Top Canadian Sonnie Trotter is a busy man with a full-time schedule of work and family, but can still bring the heat when he has the time to rope up.
Last week, the Canmore-based climber climbed First Flight 5.14c at Upper Acephale with route-builder Lev Pinter.
The route was bolted by Pinter but first climbed a few years ago by Josh Muller and onsighted earlier this month by Adam Ondra.
Well I never thought that was going to happen. Especially this summer, especially tonight, especially after that massive hail storm. Somehow, between writing, photography, the @bowvalleyrockfest, filming @adam.ondra for @reelrock as well as working with @sashadigiulian on her summer project, being a husband and father, I managed to sneak out to Acephale 3 times this July. On my first burn tonight I put down ‘First Flight’ 5.14c – which was bolted by my longtime friend (and bow valley visionary) @lev_pinter and first redpointed by @joshmuller – tonight feels pretty special having the whole crag to ourselves. Many thanks to those who offered beta and shared a belay. Also congrats again to Adam for his historic onsight. @patagonia_climb @blackdiamond_climb @fiveten_official @sloperclimbing @sterlingrope
Trotter is no stranger to hard sends. In 2002, he made the first ascent of Superman 5.14c, which is link-up of Cheakamus Canyon’s Pulse 5.14a, Captain America 5.14b and Gom Jabbar 5.13b continuing through the crux of Patience 5.14a.
In 2004, he made the first ascent of Forever Expired 5.14d, Ontario’s hardest route that is still unrepeated. His only other 5.14d was in 2015 after he sent Estado Critico in Spain.
Trotter has also pioneered some of Canada’s most difficult trad routes, including Cobra Crack 5.14a and The Path 5.14R.
On Sept. 10, 2017, Trotter realized his dream of completing three different alpine 5.14 routes in the Canadian Rockies.
The routes include The Shining 5.14a on Mount Louis, War Hammer 5.14a on Castle Mountain and Blue Jeans Direct 5.14a on Yamnuska.
This summer, Sasha DiGiulian is visiting the Rockies with intentions of repeating the massive link-up.
Honestly, I had a good feeling about it. Huge congrats to strong-man @mikedoyleca and strong-woman @sashadigiulian for putting down the second and third free ascents of ‘War Hammer’ yesterday with back to back redpoints of the crux pitch, two broken holds, a massive rope twist and a 45 meter free hanging jumar session. It was one of the more windy days I can remember ever being outside, and while it certainly pushed them around a little bit, maybe the added friction helped as well on the 5.14a pitch:) Fun to witness 7 of the 14 or so pitches. Even years after seeing the line for the first time, I still get excited when I get out there and stand below it. These two certainly had an adventure yesterday reaching the summit around 9pm. Stoked for them. Bam 💥👊🍻🔥