Type: Sport, Alpine, 400 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: Marc Bevelry and Brad Ellen
Page Views: 2,777 total · 20/month
Shared By: Orphaned on Oct 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


This line will likely see more sun than any route in the Sandias as you can see the orange orb rise over the eastern horizon and set in the west from on top of the climb! You might even be able to climb in the winter at 10,000 feet. Bullet rock the whole way. There's no closer climbing in proximity with this quality of rock to the Tram in the Sandias...so far. It's also the first major line put up on this face that has been recorded.

The name comes from a funny story where I my driver's license and my Visa card when they fell out of my pocket while I was putting up the route and they fluttered away in the wind at sunset. I came back the next day, soloed up to about pitch 2 to the climber's left and found that both had landed on small ledges !

p-1: 5.8 slab with intermittent crack climbing. bolts and fixed gear.
p-2: 5.11b/c to alternate belay (11 bolts) Brilliant face climbing with a couple of technical cruxes. Helps to have a reach on the second crux. You can take this pitch all the way past the alternate belay station, but you will need 19 draws. The climbing is rather sustained.
p-3: 5.11a (it might be a good idea to pre-hang a draw on this bolt on the first bolt of this pitch on the way down) From the alternate belay, make a cruxy move or three to easy 5.8 climbing. Then run it out a tad and clip several more bolts at the overhang. Negotiate the overhang and gain a sweet belay ledge.
p-4: Jet left 2m and climb the bolted furrows to the top. 5.8-ish.


:15-:20 min from the top of the tram (approach as for Pino Wall Route). Take the Crest trail south, it will drop and start back up slightly then look to your right for a graveled pathway to the limestone edge. Find the three foundation blocks that form the old look out station. 3-4m back to the north is a drop-off down the limestone on a primitive, but newer trail. Look carefully for the open slots to avoid a thrash fest. You should be able to wear shorts on your path. If you can't, you're on the wrong path. Make your way to the summit meadow for Pino Wall and follow the path of cairns to the far south headwall. 3x50m rappels from 2BAs takes you to the bottom of the steep wall. Clean raps all the way down. You may want to back up once on the bottom to avoid your knot getting stuck in the splitter crack atop p-1.
Enjoy !


Bolted sport climb. 2x50 ropes. One climbing rope and one rap line works best for lighter packs. 20 draws if you by-pass the alternate belay. I like the alternate belay so as to keep in close contact with the lead climber, among other reasons.
If you don't want to run it out on the first pitch, bring 2x yellow TCUs, and a blue and orange TCU as well. Bolted anchors the whole way.


Chris Cox
Logan, UT
Chris Cox   Logan, UT
After all that talk about how horrible the rock is... Oct 2, 2007
Bill Lawry
New Mexico
Bill Lawry   New Mexico
Marc, Chris, Is the rest of the base of Pino Wall readily accessible after rapping License And A Visa? Looking at the wall from ABQ this morning, it looks like it might be a bit of an adventure to get to, say, the base of Pino Wall Route after this rap. Ever go that way? Oct 6, 2007
Shirtless Mike
Denver, CO
Shirtless Mike   Denver, CO  
Mark, Thanks for the time, effort, and money to put this route up. This had some of the best rock I have climbed in the Sandia's. Every pitch had solid rock. This will probably become a very popular route.

Beware, our slightly short 50m ropes didn't reach the second rap station, some easy down climbing was required. My partner placed 2X .3 camalot and 1X .4 camelot on the first pitch. The only gear we placed for the route. Are those titanium pitons on the first pitch? If so nice touch.

Pre-placing the draw at the start of the 3rd pitch made me quite happy. With a 8" draw I was able to clip before making the difficult 11a? moves off of the belay.

Getting There: I took the 15 to 20 min for the time to get to the start of the descent from the old lookout. Not so. It is probably less than 10 min to the start of the hike down. From the top of the graveled trail head left to find the concrete foundation blocks. (we headed right decided this was too soon, and hiked another 1/2 mile down the trail). If you hit a survey marker along the crest you've gone too far.

I thought the grades were right on. My breakdown is:
1st pitch 5.8+
2nd pitch 5.11b maybe 5.11c
3rd pitch 5.11a
4th pitch 5.8

Mike Oct 7, 2007
Chris Cox
Logan, UT
Chris Cox   Logan, UT
Bill, I havent rapped down License and Visa, but I would guess that it would not be all that big of a deal to get to Pino Wall Route from the base of License and Visa. Alternatively you can rap down pino wall route. There is a bolted anchor at the top that is somewhat hidden and a bit exposed to get to. To find it aim for the center of the "SW face." Pino wall sort of curves around and has what I would discribe as a SW face and a steeper S face where License and Desert Man are located. There is a ridge and saddle that acts as a dividing line between the different walls. If you rap License you will probably end up on the saddle, then it is just a matter of hiking north down a loose gully/slope. If you rap Pino Wall Route be cautious of rockfall. Although it should be better now that Marc and Brad cleaned off some Volkswagon sized blocks. Oct 8, 2007
Bill Lawry
New Mexico
Bill Lawry   New Mexico
Thanks Chris. I may not in my life time have what it takes to lead LAAV ... eh hem, the red hair for starters. ;-) But it just popped into my head that LAAV might not be too far out of the way from Pino Wall route and yet be a cleaner rap with shorter ropes. Perhaps I'll just have to try it. Oct 8, 2007
John Kear
Albuquerque, NM
John Kear   Albuquerque, NM
Rapping License... is easy for sure. We did use it to approach the other side of the Pino Wall. It was a bit of a scramble and thrash over to the start of Bad Fun but a better option than rapping the Pino Wall route. It wasn't that fun in rock shoes.

The rock on License... is superb and the route is very safe with some excellent climbing. Dec 5, 2007
Bill Lawry
New Mexico
Bill Lawry   New Mexico
Rapped License and a Visa today on the way to Pino Wall Route. Yes, by Sandia standards, it is a reasonable scramble between the base of the two routes. However, the overall approach might not be any faster than by hoofing it down the couloir.

Man that rock on License and a Visa looks good. Nice selection, Marc. Oct 19, 2008
Finally got to climb this route on Nov 1st after trying a few other times in mid summer (wall was wet from rain). First off we got great weather and coud have been wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I must say if I go do it again I will wait till fall again. The approach was great due to all the grass and plants were dead for the year. In the summer I got really wet on the apporach.

The route was very fun and I thought that the second pitch was very sustained but it did have a few rest spots. I didn't feel like the third pitch had any 5.11 climbing but after that second pitch maybe everything just felt easy.

Thanks for the investment on the route Mark it was very fun. I think it could have taken gear in spots but no biggy. Nov 4, 2008
William Penner
The 505
William Penner   The 505
Great climbing, particularly cool formations on the second pitch. Top pitch did not need nearly so many bolts but I guess they force you to climb on certain terrain. Some 1/4" diameter quicklinks should be upgraded on the rap/belay stations. A fun route with some nice climbing. Jun 15, 2009
Rio Rancho, NM
suprasoup   Rio Rancho, NM
Did this on 10-04-09. On rappel using 2x60m's I was 10 feet shy of the P3 anchors. The rock is bomber! I used a Red Zero and Blue Zero for P1. Built an Alternate Anchor system (Red, Blue, Yellow Zero) at P4 station because I felt that the P4 anchors were too far right of the bolted line. I really felt like I needed a couple of inches to get through the crux of P2. P3 didn't feel like it had any .11 moves maybe tweenish .10's though getting to the first bolt of P3 is kinda hairy. A great route on quality granite. Thanks Marc. Oct 6, 2009
Sky Sjue
Santa Fe
Sky Sjue   Santa Fe
Slightly out of character compared with most multipitch routes in the Sandias? Yes.

An excellent route? Definitely. Nov 19, 2013
Kerr Adams
Albuquerque, NM
  5.11b/c PG13
Kerr Adams   Albuquerque, NM
  5.11b/c PG13
Leave the Crest Trail: 35.19153, -106.43026
Concrete Foundation Blocks: 35.19102, -106.42995
Anchors: 35.18853, -106.43119


P1: The bolts are quite spaced. The extra gear was very nice. I used a blue, yellow and orange master cam. A purple master cam or equivalent could be placed higher in one spot for a nice warm and fuzzy feeling.
P2: Quite sustained but absolutely amazing. Super well bolted!
P3: If you are shorter than 5'11 you may have a hard time clipping the bolt off the belay. It Wouldn't be a bad idea to hang a draw on your way down if you are on the shorter side. Apr 8, 2018