Type: Trad, Alpine, 600 ft, 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: Peter Prandoni and Ron Beauchamp, Sept. 1981
Page Views: 757 total · 12/month
Shared By: Sky Sjue on Oct 7, 2013
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

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


Quality climbing despite some friable rock and avian excrement.

Pitch 1: Follow Mountain Momma.

Pitch 2 (5.10+): Follow Mountain Momma until it heads left. Instead of going left toward the shared belay pedestal with Voodoo Child, continue directly up the corner system. Pull through a steep section on positive holds in friable rock to a belay with one bolt (can be fortified with protection in kitty litter pockets). This is a longish (~50 m) pitch.

Pitch 3 (5.10+): Continue up the corner. Stemming and liebacking lead through a bulge to a hand crack filled with bird poop. Bail gear from lost souls in search of Mountain Momma is evident. Follow the hand crack until it ends in a corner below a roof. Face climb right past the roof (take small brassies and micro nuts) to a nice belay stance with a fixed nut above it.

Pitch 4 (5.11-): Strenuous moves through the roof directly above the belay stance (crux) lead past a piton to a finger crack. The route rejoins Mountain Momma at the large ledge system below its last pitch.

Pitch 5: Standard finish to the top of Torreon via easy 5th class.


Torreon, right next to Mountain Momma. See photo with routes drawn in 2013 version of Mick Schein's Sandia Rock for more detailed info.


Standard Sandia rack to a 3" cam. Double hand-size units useful but not necessary. A selection of brassies and micro nuts for the third pitch.


Ross Peritore
San Diego, CA
Ross Peritore   San Diego, CA
The amount of bird shit on p3 is totally sandbagged in this description. It's pretty gnarly despite the amount of poop gardening Sky was doing up there.
And yet, in spite of all that, this is a really, really good route and deserves more traffic. Oct 7, 2013
Mick S
Mick S   Utah
Yeah I was glad I didn't lead that pitch, although the climbing is awesome. Great adventure route. Oct 8, 2013
Cool route!

Anyone with a soft spot for swallows swirling around Torreon might want to listen to the Leave-No-Trace fairy and avoid this route. The Grand Canyons of shit come from a well-established colony of barn swallows and frequent traffic on this route will disrupt their breeding efforts, possibly moving the colony elsewhere (or disbanding it). I'm not making a normative statement but just a heads up. I felt kinda bad seeing those cool birds freak out just so I could get my rush, so I probably won't do it again even though the climbing was fun and adventurous.

Worried that the bolt at the top of P2 was a manky a** thing, I'm happy to say that it is a modern bolt thanks to someone more awesome than me, and can be fortified with small cams (~1 mastercam and .3 BD) in a perfectly good crack more confidence-inspiring than kitty litter.

Lastly, posted some pics of the bird poo for your amusement. Jun 15, 2015