Sonnie Trotter is one of the Worlds most accomplished rock climbers. Which, for a teenage boy growing up in the flatlands of southern Ontario is a remarkable feat. His first breakthrough was on a camping trip to Colorado at the age of 17 with only 21 months of climbing experience. During his five week visit, Trotter repeated four 5.14’s. He quickly put Eastern Canada on the climbing map the following summer by making the first ascent of two 5.14 projects in 1998.
Later, after becoming the first Canadian to win a US National and to climb 5.14c and 5.14d – Trotter then set his sights on traditional climbing. In this style, Sonnie made rapid first and second ascents of most of America’s hardest trad climbs. He then completed many of his own first ascents in Canada and Europe, a few of which ranked as the hardest climbs in the World. Today, some of his signature routes are still unrepeated.
Trotter is widely known for his first ascent of Cobra Crack, perhaps the Worlds most coveted finger crack climb, but he enjoys mixing up all styles of climbing as much as possible – from bouldering and sport climbing to traditional routes, big walls and even the occasional alpine route. Today he is just as passionate about putting up new routes as he is about climbing hard ones.
Trotter recognizes his rare opportunity to climb professionally, “I think I’m one of the luckiest people I know, because I found my true passion at such a young age. I’ll climb for as long as my body will allow me to get outside and play”.
Along with his wife Lydia and son Tatum, Trotter lives and works on the road, but spends most of his time between Canmore Alberta and Squamish BC. In search of king lines, he continues to explore climbing areas all around the world, but always returns to Canada for its wild beauty.
The Tick List
Sonnie has completed hundreds of First Ascents around the World, here is a short list of a few notable climbs.
NOTABLE FIRST ASCENTS
- Cobra Crack, 5.14a/b. trad. Squamish, BC
- The Prow Wall, 5.14a, 8 pitches., trad/mixed. Squamish, BC
- Family Man, 5.14. trad. Skaha, BC
- The Path, 5.14a/b R. trad. Lake Louise, AB
- Castles in the Sky, 5.14a, 5 pitches. Castle Mountain, AB
- The Ewbank Route Complete, 5.13bR. Totem Pole, Tasmania
- Sugar Daddy, 5.14a/b R. trad. Squamish BC.
- Direquiem, 5.14a/b R. trad. Dumbarton Rock, Scotland.
- The Battle of Evermore, 5.14a/b. Squamish, BC
- The Illusionist, 5.14a. Cougar Creek, AB.
- Titan, 5.14a. Lions Head, Ontario.
- Silent Menace, 5.14a, Squamish BC.
- Superman, 5.14c. Squamish, BC
- Forever Expired, 5.14d. Lions Head, Ontario.
- East Face of Monkey Face, (first redpoint ascent), 5.13d R. trad. Smith Rock, Oregon.
- Prosthetics, (first redpoint ascent), 5.13d R. trad. Mill Creek, Utah.
- Edge of Pan, 5.13b, 4 pitches. trad. Squamish, BC
- Power of Yesterday, 5.13c, 4 pitches. trad. Squamish, BC
- Battle Royale, 5.13c, 7 pitches. El Potrero Chico, Mexico with Al Johnstone
- Nothing in Moderation, 5.13c/d. Squamish BC.
- The Great Escape, 5.13c R. trad. Lake Louise AB.
- Cop Out, 5.13c R. trad. Dumbarton Rock, Scotland
- The Bizmark, 5.13b, (free solo), Kelowna, BC.
- Lolita, 5.13b, (deep water solo), Malta, EU.
- A Mistress, 5.13a/b 10 pitches. Mt. Yamnuska, AB
- The Shining, 5.13c/d 15 pitches. Mt. Louis, AB with Tommy Caldwell.
- The first one day free ascent of Logical Progression 5.13a/b, 28 pitches, Copper Canyon, Mexico. with Alex Honnold.
- The Trilogy, 5.13b. 24 pitches. Squamish, BC. with Matt Segal.
- Squamish Buttress, North Face variation. 5.9 10 pitches. Squamish, BC. with Ben Moon.
A FEW MEMORABLE SECOND ASCENTS
- RP, 5.14a. Crag X, Ontario
- The Down System, 5.14a. Squamish, BC.
- The Bleeding, 5.14b. Mill Creek, Utah.
- Existence Mundane, 5.14b. Accephale, AB.
- The Incredible Huck, 5.14b. Cathedral, Utah.
- Starvation Fruit, 5.14b. Smith Rock, Oregon.
- The Optimist, 5.14b. Smith Rock, Oregon.
- Rhapsody, 5.14b/c R, trad. Dumbarton Rock, Scotland.
- Learning to Fly, 5.13, trad. Indian Creek, Utah.
- From Switzerland with Love, 5.13, trad. Indian Creek, Utah.
- Welcome to Barbados, 5.13, trad. Grampians, Australia
- Lake of Fire, 5.13c R, trad, Squamish, BC.
- Stringray, 5.13d trad (second ascent)
- Must have been high, 5.13c R, trad. Eldorado Canyon, Colorado.
- The Prophet, 5.13d R. El Capitan, Yosemite. with Will Stanhope.