Like many of America’s strongest trad climbers, Sam Stroh made a visit to Squamish this summer. Earlier this month, he redpointed Heavy Fuel, a 5.13dR first climbed by Will Stanhope in 2021. Sonnie Trotter made the second ascent in 2022.
Heavy Fuel combines pitches from an old aid route called Stellar System first climbed by Colin Moorhead and Kai Hironen. There are a number of nearby free routes close by, including Shaken Not Stirred 5.11b, Gin and Juice 5.13a A0 8p, and Warriors of Wasteland 5.12b 8p. Stanhope said his new free route is “an amalgamation of a handful of routes, the centrepiece being the pitches of Stellar System.”
Stroh, originally from Texas, only started climbing at the age of 16, but he’s already climbed several impressive big wall free routes, including Wet Lycra Nightmare 5.13d and Golden Gate 5.13. He also flashed Learning to Fly 5.13b trad and made quick work of Stingray 5.13d trad. In 2022, we reported that Stroh is the youngest to free-climb El Capitan in a day, read the in-depth story about his climbing life here.
It was a monumental year in Squamish, with climbers like Connor Herson repeating Cobra Crack 5.14 trad and Crack of Destiny 5.14 trad, Amity Warme sending Tainted Love 5.13dR trad, and Stélmexw getting its first repeats, and the Big Show being climbed on gear.