Pringle Trots The Path...5.14 R...E10

The Californian climber Ethan Pringle has quickly repeated The Path (5.14 R, 130') established by Sonnie Trotter last August.

Ethan Pringle is one of the rising stars of American climbing who has redpointed Realization, 9a+/5.15a, Ceuse, France, onsighted up to 8b+ and bouldered V14 (Spectre in Bishop and Slashface at Heuco),including hard highballs, as well as competing at the highest levels in the USA.

The Path is situated at the Back of the Lake area of Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. This climb had been bolted 20 years ago and abandoned unclimbed. Last year Sonnie Trotter, the Canadian climber who has just repeated Rhapsody, Dave MacLeod's E11 at Dumbarton Rock in Scotland, pulled the bolts and trad redpointed or headpointed the route (after practice), just utilising natural gear for protection. The route has several cruxes and several big run-outs up to 30ft (10m). It was speculated that in the UK the route would be E10 (source:

Alpinist reported that Trotter, "...worked the line for ten days, spread out over five weeks, before redpointing it 'in the best style I could imagine,' Trotter said. He placed all gear on lead and avoided all other fixed pieces."

Trotter also climbed a previously bolted route before when in 2004 he trad redpointed Monkey Face a 8b/5.13d at Smith Rock, Oregon on trad gear only.

Pringle's ascent of The Path took two top rope ascents, some beta from his friend Matt Segal and was redpointed in a day. From Ethan Pringle's blog

"To get to the base of the hard climbing on the path you have to do a bit of an approach pitch, Wicked Gravity, which was ironically done on gear and has since been retro-bolted to be more accessible. When I led this 50ish foot pitch on gear I basically climbed up about 25 feet and placed two cams side by side in a horizontal, then another about 5 feet higher, then none for the remaining 30 of so feet, so it was basically like a solo. A bit scary but the climbing is casual so it wasn't too bad (I tried not to think about it). When I went for the lead I felt a bit nervous and my fingers were sweating quite a bit. I almost fumbled it right off the anchors, not where you want to blow it because you risk hitting the slab, but fortunately recovered and was able to make the first placements. I felt pretty shaky on the next hard bit, which for me is probably the hardest move on the thing, but again recovered and made it to a good rest under a big roof. After that I felt more relaxed and climbed the top half, thought the red-point crux (a massive horizontal span in which my un-proportionally long legs come in handy) without any more mess-ups. I was obviously very psyched to send such a gorgeous line (a trad line!!!), in the same way Sonnie had climbed it, and in a day no less!"

Ethan Pringle is sponsored by Five Ten, Metolius, Petzl, Mountain Hardware and New England Ropes.

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