Renate Goes to Eleven
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The route gets one star for adventure and solitude. There is some good climbing, but lots of crap rock. The moderate rating will probably seem like a total sandbag to those unaccustomed to disintegrating holds.
This climb is the free version of the aid route Renate Goes to Africa. We (Goldstein, MacDonald) assume we did the first free ascent. The name is a tip of the hat to Nigel Tufnel, who might say of the route, "Don't even look at it".
The salient feature of the route is a long, right leaning, black slab near the left end of the west face of the Convent; this slab is clearly visible from the road.Start below the slab, at the base of a chimney blocked by large chockstones about 50' up. Another identifying feature of the start is bolt about 30' above the ground.
P1: 5.10b, 60'. Follow fisty crack on sandy rock past bolt and into chimney. Chimney horizontally below blocks to lip and surmount (crux). Pro is good, but even with long runners rope drag becomes untenable as soon as the chimney is escaped, forcing a premature belay just short of a comfortable alcove. A one foot square piece of the key jug broke off as our leader was pulling the crux. If the rock at the crux cleaned up, it would be a classic stretch of climbing.
P2: 5.8 50'. Continue past the alcove and up the left crack system to a big ledge with lots of rubble.
P3: 5.7 190'. From the right side of the ledge, up a left facing corner, passing a cluster of slings around a block about 20' up, until the slab is reached. Up the slab, passing another, less developed anchor. Belay at the end of the ramp, at a ledge to the right side of the start of a steep, off-putting chimney. Be sure that the belayer is sheltered from rockfall.
P4: "How Soon is Down" 5.9, 80'. Up the chimney with an occasional tricky offwidth move. There is usually good wide pro where you want it; we backcleaned some to preserve these big pieces. The crux is chimneying past a flake at the end of the pitch, just below a very intimidating overhanging offwidth. We belayed in the chimney, at the base of this offwidth, though if you somehow have wide gear left, a much more comfortable belay is available by stepping out of the chimney onto a ledge.
P5: 5.10a, 100'. Past the offwidth on excellent rock with good small pieces to easier climbing and the top. Midway up this pitch, pass a "rap" anchor consisting of two severly tattered slings around a block so suspect that we didn't want to pull on it.
From the topout, you can see the rappel anchors at the top of Salvation Chimney, about 100' to the south.
1 set medium wires, 1 ea micro cams to yellow Alien, 2 each Friends from #1 to #3.5, 1 ea #4 Friend, #4 & #5 Camalot. Long runners. It would have been nice to have one or two more wide pieces.
On the first ascent of "Renate Goes to Africa...
By david goldstein
Apr 30, 2003
Renate is the left of the two lines marked in the photo. Salvation Chimney is the right marked line.
BETA WARNING! If you prize adventure, don't read the following.
The fearsome looking offwidth on pitch five is much tamer than it looks; it forms the left side of a stembox which is not visible from below and is bypassed with fun Eldo style stemming in lieu of gruesome offwidth.