Sonnie Trotter - New 5.14 Trad Route

by Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC May/2010
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+Sonnie Trotter working his new route Sugar Daddy on top rope, 210 kbSonnie Trotter working his new route Sugar Daddy on top rope
© Sonnie Trotter Collection
Sonnie Trotter, the Canadian climber best known in the UK for his repeat of Rhapsody (E11, Dumbarton), is currently in Joshua Tree, the stunning granite area in California, where he has made the first repeat of Stingray, a hard and steep 'thin fingers' crack.

Speaking to UKClimbing.com on email last night Trotter said:

"Just yesterday I made the second ascent of Stingray (hard) 5.13d here in Joshua Tree, California.  It's probably the second hardest crack climb I've ever done.  I was very happy.  It's such a beautiful and powerful line."

He has been blogging about his attempts on Stingray on Sonnietrotter.com, and he described the route:

"I tried the climb back in February, and it's truly an amazing line, tight fingers and steep and leaning.  I flashed the crux moves on TR, and thought it felt like a 5.13b-ish.  I was expecting to do the route in a day or two.  But then, UNFORTUNATELY, on my second attempt, I broke the most crucial foothold on the climb, and now, it's really hard, probably solid 5.13d.  But it's hard to say because it's so f 'n painful. I haven't stuck the crux yet, but I can link from there to the top, so it might happen any day now, unless I tear a huge flapper, or blow out my elbows, both of which are highly possible,  at the same time even."

Trotter also mentions in his latest blog that he has succeeded on his project closer to home at Squamish, Canada, a beautiful but desperately hard overhanging arete:

"I climbed a project of mine which I was really happy about.  An overhanging arete.  It's the sort of feature you look up at and WISH it had holds on it.  This one did, but barely.  I tried the line last spring, and found the tiny crimps that linked it all together... I reckon the line is a 5.11 to a V10/V11 to a 5.12b.  It's the direct start to Big Daddy Overhang, so we called it Sugar Daddy, and I suggested a rating of 5.14 because of it's bouldery nature, an endurance climber might find it hard, a boulderer might find it easy."

After a winter lay-off with a ruptured appendix it seems Sonnie Trotter is back on excellent form and UKClimbing wish him the best of luck for his summer projects.


Sonnie Trotter is sponsored by Patagonia , Five Ten , Black Diamond , Joe Ryders and Sterling Rope

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