Canadian Will Stanhope has bagged the fourth free ascent of The Prophet 5.13d R in Yosemite. Stanhope and his partner Dave Allfrey spent three-and-a-half days on the route with Stanhope leading every pitch.
“This year it was much tougher as I didn’t have the handsome rock master Sonnie Trotter there with me. Leading all those pitches by myself was really rattling, and I didn’t know if I had it in me,” says Stanhope.
Last year, Stanhope and Sonnie Trotter spent six weeks in the Yosemite trying to free climb the route. Trotter managed a free ascent but Stanhope fell on the crux A1 Beauty pitch. Unfortunately the deteriorating weather prevented another attempt – until this season.
This year at the crux, Stanhope changed his beta: “Last year I repeated Leo’s Houldings Devil’s Dyno pitch, which is a crazy almost 8 foot long sideways dyno. For me, this move was extremely low percentage, and mangled my hands. The fact that Leo could stick this move consistently is testament to his ninja-like abilities. So this year I took Nik Berry’s Devil’s Reacharound variation, which was much harder and scarier than I had originally given it credit for.”
The Prophet is 13 pitches long and was first climbed by Leo Houlding and Jason Pickles in 2010.