udall, Dirk VanWinkle: 4/1977
Page Views: 12,493 total · 70/month
Shared By: Anthony Stout on May 1, 2006
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

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Access Issue: COVID-19 New Mexico Requirements - Updated Nov. 16, 2020 Details

Description

Claimed to be one of the best 5.10 routes in the Sandias. Most of the climb is on clean rock, with a few loose sections, as goes the Sandias. See attached topo for more detailed climbing beta.

Pitch 1 (5.10a): Climb up to a ledge to the right of the dihedral. From atop the ledge, clip the bolt, and move left into the dihedral. Follow the dihedral up, eventually following a protectable crack to the left. Follow to a hanging belay.

Pitch 2 (5.10a): Some face climbing to a bolt leads to a right facing dihedral. After finishing the dihedral, climb up and to the left through some ledgy sections, eventually gaining the anchors on a nice belay ledge.

Pitch 3 (5.10c): This is the pitch that makes this climb what it is! Climb up and slightly right, and through the bulge. You can clip a fixed pin below the bulge and add a 0.4 or 0.5 Camalot just before pulling through it. After the bulge, continue up some ledges to a nice hand crack. Follow the hand crack and pull through a roof section. Clip the anchors. There are two crux sections on this pitch, over the overhang and going up through the crack. Some believe the overhang is more difficult, others believe the crack is more difficult. Take your pick!

Pitch 4 (5.9+ or 5.9): I thought this was the worst pitch on the climb, mostly because I really like cracks and not disconnected and run-out face climbing. There are two variations, both of which I have done, and the first is the one I would recommend the most.

V1: (highly recommended): Traverse left from the anchor, clipping a fixed pin underneath a roof [reportedly gone as of May 2013], and continue low and left directly underneath a roof. The feet are great but the hands can be difficult. Felt pretty awkward but solid. At the end of the roof is a crack that can be followed straight up. I placed a nut to pull the move then reached down to remove it after I placed some pro. This helps to eliminate rope drag. Continue up, cliping two fixed pins, and continue through meagerly protected climbing and route finding up. You will angle slightly to the right before moving left again and up to the anchors.

V2: (not recommended): Though the initial climbing is probably more fun this way, you end up with rope drag from hell in combination with run out climbing. Climb straight up from the anchors through some fun 5.9+ climbing. Clip a fixed cam with a fixed nut not so far above that. After the fixed nut traverse left. You will see a fixed pin below your feet but going down to clip it would result in impossible rope drag. You will also see places to place meager pro (much of which I did not use because of fear of rope drag). After climbing high enough I did get some pro in. Move slightly right through a crack then back left to the anchors. If you really enjoy run-outs and heinous rope drag you should consider going this way!

Pitch 5 (5.9): Short, move up and right from the anchors, clipping a pin (the first time I did this route I clipped a pin, did not see it the second time; however, the pro is more than adequate) then gaining a nice ledge. Continue up and right from the ledge to a very large ledge. Build an anchor here.

Pitch 6 (5.7 or optional 5.10b): We did the 5.7 section. Climb up and right of a huge dihedral, continuing right up poor quality rock to the summit. Anchor from a tree. Although we considered the variation, we were not sure exactly where to go.

DESCENT: From the summit, looking down to the northeast face you will see a half dead tree with some slings wrapped around it. Rap from this tree while angling north as much as possible. Once down, traverse north on grassy ledges to get to the first obvious couloir. Scramble up this, using a fixed line about 2/3s up. This gully ends west of the log structure you saw on your way in.

Location

To find the route, go to the center of the Torreon. As you are tramming along the base of the rock, continue looking up until you see a huge roof in the middle of the face. To the right of the roof there is a prominent dihedral with ledge just to the right of it, and a bolt about 15 feet high. This is pitch one of Mountain Momma! There are some bushes in the crack to the left of the ledge you will start on. The bushes are within the crack you will begin climbing on higher up.

Protection

- Double set of Camalots from 0.3 to 2 with 1 #3. Micro C3s or equivelent were also helpful in a few sections.
- Set of nuts
- Slings for wandering

Photos