Home > News

Sonnie Trotter Sends Castle Mountain Project

Castle Mountains dolomite rock offers climbing unlike anything else in Canada. Trotter finishes summer project, Castles in the Sky, 514.

Sonnie Trotter sent his new route on Castle Mountain on Labour Day Weekend. He named the route Castles in the Sky. The route is five-pitches and graded it 5.14a.

He had worked on the route sporadically over the summer. The route climbs a dolomite prow on the lower-band of Castle. The first and last couple of pitches are moderate and the steep business is in the middle.

Trotter invited Gripped’s editor, Brandon Pullan, up to experience the route. It feels like hanging around on El Cap, with the valley floor 500 metres below. The storms rolled randomly, bringing with them cold rain and strong winds. Often while belaying the slack rope below would be blown straight up.

Castles in the Sky is the black line   Photo Dow Williams
Castles in the Sky is the black line Photo Dow Williams

Trotter established the route with Sam Eastman from Toronto, the 17-year-old climber who spent his summer in the Rockies. Oregon-based photographer Ben Moon spent a number of days helping with the route.

Moon was a key member of the Butt Face, the 5.9 Squamish Buttress variation, a few years ago. On a few occasions Sam Lambert, the young Rockies sender, belayed Trotter on attempts, including the prenuptial climb.

Last year Trotter climbed the Shining, 5.13c, on Mt. Louis, with Tommy Caldwell. It is clear that he has shifted his strengths to the big unclimbed walls of the Rockies, while he resides in Canmore. With hundreds of unclimbed walls, he has plenty to choose from.

Sonnie Trotter climbing his new multi-pitch on Castle Mountain, Alberta

Check out the latest buyer's guide:

The Top May Long Weekend Sales on Camping Gear

Have a safe and fun time when out in the wilderness this season