Exclusive Interview! Professional Climber and Artist, Renan Ozturk

About Renan Ozturk

As a climber, Renan Ozturk has made quite a name for himself, but so too has his artwork.  We are delighted to have such an inspired and inspiring mountaineer take the time out to provide us with an interview, here’s a little about him…

Renan Ozturk - Pro Climber & Artist
Renan Ozturk - Pro Climber & Artist

Along with a select few, Renan is sponsored by The North Face to climb all over the world.

Renan has combined the two great passions of his life and become a very well accredited climber and artist in his own right.

And he continues to push himself harder each time he takes to climbing a new face…

Only last year, Renan became one of the first people to rediscover ancient murals of Budha in the semi-autonomous zone of Mustang in Tibet, after a tip-off by a local sheep farmer.  And more recently, Renan visited these murals again, stating on his blog:

Its good to be back after a double duty expedition push in the Himalaya… First off was the “Caves of Mustang” adventure in Nepal. We worked hard to explore more of the thousands of cliff-cave systems and discovered significant things that should stir up the historical record for high Himalayan culture.

…but swiftly followed was a harrowing account of what was faced at 6,000m on Mount Meru, India, narrowly missing the summit…

Directly following this I met up with Jimmy Chin and Conrad Anker for a go at the Shark’s Fin on Meru. This thing pushed us to the edge of our ability to suffer and survive…19 Days on the wall with 10 days of food, 3 guys in a 2 person portaledge, an 8 day storm, daily frostnip, 5 hr belays, spindrift, hauling, and wild trench-ware!!!…As for now, I’m still hobbling from the frostbite and taking it easy.

More career highlights and extraordinary video footage of the climb of the unclimbed Shark’s Fin in Meru, India can be seen below.

Renan has made quite a name for himself, in the worlds of art and of climbing…but he finds them complimentary in every way of self-expression – a truly inspiring guy.  Here’s the interview…

Interview with Renan Ozturk

CheapTents.com: What inspired you to combine Art and Climbing?
Renan: Living in Joshua Tree, Indain Creek, Yosemite I was inspired to interact with the landscape not only through physical climbing but also through mixed media art.   I see no separation between art and climbing.

Artwork by Renan Ozturk: Shipton et al

In my life they are complimentary forms of creative self expression that force me to dig deeper and go farther.  As in climbing, so in art, so in life.  In all three the full spectrum of emotions come into play.  At times there will be uncertainty, insecurity and fear.  At other times there will be inspiration and things will flow effortlessly.

Artwork by Renan Ozturk: Whitney Circe

Ultimately it is amazing that we are here at all.  The more time we spend expressing ourselves through actions and thoughts the more richly we have lived.  Climbing and art are two of the greatest vehicles I have found to carry me in this direction.

Renans Artwork: Red Rocks
Artwork by Renan Ozturk: Red Rocks

CheapTents.com: What has been your greatest achievement in this field?
Renan: The ability to motivate for these types of self-expression while in the high places.

CheapTents.com: What is you biggest weakness?
Renan: Apple Products…

CheapTents.com: When did you feel like you ‘made it’ in your field of outdoor sports?  And do you feel like you’ve satisfied your goals?
Renan: Hmm… I don’t think I’ll ever say I “made it” in an effort to keep looking forward to new thresholds of adventure.  I’ve satisfied some simple dreams of climbing into the unknown on alpine rock towers, but still have goals of more remote rock journies.  Gotta feed the rat.

CheapTents.com: What do you find most challenging about training for these achievements?
Renan: 3 trips to Asia a year and the associated butt pee, poor diet, and high altitude sufferfests don’t make you extremely fit for your dream free-climbing onsights…

CheapTents.com: What has been your worst injury (if any), from outdoors sports and how did it happen?
Renan: Torn tendons in my foot from racing down Half-Dome w/Cedar after the free ascent

CheapTents.com: What will be your most challenging climbs for next year?
Renan: After I recover from this frostbite/trenchfoot and forget the pain I’ll most likely start drooling over some spiky rock formations in the Himalaya…

CheapTents.com: Where would you like to be in 5 years time?  Main Ambitions?
Renan: More facility and awareness in art/climbing.  Stronger intuitive sense for these forms of expression in the mountains.

Artwork by Renan Ozturk: Summit Series, El Cap Cedar Colour
Artwork by Renan Ozturk: Summit Series, El Cap Cedar Colour

CheapTents.com: For other budding outdoor sports enthusiasts, what tips can you provide to help other compete at a higher level?
Renan: Motivation through passion for the outdoors—the psyche will carry you the next level!!  Also know the importance of rest and full recovery before going for it…

CheapTents.com: What are your favourite bits of gear, and why?
Renan: Hooded and lightweight items tend to turn into favorites.. Examples from this last trip–> The North Face–>Impulse, Chesterton, Truimph Anorak, Bishop Hoodie…

CheapTents.com: Any people or sponsors that you’d like thank?

Renan: Uhmm yeah, I have supporters who are awesome:  The North Face, Black Diamond, La Sportiva, Brunton, Smith, Five Ten…. Amee, Nathan + all the monkeys…

CheapTents.com: Anything else you would like to say?
Renan: As Conrad would say:

~ be good ~ be kind ~ be happy

Recent Climbing – the Mount Meru Expedition

Renan only recently got back from an expedition to Mount Meru, in India’s Gangotri Region, with the infamous mountaineer Conrad Anker and climber / photographer Jimmy Chin.  The expedition involved a 400m climb of the immensely challenging fin itself taking them to an altitude of 6310m, taking on 75-80 degree snow-covered faces!

Renan Ozturk Career Highlights

Bugaboos Provincial Park, B.C.:

* 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.

Yosemite, CA, USA:

* 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.

Indian Creek, UT, USA:

* First on-sight free solo of “Lightning Bolt Cracks,” 5.11, North Six Shooter (featured in current climbing film Return2Sender: Parallelojams).
* 5.12+ onsights of “Disco Machine Gun,” “Slice and Dice,” “Twin Cam.”

Joshua Tree, CA, USA:

* 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.

Other climbing achievements:

* 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.
* Cathedral Ledge, NH: “The Prow,” 5.11+, and “Wild Women in Love,” 5.12a, both onsight.
* Cannon Cliff, NH: VMC direct grade V 5.11, “Labyrinth Wall,” V 5.11+, “Moby Grape,” IV 5.8; onsight free solo.
* 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.

Films/Book Highlights:

* 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, October 2005, issue 146: “breaking news” write-up and photo
* 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

Thank you!

Thank you from all at the CheapTents.com blog and on behalf of all our visitors, for such an inspiring insight into the climbing-life of such a true intrepid adventurer.


2 thoughts on “Exclusive Interview! Professional Climber and Artist, Renan Ozturk

  1. great climber, mountaineers, artist and guy! jealous, jealous, jealous! awesome vids, loving the interview and feeling inspired to hit some more walls this weekend – thanks a lot!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.