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Sonnie Trotter Sends Stem Corner Tainted Love 5.13d

Sonnie Trotter is in Squamish and has climbed the short and burly stem corner high on The Chief called Tainted Love 5.13d that Hazel Findlay first sent in 2017. Trotter was belayed by Sam Eastman.

The second ascent of the powerful pitch was by Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll after Nalle Hukkataival made a no-fall toprope send. Last year, Katha Saurwein and Jorg Verhoeven also repeated Tainted Love.

After her first ascent of Tainted Love, Findlay said: “Crazy hard but uniquely technical movements of which most normal climbing cannot prepare you for. There are just a handful of holds on the whole pitch; a hand jam and a few finger locks. Upward progress is achieved by pushing alone. Extreme pushing with the legs and extreme palming with the hands. Moving between such precarious positions would be difficult enough if the gear was easy to place.

Findlay continued: “Unfortunately, the route is mostly protected by micro wires (which gives you some indication of how small the crack is). Some people I chatted to suggested I place a bolt or two, ensuring that at least some people would repeat it. I’m not necessarily against bolts on trad routes but the Brit in me could see that this was a better challenge without the bolts. I wanted to leave it as a pure trad challenge and if people wanted just the physical challenge then they could easily top rope it.”

The project had been attempted by a number of strong climbers before Findlay sent it, including Neil Dyer. It was known as Northern Soul before Findlay freed it and is assessed from the top via rappel.

Compared to the classic Yosemite stem corner test-piece Book of Hate, Findlay said, “Book of Hate compares in that it’s a corner but Tainted Love is like taking the crux metre of Book of Hate and multiplying it for the whole pitch. It also works out to be fairly different climbing.”

Trotter’s New Squamish Routes

Cobra Crack 5.14a/b trad
The Prow Wall 5.14a, eight pitches
Sugar Daddy 5.14a/bR trad
Battle of Evermore 5.14a/b
Silent Menace 5.14a
Superman 5.14c
Edge of Pan 5.13b, four pitches
Power of Yesterday 5.13c, four pitches
Nothing in Moderation 5.13c/c
The Trilogy 5.13b, 24 pitches

Tainted Love