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Routes in Torreon

Bitch's Brew T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Crossroads T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Mountain Momma T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Sorcerer's Apprentice T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
Sorcerer, The T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b PG13
Voodoo Child T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Wizard of Air T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Type: Trad, Alpine, 550 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: Mick Schein, Eric Whitbeck: 1995
Page Views: 1,556 total, 13/month
Shared By: John Kear on Dec 17, 2007
Admins: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

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P1 climbs off a ledge with a tree, move up and right to a open book with a splitter finger crack on the left wall of the open book. Step from the corner into the finger crack and climb straight up to a ledge. Move up and right from the ledge traversing to another ledge and a nice hand crack leading straight up. When the crack ends step left and belay on a ledge, there is a bolt off the L end of the ledge 120ft 5.9.
P2 clip the bolt and step up and left off the ledge, this is a new bolted variation that 1)straightens the line and 2)avoids some of the choss of the original start to the 2nd pitch. After clipping the second bolt continue up and slightly left to a ledge system. From the ledge climb a superb shallow corner, step left after 30ft or so and traverse to a larger left facing corner system, follow nice cracks up to a ledge in a corner, there should be a nice 3" inch crack leading up off the ledge 130ft 5.10a.
P3 Climb the crack straight up off the belay to a ledge and continue up into a big left facing corner system. Climb the corner to a roof and turn the roof to the right. Belay a little higher at a bolt and good 2" crack 150ft 5.9.
P4 step right off the belay and do a delicate traverse right (crux) trending up and right into a shallow corner. Follow the corner to the top. Eventually you can either keep trending right to the top of Torreon or go straight up to a large ledge and good tree belay. The last 40-60ft of this pitch deteriorates into not so good climbing 150ft 5.10a.
Most of this climb is excellent and I think its one of the best climbs of its grade in the Sandias.


The climb is located about 200ft left of Mountain Momma. The climb starts off a ledge that is 40ft or so above ground level. If you approach Torreon via its standard approach gully you will pass right under Crossroads just before you would scramble over open talus to get down to the start of Mountain Momma.


Standard Sandia rack with a couple 3" pieces for the second belay and 3rd pitch. A couple of bolts protect the face variation on P2 and 1 bolt at the 3rd belay which also protects the crux of P4.


George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
-Pitch 1 starts a bit to the right of where shown in the Sandia Rock photo.
-Pitch 3 roof is sketchy!*
-I missed the traverse right on pitch 4. Did the 10b variation in Sandia Rock, straight up to the roof, turned it on the left, then up a tree and a higher tree. We thought that roof was really fun! And easier than 10b. Some loose rocks up at the high tree (be very careful*).
-Overall, I felt this was a pretty fun climb, with some very nice crack climbing. However, it has intricate route-finding and more loose rock than usual so it's sort of serious*. I would not recommend this as a "first 5.10 in the Sandias", and I would recommend Mountain Momma as a better "first climb on Torreon", despite its harder grade.
-*Maybe I was just having one of those days where I was being a scaredy-cat about loose rock. Totally possible. May 28, 2013
Route is still cleaning up. Removed 1 "microwave" on pitch 1.
Bolted variation is clean - but if you become too involved you may miss the first bolt - immediately after and to the left of the straight in hand jam crack 100 ft or so, up first pitch. As of Sept. 2011 had a white bail sling.

There is a block on P3 roof that I am not sure how it is staying in place - be carefull.

We also had a foot hold blow out on pitch #2 sending the 2nd for a ride...not all holds have been weight tested.

New Rap off back - slung ropes around blocks with biners - avoids the old tree belay. Oct 12, 2011
Mick S
Mick S   Utah
The bolted variation on the second pitch is recommended, and helps to keep you on route. It will be included in the new guide. Sounds like the route is cleaning up nicely, be careful out there. Apr 14, 2011
Albuquerque, NM
Robin   Albuquerque, NM
We found the first pitch to be quite fun. For the second pitch we followed the topo in Sandia Rock, however I ended up off route. If you do so and find yourself shimmying up a questionable pillar with a webolette around it, you should turn around!! (see photo for the result of continuing). Based on an inspection after the fact, I'd suggest following the bolted variation on the second pitch.

I second the vote to tread carefully when walking below this route as we knocked down a person sized block. Mar 27, 2011
John Kear
Albuquerque, NM
John Kear   Albuquerque, NM
There is no roof on pitch 4. If you are going this way you're doing a variation and no wonder it is super loose, it has never been cleaned. The original finish goes hard right right off the belay. One way or another it is too bad that the rock quality goes way down in a few places higher on the route. Jul 2, 2010
Great exposure. Excellent moves. Questionable to terrible rock. Trundled two briefcase sized rocks on P3 and P4. Several others moved (alot) but seemed to be fairly lodged. These can be avoided, but doing so raises the difficulty of the pitches a bit.

P4 most of the blocks below the roof rattle (one came out when I barely touched it). I would highly recommend climbing the face just right of the roof. It pros well with small nuts/tcu's and has quality rock. It probably climbs not much harder than the roof (10- ish) and the consequences are significantly reduced, especially for your belayer.

Descent- The rap tree is dying. There is a suitable tree a few feet away, but we didnt have any webbing to move the rap station. The fixed line on the walk-off (bowling alley) needs replaced soon. It has been there for at least 8 years. Jun 30, 2010
Mick S
Mick S   Utah
It's not super clean, I agree, but your description of the rockfall potential is a bit exaggerated IMO. Especially on the first 2 pitches, those are quite clean. Nice finger and hand cracks. The 3rd pitch still has a bit of loose stuff, but it's easily avoided. Jun 26, 2008
Lets first say that this route is A LOT cleaner than it was when I first ventured on it in 97 and again in 01. Each previous time we cleaned heavily - and vowed never to return again!

There are some beautiful sections of rock on this route, as well as some time bombs. Many of these larger blocks are lose - but are "keyed" in and may never come off (especially on P3). It is un-nerving to have blocks rattle around. This weekend we still cleaned off a few lose "brief case size" pieces on P1 and P2, and a big one on P3. [The bolted variation on P2 is very nice and lead you directly to a stellar finger dihedral (nice addition).] We also had a foot hold disappear while pulling the roof on P3 - my belayer had to take some of the debri directly. P4 has some VERY lose pieces, including a ledge that is no more - resulting in a barrage of rocks and dirt raining down on the belayer ... luckily this bolted belay (1 bolt) is protected by a small roof over head so I was able to avoid the majority of the falling pieces by cowering in a fetal position. There is a fixed piece on P4 right at the traverse crux - sort of marks the way.

This is a pretty nice route, but still needs some climbing/cleaning to make it "one of the best of its grade".

I would suggest NEVER follow another party on this route as you will end up eating rock fall. In addition - if you are passing below crossroads headed to Mountain Mama and someone is one the route - move through quickly as there is a very good possibility of rock fall below.

Enjoy Jun 23, 2008