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Renaissance Crag
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Black Death, The S 
Bring Out Your Dead T 
Camelbak Crack T 
Pestilence Crack T 
Renaissance Man S 
Sword In The Stone S 
Trebuchet S 
Wicked Duke Takes a Wife, The T 
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Sword In The Stone 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Sport, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Jens Amudsen
New Route: Yes
Season: Catches a bit of sun, but definitely a year-round climb.
Page Views: 1,401
Submitted By: andy patterson on Nov 16, 2012

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (15)
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Kathleen nears the anchor of Sword in the Stone, o...


I love this route. It provides stacks of beautiful hand and foot movements, good rock, and elegant positioning. The crux comes low, and the last 15 meters pack consistent and engaging 5.9 climbing. Enjoy!

Historical issues:

It should be noted that this part of the Renaissance Crag shows signs of past climbing attention. I found an extremely sketchy 1/4" thick bolt that was drilled only 1/4" in to the sandstone patina. It took about 2 or 3 turns with my fingers to remove it. I have no idea when or by whom this bolt was placed. I've asked around (Dave Griffith and Steve Edwards, for example), and no one seems to know. What's more, I've no idea what line of travel that ill-fated bolt professed to protect. In any case, I'm not the only one who thought this area worth climbing.

Also, to the left of the second bolt of this route, you can see a Metolius hanger protecting a bottomed-out seam. Again, someone has been here before me. I can only guess that this bolt protects the start of a 5.8ish crack/dihedral to the left of Sword and the Stone.


On the left side of the Renaissance Man Crag area. Starts at the lower left end of the big slab.


8 bolts to a two-bolt anchor.

Photos of Sword In The Stone Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: After leading Sword in the Stone (whose bolts are ...
BETA PHOTO: After leading Sword in the Stone (whose bolts are ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Nicole climbs Sword in the Stone, on the Renaissan...
Nicole climbs Sword in the Stone, on the Renaissan...
Rock Climbing Photo: Disney, before the fall.
Disney, before the fall.

Comments on Sword In The Stone Add Comment
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By Richard Shore
Nov 16, 2012
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I was fortunate to grab a couple early TR ascents of this route (before all the lead bolts were installed). It is a beautiful, sweeping patina face, with excellent stone. Probably the longest, most sustained route of its grade in SB. 5.9++. Quality-wise, I can only compare it to a more challenging version of Face Lift 5.7 at San Ysidro. Not as steep as Great Race 5.10a and I think it's a touch easier as well. Go do it!
By andy patterson
From: Carpinteria, CA
Nov 17, 2012

Agreed: one of the finest of its grade in SB.

There is a slightly loose section near the last bolt, but you can avoid the manky holds quite easily. If you're breaking in to the 5.9+/5.10a leading game, this is a great route to try.
By Tucker Eurman
Jul 14, 2013

Went out here today. What a great area! This route was crimpy and fun, and the bolts are very nice. The rock is not quite vertical, but still offered a great challenge. Definitely recommend.
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Aug 21, 2013

Awesome route! Excellent movement, and this is hands-down the best rock quality on any route I've climbed in Santa Barbara. Incredible find, Andy.

The hardest move of the route for me came right at the first bolt and is well protected (5.9+). The sequence passing the second bolt at first seemed intimidating, but subtle footwork yielded a path that was quite moderate. My favorite move was the 5.8 mantle at the 6th bolt! Fun until the very last move.

If you get on this route, be sure to also top-rope the plumb line directly below the anchor. This is stellar 5.8+ face climb on the same outstanding rock as Sword in the Stone.
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Aug 21, 2013

Sorry for going on, but this is such a great piece of rock... The bolt to the left of the start of Sword in the Stone (Metolius Hanger next to a seam) might well be on "Made in the Shade" by Anderson & Forkash (1980). The Tucker-Steele guidebook reads, "A seam runs up the ocean side of a pedestal. From the top of the pedestal, face moves lead up and right to a walk-off."
By dm00
May 25, 2014

Definitely one of the higher quality slab climbs in the area. For me, the crux came after bolt 5 (or maybe 6 ), where the bolt spacing increases and you have to pick your line. It seems it can be 5.easy (if you go left and use the arete) or at least 5.10+ if you follow the direct line to the next bolt (which feels just a bit too far) with anything in between, with only one peculiar line that keeps it in the 5.9 range
By Jeff Mahoney
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 9, 2015
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Great rock, but I was expecting a bit more given the raves. (80 feet?) It's got some fun, sustained 5.9 moves with good feet. Knock out all the Alchemy routes and end the afternoon on this (and the TR) and you will have had an excellent day out.
By brucy
Sep 9, 2017

That old 1/4" bolt in question was put in many years ago ('76) by Gary Anderson to pro the bottom before the crack.

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