Type: Trad, Alpine, 800 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: Mike Roybal, Peter Prandoni, 1975
Page Views: 10,708 total · 71/month
Shared By: Chuck McQuade on Jan 1, 2007
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal raptor closure for some areas in the Sandias Details


A long time classic in the Sandias offering some of the cleanest crack and face climbing in the area. Also a great test of route finding skills.

P1: (5.7) Begin climbing dihedral, at the end of the dihedral move left through easier ground up to a dirt ledge with many large blocks.

P2: (5.9) Move slightly right and climb an arching roof. Turn the roof and angle right to a small sloping ledge under a small roof.

P3: (5.7) Traverse out right below the small roof. Begin angling right towards the corner of the huge roof in the center of the Muralla Grande. A belay can be set here or run together with P4 using a 60m rope.

P4: (5.8) Climb the beautiful dihedral passing the huge roof on the right, ending at a 2-bolt anchor below a bulge on a small ledge.

P5: (5.9 R) A long traverse out left to the end of the ledge. Place gear here to protect your second. Next climb a small right-trending crack. You eventually meet up with the finger tip crack above your belay, however had this point it has widened out allowing for a much needed piece of gear. Follow the crack a bit further, then angle out right onto the face, ending at a sloping ledge with a bolted belay.

P6: (5.8) Face climb past a piton, tend right to a short offwidth section, continuing to a fun dihedral. End on a grassy sloping ledge.

P7: (5.6) Easy but loose climbing in either chimney system above.


The route starts under the large roof in the center of the Muralla Grande, begin climbing in a dihedral. The undercling roof of pitch-2 can barely be seen from the ground.


Standard rack to a #4 Camalot, many long slings for traversing pitches
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
  5.9 PG13
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
  5.9 PG13
I find the roof on p2 to be the most insecure section. Pitch 5 is great and definitely the psychological crux- I'd say you can a gear placement about every body length for the harder part of the pitch, then its more scarce on the easier climbing above. Look for pro in both the thin vertical cracks and the horizontal slots. The traverse itself can be protected pretty well. Overall this climb isn't radically scary; solid 5.9 leaders won't find this climb insane for a "5.9 R", but don't try it if think maybe you shouldn't be there. There are many places I wouldn't want to climb 5.9R or have scared the hell out of myself on 5.9R, but this isn't one of them and I've gone back at least 5 times, I think it's great! Jun 19, 2007
Matt Price
  5.9 R
Matt Price  
  5.9 R
Thanks to Chuck and Tamara for the nice route topo pic. This really helped us to avoid any route-finding problems. As we were told by another party, just about every pitch has its "spicy" parts. We found some use for a #4 BD cam, but it probably wasn't absolutetly necessary. Oct 3, 2007
Mike Howard    
A brief memorial to three friends who died on this climb is on the web here or here or here. They were very smart and capable athletes with perhaps less experience in their heads as their hearts were full of adventure. I knew Glen and Carlos but never met Jane. I ended up with Glen's gear from the SAR retrieval. I kept it for about a year in my garage until I figured his wife would not want it back. I remember finally tossing the rack and shoes and gained the sudden relief like the shrugging off of a heavy Grade V pack at the end of a big day. Yet, nothing weighs more than a heavy heart. Oct 22, 2007
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
  5.9 PG13
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
  5.9 PG13
A small metal placard attached to one of the bolts at the 4th belay memorializes someone who loved the Sandias, although time has made the inscription (and name) more difficult to decipher. Any info on this person and their story? It was not one of the people from Jane Tenneson accident described in the above link, as the date of passage on the memorial is 9/18/95 and the name is Berg or ??berg.

This climb has seen multiple unfortunate accidents. Oct 23, 2007
Mike Howard    
George, I am not certain of the info on the tag. There is more about Jane at this site (cs.unm.edu/~moret/jane.html .) I know Glen was married and may have had a child. He was a senior resident in Psychiatry at UNMH. I know Carlos was also a resident (I think a Psych intern also at UNMH) and Jane was a PT. Seems like those final pitches in the Sandias can often be covered with kitty litter and dead trees. Not the sort of place to let down your guard and relax or to send a noob up the dark.

supertopo.com/climbing/thre… Oct 23, 2007
John Kear
Albuquerque, NM
John Kear   Albuquerque, NM
The medallion located on Warpy Moople is for Jeff Winberg. Jeff was a great friend and climbing/guiding mentor for myself and many others. He did not die climbing. The medallion is there only in his memory because Muralla Grande was one of his favorite places to climb. Dec 3, 2007
As mentioned in the description there are a lot of variations to the different pitches. For example you need to push P2 belay up as far as you think you can in order to link P3 and P4, otherwise you may come up about 10 feet short using a 60 meter rope. Also - the first photo of the starting dihedral (black rock) shows the major dihedral that is commonly wet after a rain storm (and can be slick). There is also a very nice dihedral that starts in the left corner of the same photo that can be climbed - is commonly drier - but you must move right at the roof and then back left to reach the block covered ledge. Nice way to do it, but watch the rope drag. Feb 21, 2008
  5.9 R
  5.9 R
Any idea what the bolted route under the roof left of Warpy Moople is? Oct 8, 2008
Albuqurque ,NM
longfeather   Albuqurque ,NM
theres a similar to The Granite Sea( ft collins CO pitch left of upper Warpy , It takes pro though is runout and like riding over waves, also a beautiful face up there that needs attention. Im not sure if ive ever connected anything up left that shouldnt be bolted .Time moves fast hard to get back over there,

Under roof and directly below I got direct start to roof in 90s couldnt figure out roof always fled right or left, turned blue one day there in a summer monsoon waterfall below roof. Def needs super climber attention Mar 14, 2010
Daniel Trugman
Los Alamos, NM
Daniel Trugman   Los Alamos, NM
"Warpy Moople" is probably one of the friendlier "5.9 R" climbs out there. Though it is a bit run out on 5.7 terrain, all the harder moves are reasonably well-protected. "Warpy Moople" still demands respect, however: the route-finding is non-trivial and it is certainly a committing line.

Pitch 5 is the clear gem, though all the pitches except the first and last are very nice. Jun 20, 2010
Outstanding route! Climbed it with Brian Komen in August of 86 after returning from my first route on El Cap in Yosemite. We did a terrifying rightward "walk the plank" traverse on pitch 3 that was may not be the line folks follow now. I wondered if there was a better way to climb the right side of the overhang to the same stance. Anybody know? May 11, 2011
Brian Prince
morro bay, ca
  5.9 R
Brian Prince   morro bay, ca
  5.9 R
I remember thinking pitch 5 felt pretty easy and safe compared to some random face climbing and route finding on some of the other pitches. At any rate, pretty cool intro to the Sandias. Beautiful place.

We got a late start and had people knocking rocks down at us which was a bummer but I guess our fault.. wear a helmet. Anyway we topped out at sunset (beautiful) and ended up walking back at dark. I think we just b lined it up the hill (we were off trail on the approach for most of the way so we really had no idea). This ended up working ok as we somehow managed to wind up on the crest on the -inside- of the fence. We just walked the road past all the towers and buildings back to the parking lot. Probably not ok but there was no one around that time of night. Feb 13, 2013
I thought a set of tricams worked great on this route especially for p5. You can link p3-4 with a 60,000 mm rope but can't link p6-7. Jun 1, 2015
Zach Harrison
Zach Harrison   Flagstaff
Oh god. Left a complete anchor on top of this yesterday. Two cams and a 48" runner. If you are a saint and find this I will happily repay you somehow. Sep 9, 2017