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Wizard of Air 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 600', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: William Penner and Eric Whitbeck, September 2005
Page Views: 2,982
Submitted By: Williampenner on Mar 7, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (8)
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Looking up the 2nd pitch. The route climbs the ob...


Pitch 1 (5.11-) follows bolts and gear to a ledge and bolted belay that is located somewhat near the beginning of Wizard of Odd (Most folks start Wizard of Odd by scrambling around the south end of the Torreon and up a gully onto a ledge that is about 80 to 90 ft off the ground).

Pitch 2 (5.10-) follows obvious seams up into a short left-facing dihedral, exiting right beneath a small roof to a small ledge with a bolted belay. The upper section of the pitch is shared with Wizard of Odd. The folks who got the first ascent of Wizard of Odd were consulted prior to placing this anchor.

Pitch 3 (5.11+) goes up then left passing a bolt until you can turn the roof at its left side. Trend up and right passing bolts and a hard crux until a large ledge and bolted belay is reached right around the corner. An excellent pitch.

Pitch 4 (5.12-) follows fixed gear on the obvious (and beautiful) arete easily visible from the La Luz Trail. After a section of thin face, trend left past the crux to the arete and eventually turn around the arete to its left and heading up to another ledge with a bolted belay. One of the best face climbing pitches in the Sandias with awesome exposure.

Pitch 5 (5.9+) trends up and left wandering for almost a full rope-length until a large ledge. Use your instincts.

Pitches 6 and 7 are typical Sandias last pitches--ie, grainy, blocky, loose. Wander up the remaining portion of the south prow of the Torreon.


Wizard of Air starts ~100 right of Mountain Momma. The route was established ground up in 2005.

If you top out the route, descend the standard way for the Torreon.

A better option is to do the first four pitches, rap the route, and go blast up Mountain Momma for a full day. A single 60 m rope will get you down from the top of Pitch 4 but barely. It is safer to take a 70 m rope and be careful rapping Pitch 3 as it overhangs quite a bit. All anchors have chains.


1 set of cams from #3 Friend to purple Metolius TCU and a full set of nuts. Extras of the yellow and green Aliens are good but are not critical if you are solid at the grade.

Photos of Wizard of Air Slideshow Add Photo
Florian follows the glorious arete.
Florian follows the glorious arete.

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By Mick S
Jul 14, 2008
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Awesome 4th pitch. When it gets desperate move left to the arete.
By LeeAB
From: ABQ, NM
Aug 6, 2008
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Sorry, my fat butt broke part of the crimp that you used to get to the arete, when I went back and did it with John, though I was out of sequence and matching it so if you do it right you don't have to match and there is enough left to do the move. Maybe at the time I was indulging in donugts and chocolate milk too often, I heard it makes you stronger.
By George Perkins
From: Los Alamos, NM
Oct 13, 2013
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Fun climb! A few notes from a recent climb:
-P1 looks a little contrived initially, as it leads you on thin face just to the left of a chossy loose 5.8-looking crack to the right. However, it climbs really well. It is a little run-out near the top. Someone had told me to skip this pitch and scramble up the gully around the corner to the right and just walk the ledge to the start of p2 (as for Wizard of Odd), but I was glad we climbed it.
-P4, the crux, we felt the easiest sequence involved moving to the arete 1 bolt lower than it might have been bolted for; however, this involved climbing up to clip a bolt, then reversing a couple moves in order to move over left to the arete. I wouldn't feel ok skipping it. Maybe this was where the crimp broke when Lee was flexing. Josh W. and I both traversed to the arete about 5' lower than where Florian is traversing in this photo. (No- I didn't onsight. If I was going to give it a 2nd try right away, I'd probably leave a long draw pre-hung on the 2nd to last bolt.) What a great pitch!
-P5 was enjoyable, good rock and great position for 150', though somewhat runout and it's often unclear which path to take to find gear and to keep it at "5.9+". Because of this pitch, I was glad we continued to the top rather than rapping off after the crux.
-Rack: We were glad to have more than a single set of cams on p5, but a single set would have been enough for p1-p4 only. Small brassies were helpful in a few places.
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