Sonnie Trotter Frees Eight-Pitch Prow Wall 5.14 in Squamish
Sonnie Trotter has established many of Canada’s most difficult climbs and many of them have been on Canada’s West Coast. Yesterday, Trotter reported on his social media that he made the first free ascent of the Prow Wall and it goes in eight pitches at 5.14a. Squamish-based sender Tom Wright climbed with Trotter on the new hard free route.
My climbing partner @tomhwright had a tough skin day today up on the mountain😊👊🍻 – Tom is a bit of a super hero. After my previous partner bailed early this morning, Tom woke up from his warm, cozy bed and offered to support me on my second ground up mission to free the 8 pitch Prow Wall in 5 years. After 5 days of work this month, rapping, bolting, scrubbing, trimming, fixing and jugging, I was ready to finally put this thing to bed. We made it to the crux pitch (#4) by noon and on my third attempt, I linked through the boulder problem and onward upward toward the headwall. We topped out around 3pm just minutes after the sun hit the wall. This was one of the better days of climbing I can remember and one of the best routes I’ve done. Thanks Tom. The Prow Wall is 200m (approximately) and goes at 5.10c, 5.10b, 5.12a, 5.14a? 5.11c, 5.13a, 5.12b, 5.12a.
The Prow was first climbed in 1968 by Dick Culbert and Bob Cuthbert. There have been a number of free routes added to this section of The Chief over the years. A few years ago, Trotter climbed Masher Crack to the Power of Yesterday from the ground. You can also climb Masher Crack to Goldrush at 5.13a.
Every now and then I get a chance to photograph some of the best climbers in the world on significant first ascents. This past weekend I was fortunate to be invited up on the Prow Wall of the Stawamus Chief to shoot @sonnietrotter as he made the first free ascent of 20 year, longstanding project. At 8 pitches up to 5.14a The Prow now sits as The first multipitch 5.14 in Squamish. Way to go Sonnie! And mucho thanks to @tomhwright for leaping out of his pajamas at the last second to join the party! @patagonia_climb @patagoniavancouver @fiveten_official #squamish #squamishchief #seatosky
Other routes on the wall include Teddy Bear’s Picnic 5.12d, Unbearable 5.12a (by Evan Stevens and partners, it’s the easiest route up the Prow Wall) and Speechless 5.13b (by Jeremy Blumel, it climbs the clean overhanging). Watch Trotter on his new route Battle of Evermore on the West Coast: