Type: Trad, Alpine, 800 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: John Kear, Paul Johnson and Karl Kiser winter 2006
Page Views: 694 total · 5/month
Shared By: John Kear on Dec 3, 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


Start the route in a SW facing bay about 2/3 of the way down the gully separating The Needle and Hidden Wall.
1) Face climbing past a bolt leads to a crack system ending on lower angled terrain after 150ft (5.8/9).
2) Scamble up the low angle terrain and into a crack/flare, continue up on mixed face and crack climbing to a good ledge with a large block 150ft (5.8).
3) Climb straight up fins and finger cracks to a wide crack leading to a ledge. Continue up face to another ledge system and belay from a tree at the base of a right facing corner 100ft (5.8).
4) Follow the corner and exit right onto face climbing, follow the face past two bolts to another r facing corner and a ledge above a tree 150ft (5.9+).
5) Climb straight up a crack system to excellent face and short crack systems to another ledge 100ft (5.8).
6) Climb up undercling and lieback crack to a ledge and face moves, belay on ledge after 70ft (5.8).
7) Climb up and right past a bolt, continue right to shallow L facing crack system. Follow the corner and finger crack to the top of the wall,150ft (5.9+).


The route is located 2/3 of the way down the Needle gully. The start is in a large SW facing bay with a black corner/water streak in the back of the bay. The route starts 30ft left of the black corner. Walk off the top of the climb.


The pro is mostly good where you need it, but there is solid 5.9 climbing above your protection. The route is not R rated but the "+" in the rating should be considered. A standard Sandia rack to 2.5-3". There are fixed stoppers marking the belays at P2 and P4. Two bolts on P4 and one on P7.


John Kear
Albuquerque, NM
John Kear   Albuquerque, NM
Did GTTLD again yesterday for a little early season Sandia romp. Did some spring cleaning and added a bolt right off the ground to protect some face climbing and to locate the route a little better.
Also, left a pack at the top of the wall. Upon return to my pack we found that a bear had mauled it. Didn't lose too much just a water bottle, first aid kit and a bag of almonds. Luckily the bear didn't eat my car keys. May 26, 2010
William Penner
The 505
William Penner   The 505
Kear, bears love eating those tiny Swiss packs.

Anybody else out there had a bear maul their pack?

By my count, there have three maulings within the last year: this one, a stashed pack at the base of the shield, and a stashed pack atop La Vista. The stashed packs had no food in them but still got ripped apart anyway. Obviously the local bears are getting wise to check out packs or maybe somebody brought back a bear from Yosemite after a climbing trip.

I am surprised someone's pack hasn't gotten munched at the top of Muralla.

W May 26, 2010
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
The first pitch of this route was fun and I'd like to say the rest of the route was just as enjoyable but somewhere in P2 we lost track of the route and just ended up climbing the rest of the way up in exploration/adventure mode, which was quite fun anyway. Where is the line between being off-route and putting up a new route. :-) My feeling is that we were to the right of where the GTTLD goes but I don't know for sure.
On our P2 we found a cool, large left-facing corner that led to a large roof. There were two old pitons in cracks in this vicinity so obviously we weren't the first to explore this territory. We busted out of this corner to the right. I'm anxious to head back to the Hidden Wall to find the rest of GTTLD.
Any idea on where we were based on this brief, vague description, John? Thanks for putting up the route. The first moves straight up to that new bolt felt pretty stiff for the grade but that's probably because we weren't warmed up yet. Jun 1, 2010
John Kear
Albuquerque, NM
John Kear   Albuquerque, NM
Jason, it sounds like you were indeed off to the right of the line after the 1st pitch. There is some good looking and tempting terrain to either side of the GTTLD line. When we first went out there we were looking for a moderate line following the easiest path and best rock. From the top of the 1st pitch the route heads up a bit of 4th class into a curving wide crack. Sounds like you were in one of the corner systems 10-40ft right of the route which probably led you even further right after a few pitches. There is some older fixed gear in those other corners that you can see from the top of P1. GTTLD is left of these corner systems, 40-50ft left of the corner with and old bolt and tat. Hope that helps. I unfortunately don't have pictures of that pitch. Jun 2, 2010
LeeAB Brinckerhoff
  5.9+ PG13
LeeAB Brinckerhoff   ABQ, NM  
  5.9+ PG13
Jason, there is a also a very striking corner up and left of the route in the area of the second to third pitch that ends in a roof, one side of the corner was orange..I think.

Good to the Last Drop...or Leaves a Good Taste in Your Mouth. The first few pitches of this route were fine, they had their good and bad moments but it is really up higher where the route gets good. The belay at the top of pitch 5 is like a park bench and a great place to take a quick break and eat something (hand size gear for the belay is best). Pitch 6 has great rock and some cool features that you climb, belay up and right of the tree on a ledge with a fixed stopper. The face climbing on pitch 7 is fun but really pretty run out for a 5.9 or 5.10- climber and the finger crack in the shallow corner if truly great. Aug 14, 2010
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
Thanks, Lee. I'll have to refer back to my photos to see if I can identify where we were. Now I'm sad I missed the upper pitches...it sounds like loads of fun. Aug 16, 2010
Did this route with Dave W. last weekend - what can I say... perfect fall weather, the aspens were changing and a nice route. Just a few comments.

P1: The bolt easilt marks the begining. Nice stiff moves of the deck.. the rest of that pitch was solid, except for one block mid-way up that is the typical Sandia "is that going to stay in place".

P2: The 40- 50 feet left of the old pin with a tattered sling is right on in locating P2. This is a wide, solid arching crack that leads up. There is another right facing corner even further left (50 feet) that is broken, and is not very appealing. GTLD moves up the arching wide crack. Note in the topo it vears to the right near it end... somehow I got into my leading bubble and missed that move to the right. I continued up a full 160 ft following the main groove into a huge left facing corner with a nice broken crack system that end on a petastal (was looking for the "large block", but it is not up there). This corner/headwall probably can be climbed by those stouter than me. Anyways - we finally located the fixed nut (very small) at the end of P2 - requiring me to downclimb about 50 - 60 feet to get back on route. I left a black sling with locker to cover this retreat. if you see the sling - the top of P2 is down and slightly right (50 feet) from that.

P3 : Up ribs as described. Some gritty rock in this section.

P4 : Stiff - Dave climbed straight up to the bolt - requiring some 40 feet of climbing on marginal gear. Above the first bolt, the 2nd is easily seen and leds to some very nice climbing on solid rock.

P5: Nice pitch straight up a crack system, working it way out onto the face. Well protected - one oackward move into a cleft. Ends on park bench belay noted by lee.

P6: Nice climbing - solid rock. Strenous layback right before big ledge with tree.

P7: The leader better have their layback skill honed for this. This is not a give away. Solid finger, layback moves to small ledges. Final move is layback (I finished with a mantle...but I was following it). This in my opinion was the crux and one needs to stay mentally focused leading this.

Picked up the packs and slogged of..

Enjoyed - lots of rock in the area - not really a steep wall, as it has lots of ledges. Oct 3, 2010
"This corner/headwall probably can be climbed by those stouter than me...I left a black sling with locker to cover this retreat. if you see the sling - the top of P2 is down and slightly right (50 feet) from that." Well Alam, we should have read your comments a little better, I've got your black sling and locker (can leave it at SAC if you go there).
Wound up truly adventure climbing by going up that corner/headwall and then just picking our way up the rest of the wall. The corner was the crux of the route we climbed. It was super fun, climbing a very small crack, 5.10ish, that held a bomber #5 BD nut (thank goodness cause I fell on it.) Can't say whether I'd recommend it or not. Matt Atkinson and I had a stellar time, but it's probably not something everyone would appreciate.
Definitely want to get back and actually get GTTLD. Aug 5, 2011
Bill Lawry
New Mexico
Bill Lawry   New Mexico
Climbed GTTLD yesterday. Got off route a wee bit a couple times. Even so, really appreciated the clarifying comments by John Kear, Jason Halladay, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Alam and NickTarasenko.

I suspect that P2 may be noticeably less than 150 feet; maybe someone can check this more closely than we did. We paused there on lead to look for the fixed nut near the stacked blocks but could not find it. And since it seemed another 20 to 30 feet until 150 feet, we kept going ... as well as then wandered off route for a bit - didn't realize the fins above the blocks were the start of P3.

We found a red nut laying near the start of P2 - DMM offset #9; maybe the one we could not find at P2 end? Let me know if it is yours. The end-of-P6 nut is still there as of Aug 2017.

Much appreciated the bolt on P1 and the third on P4. Aug 14, 2017
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
Also got off route.. somewhere on p2 or p3. Seeing how many parties with a reasonable amount of Sandia experience have gotten confused, be aware. Might be helpful if someone who knows the climb clarifies the description on these pitches.

Looking at Bill’s photo, looks like we went too far left on p2 or the start of p3? Think we were up around the headwall Alam mentions above that Nick T climbed out of. I posted the off-route variation we climbed. May 28, 2018