Renan discovered his passion for climbing while attending Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As a member of the small community of climbers there, he honed his skills, deepened his connection to the sport of climbing and dreamed of the remote and beautiful places it could take him.
Renan graduated with a degree in biology but not before traveling to Nepal to study the language and culture of a country to which he is still intimately connected. Renan has spent multiple seasons climbing in Indian Creek, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Squamish, and the Bugaboos before heading off to more remote Himalayan objectives. The stunning scenery of these locations serves as inspiration for Renan’s other passion, his artwork, which has created just as much of a buzz as his rock skills.
Currently Renan is continuing to hone his art in the form of film-making and has produced several award winning expedition films that combine cutting edge climbing and unique “from the athlete” story-telling.
Favorite Snack: Fuji apple with almond butter
Most Humbling Moment: Climbing solo on knots in the Czech Republic, screaming and scared silly
Inspiration within Your Sport: Humble climbers who have a great attitude even in failure
Off-Season Activities: Mountain biking, don’t really have an off-season :)
What gets you up in the morning and keeps you going throughout the day?? Espresso, dramatic landscapes
Why do you like being sponsored by The North Face vs. another company? Everyone is down to earth from the CEO to the Athlete Manager to the Product Developers
Favorite The North Face Product: Sentry Mclean Hoodie
Favorite Destination for Your Sport: Yosemite/Himalaya
Favorite Movie: Baraka
Items You Always Pack: A simple “Yosemite” bic pen for drawing, my iPhone for communication and music, and my basecamp duffel to help harness the junk show of gear I’m hauling around the planet.
Which Causes Are You Passionate About: The Khumbu Climbing School, Girls Ed International, Outdoor Nation, EIS
Proudest Moment of Your Career: Climbing into ancient cliff-cave systems in the Tibetan plateau–discovering pre-Buddhist artwork and human remains
Favorite Music: Random Rab Electronica
Favorite Vice at Basecamp: Coffee from my little Aelissi 9090 espresso maker
Favorite Place to Travel: Nepal because I’ve spent so much time there, speak the language and love how open/genuine the culture is.
Bugaboos Provincial Park, BC:
- Grade V first ascent: “Soul Cinders,” 5.11r C2, 20+ pitches on the South Howser Tower; climbed alpine style, camp to camp, in one day, with no hammer or pins.
- Grade V free first ascents: South West Pillar, 5.12r, and Italian Pillar, 5.11+, 20+ pitches on the Minaret of the South Howser Tower; both lines climbed alpine style, camp to camp, in one day, with all pitches led and followed free.
- Second one-day ascent of “All Along the Watchtower,” VI 5.11+ C2 or 12b, 36 pitches on the North Howser Tower.
- Team free ascent of regular NW face of Half Dome, VI 5.12; Renan led all cruxes, which were followed free by Cedar Wright. They topped out in seven hours.
- Higher Cathedral Rock, V 12b, onsight second ascent, first team free ascent.
- Nineteen-hour link-up of The Nose of El Capitan, VI, 32 pitches, and regular NW face of Half Dome, VI, 23 pitches. Youngest team to achieve this enchainment. Free Ascent of the FreeRider on El Capitan, VI 5.12+, leading every pitch.
Indian Creek, UT:
- First on-sight free solo of “Lightning Bolt Cracks,” 5.11, North Six Shooter (featured in current climbing film Return2Sender: Parallelojams).
- 12+ onsights of “Disco Machine Gun,” “Slice and Dice,” “Twin Cam.”
Joshua Tree, CA:
- Free solos of “Spider Line” (11+) and “Hot Rocks” (5.11c).
- 20 classic J-Tree 5.11s in one day, 5 classic J-Tree 5.12s in one day.
- Ruth Gorge, Alaska: Alpine style free ascent of the west face of the Eye Tooth (to true summit!).
- Khumbu Himalaya: Losar (half dome sized waterfall ice feature)
- Canyonlands, UT: one-day link-up of Monster Tower and Washerwoman Tower, leading every pitch.
- Southern Utah: Texas Tower ascent, led the notorious 11+ offwidth.
- El Potrero Chico, Mexico: one-day free ascent of “El Sendero Luminoso,” V 12+, with 12 pitches of 5.12, on-sighted two 12+ cruxes, led the whole route.
- Cholaste, Khumbu Himalaya, Nepal: self-supported alpine-style attempt from north side
- Red Rocks, NV: one-day onsight link-up of “Cloud Tower,” (original route) “Levitation 29,” (to top of crux pitch) “Epinephrine.” (topped out route)
- Eldorado Canyon, CO: “The Evictor,” 12+r redpoint.
- Trango Tower, Pakistan: “In a day” alpine style attempt. Led first 12 pitches of “Eternal Flame” free in 3.5 hours, onsighting to 5.12a at 18,000 ft.
- Meru East Face, India: “New high point on the most tried and failed upon face in the Himalaya, 20 day epic with Conrad Anker and Jimmy Chin”
- Rigged for and appeared in climbing film Return2Sender: Parallelojams, by Sender Films, 2005
- Rock and Ice, July 2005, issue 143: “Spotlight” article featuring climbing and artwork
- Rock and Ice, June 2005, issue 142: write-up in article of “bold” climbers
- Rock and Ice, March 2004, issue 131: photo and write-up on Bugaboos season
- Gripped Magazine, Alpine News on Bugaboos season
- Alpinist 4, “Climbing Note” published and photos within a feature article
- National Geographic Film, “The Caves of Mustang” part of main cast of character/shooter
- National Geographic First Ascent TV Series “Patagonia Promise” part of main cast of characters/shooters
- Telluride Mtn Film Festival Charlie Fowler Award for film “Samsara” shot/edited/main character
- Alpinist 34, “Wired” Feature article.
- Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour “As It Happens” and “Living the Dream” shot/edited/main character