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Watch Climbers Send One of Canada’s Hardest Trad Routes

There are currently a few climbers working on The Path 5.14 at Back of the Lake in the Canadian Rockies

The Path at Back of the Lake is one of Canada’s most-tried 5.14 trad routes. It was originally bolted with a line of meandering hardware, but in 2007, Sonnie Trotter chopped the bolts and started to project it.

It wasn’t long after that he climbed the V10 bouldery crux and took it to the top. In 2007, he told us about The Path: “By rapping in, I discovered that the route can and should be climbed entirely on natural gear, all trad. So after two days of top-roping the climb using cams for directionals, I knew for sure that it was meant to be climbed traditionally, not sport. So I went up and chopped all the bolts off. It was a hard decision to make at first because it is now rated R, but I have gotten a lot of great responses from people, and it was ultimately the best choice to make. I then worked on the climb for about 10 days spread out over five weeks before redpointing it, placing all the gear on lead, and avoiding any fixed gear. It was the best style I could imagine doing, and it was a great relief to finish it.”

The Path has been climbed several times over the past 15 years. In 2020, Nick Rochacewich, Danny Poceta, Dexter Bateman and Simon Yamamoto ticked it. In 2019, Nathan Hadley made an ascent, read more here. In 2018, Barbara Zangerl became the first woman to climb it; her partner Jacopo Larcher also sent. Doug McConnell, Tim Emmett, Read Macadam and Alex Megos (who flashed it ground-up) climbed The Path in 2016. Other climbers who’ve redpointed it, include Ethan Pringle, Matt Wilder, Peter Kamitses, Miles Adamson, Mike Kerzhner and Tommy Caldwell.

Over the years, a few send videos have been published on line. Scroll down to watch some.

First Ascent

Macadam and Emmett

Yamamoto and Bateman