Type: Trad, Alpine, 600 ft, 4 pitches, Grade III
FA: John Kear, Mick Schein, Josh Smith and Allan Aiken
Page Views: 2,231 total · 22/month
Shared By: John Kear on Oct 4, 2010
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


The Sorcerer is the direct extension of The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Pitch 1&2- Climb The Sorcerer's Apprentice the top of the second pitch.

Pitch 3- Climb straight up off the belay past a mantle and two bolts. Continue for another couple of body lengths to a tiny tree growing out of a horizontal crack. From here move up and slightly right finding pro in hidden horizontals. Continue straight up on gradually easier but runout climbing to a bolt. Climb the left facing corner system as it arches up and left, after a final small roof continue straight up to a bolted belay. 5.11 130ft.

Pitch 4- Climb straight up to the roof above the belay. Clip a pin and back it up then pull the roof onto the headwall above. Follow the thin seam that splits the headwall past 4 protection bolts. This is the sustained crux of the route. After clipping the last bolt continue straight up on easier face climbing and past a final short splitter. Arrive at a good sized ledge with a dead tree. From here easier climbing leads up and slightly right into a short left facing corner and finally the top. 5.12 150ft.


Located about 100ft up hill from Mountain Momma. Start at the base of a vertical face that leads directly into the crack/seam of The Sorcerer's Apprentice.


Cams from .25 (purple or grey C3) to 2 inches, 3 or 4 .5inch (green alien/blue TCU), doubles .75 to 1.5, RPs, set of nuts.
P1 - 3 bolts and 1 piton, bolted anchor
P2- 1 piton, bolted anchor
P3- 3 bolts, bolted anchor
P4- 4 bolts, 1 pin, tree anchor on top


Sky Sjue
Santa Fe
5.12b R
Sky Sjue   Santa Fe
5.12b R
This seems like it deserves a higher risk rating than Sorcerer's Apprentice and Thunderbird, for example. Just my opinion. Aug 19, 2013
William Penner
The 505
William Penner   The 505
For what it is worth Sky, we added a bolt to the second pitch of Thunderbird at the request of several folks who felt a section was far too run out and dangerous with significant ledge fall potential. It used to be very R-rated and now is much better protected. Not sure how Mick and John dealt with the pro on The Sorcerer, however. Great to see others repeating stuff to figure it out though.

W Aug 20, 2013
Mick S
  5.12 PG13
Mick S   Utah
  5.12 PG13
We felt that the sections that might give the route an R rating had relatively moderate climbing, such as the middle of the 3rd pitch, so maybe it wasn't really a Sandias "R" route. We certainly could be wrong, what pitch did you think was runout? Aug 20, 2013
Sky Sjue
Santa Fe
5.12b R
Sky Sjue   Santa Fe
5.12b R
W: I climbed Thunderbird three weeks ago and had a great time. Thanks for the second bolt on the second pitch. It still seemed plenty engaging to me.

Mick: The third pitch was the only one that felt runout to me and admittedly, the runout sections are moderate compared to the cruxes. Also, in the thin corner on the upper part of the third pitch, the 5.11a section as described in your newer book, it seems like I would have been psyched to have a larger offset nut in addition to the tiny brassies I was able to place. The gear was fidgety through there. Significant loose rock near the top of the pitch also gave me pause. Maybe no single part of it seemed so different than some of the sections on Thunderbird, but it seemed like more of it and on a longer pitch.

Perhaps my mental game wasn't where it needed to be. Please don't take this as negative criticism. Thanks for the spectacular routes (to both of you and others)! As written above, just my opinion. Aug 20, 2013
Josh Smith  
One of my favorite Sandia routes to date. The description of P3 here makes a good amendment to Mick's book (which is a little more terse). It's easy to wander around on this pitch without the pointers. Bomber small cam above the tiny tree on P3, then another bomber one four or five feet to the right, just before the corner.

If you don't feel up for the 5.12 pitch, it's easy to skip it at the end and do three pitches of some of the most engaging climbing in the Sandias. But the 12 pitch is stunning! Thanks, fellas. Jan 20, 2014