Elevation: 2,000 ft
GPS: 34.471, -119.69 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 13,951 total · 110/month
Shared By: andy patterson on Dec 28, 2011
Admins: andy patterson, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

Description

The Rattlesnake Canyon Crags offer varied climbing, great views, and adventure. Between all the crags (including Upper and Lower Alchemist, and Renaissance Crag), you can find some of the longer lines in town (not lying), and some of the hardest as well. The style of climbing ranges from 5.7 slab-fests, to 5.13 crimp test-pieces, with a growing selection of 5.9 and 5.10 moderates. Rattlesnake Canyon is a bit of a maze, and the rock outcroppings seem to come out of nowhere, creating hidden crags and cliff-bands. As you come up the canyon, Renaissance Crag is on the right hand side, and The Alchemist and Upper Alchemist are on the left. NOTE: Renaissance Crag is its own area, but I included general descriptions of all areas in the vicinity—just to get climbers oriented.

Here's a quick primer:

— Renaissance Crag is the first established spot you come to, and has some area classics like Sword in the Stone (5.10a) and Trebuchet (5.13a). Expect shade, a handful of quality routes, hard (and sometimes sharp) rock, and zero crowds.

— On the opposite side of the canyon from Renaissance Crag, you can enjoy a hidden yet massive jumble of rock faces and blocks. A group of us call the lower section of the jumble The Lower Alchemist, and the upper headwall (home to Fun in the Sun, 5.7) The Upper Alchemist. I really don't know what folks called these cliffs in the past, and all my asking around came up dry. Whether you call the area "Rattlesnake Crags" or "The Alchemist" doesn't matter to me. Anyhoo, this area greets the climber with some fantastic introductory sport routes, harder clip-ups like Goldline (5.12a), multi-pitch odysseys, and a growing number of sport and crack lines, one of which is the superb finger-to-hand crack, The Prestige (5.9).

NOTE: I'm not the first person to try developing this area. I've found old anchors, rusty bolts, and sundry evidence of past climbing shenanigans. I'm just another enthusiast picking up where someone else left off. If I named and graded a route that you know someone else did first, I apologize.

Getting There

FOR RENAISSANCE CRAG: park at Rattlesnake Canyon Trailhead, hike up the trail about 25-30 minutes. After the second big stream crossing, walk about fifty feet and look up the hill to your right. The steep overhang with a couple of fixed draws? That's Renaissance Crag.

FOR THE ALCHEMIST AND UPPER ALCHEMIST: same as for Renaissance Crag, but fifty feet before you get to the stream, look up to your left. There should be a rock cairn marking a dry stream drainage. Follow a climber's trail up the first sport routes.

8 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Renaissance Crag

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 21
Sword In The Stone
Sport
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 9
Bring Out Your Dead
Trad
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 3
The Black Death
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 6
Trebuchet
Sport
5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c
 3
Renaissance Man
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Sword In The Stone
 21
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Bring Out Your Dead
 9
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad
The Black Death
 3
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Trebuchet
 6
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Renaissance Man
 3
5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Renaissance Crag »

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