Sonnie Trotter on Rhapsody E11 .. steps to success

by Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com May/2008
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+Sonnie Trotter - On Rhapsody Lead, 85 kbclick to enlarge
Conditions were good at Dumbarton Rock tonight and the Canadian climber Sonnie Trotter looked solid on his lead attempt on Rhapsody according to Dave Brown of Hot Aches, makers of the E11 film. Rhapsody, the first climb to be given the grade of E11, is Dave Macleod's direct finish to Requiem E8 6b (8a+), Requiem was first climbed in 1983 by Dave Cuthbertson. Rhapsody is the hardest route to be headpointed in the UK. It has yet to see a repeat ascent. Sonnie took the fall onto the BD wires, but with the forecast looking good for the next few days and with hopefully a rest day tomorrow he should be back on this route quite soon.

JLS, who like several climbers was witness to this attempt, reports,

I really like his style setting off from the ground on 'Requiem Direct Start' (15m, E3 5b) on which he placed no gear. On reaching the ledge he placed a couple of runner in start of Requiem crack and paused for a 10 minute breather. After getting his shoes back on and shedding a jumper he proceeded to flow up the Requiem crack as he'd done on the headpoint of Requiem. Pausing for what seemed like an age at the top of the crack - perhaps 15 minutes - he shook-out and placed his last bits of gear before nervously setting out on the final head wall, commenting that it's a bit different on the lead. Once he got going he look fine on the head wall until he fell from a high point more or less as seen in the picture, taking an 8m-10m fall which actually looked quite tame in comparison to some of Dave Mac's falls from the top.

You can see JLS's photo HERE.

Keep your eye on Sonnie's blog, it's a lovely mix about his progress on Rhapsody and his observations on Scotland. You can read it here at Sonnie's Blog:

'You go Sonnie', as Oprah would say, we are all routing for you.

Thanks to Erik B, JLS and Fraser, and Dave Brown at Hot Aches for their live reports.

You can read all about Dave Macleod's ascent of Rhapsody at this UKClimbing.com article, Dave MacLeod, The Modern Traditionalist E11

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