To bolt or to break?


WHat’sup with the haps eh? Happy Valentines day everyone, and I do mean everyone, I hope it was joyous and full of vice. We went to this party here in Squamish that was called the ‘James Bondage’ event, Wayyyyy out there. I can’t say I ever wore a leather corset before, but alas, there I was with a handlebar mustache, a stuffed strapless boostier and a double shot of tequila in each hand. I felt a little bit like that guy from the village people.

What a night to forget, fo REAL. Lydia looked amazing as usual in a one piece pink bell-bottom jumpsuit and high heels, so hot, and then of course, there was everyone else with chains, pasties, g-strings, and ass-less chaps. It was absolutely hilarious! and so much fun, I’d say between 300 and 400 people attended this 5th annual event, there were 5.14d partiers there from Vancouver, Whistler and Kelowna, I’d like to attach some pictures if I could, but I can’t – if I did, I’d never live it down. I’m not usually a shy person, but some things don’t need to be seen. ha ha ha.

The weather here in Squamish keeps getting better, I’m glad I haven’t had to travel much this winter, it hasn’t rained in over 4 weeks, and I’m not exagerating, we are so lucky, EVERYTHING is dry, the Grand Wall, the boulders, the bluffs, whatever you want, it’s all dry and it’s all climbable. I wouldn’t recommend finding a cold cave to climb in, but it’s amazing nonetheless. Everyday I say to myself, (and anyone who listens) “this is the best friction I’ve ever felt” but the next day cometh and proves me wrong. I hope it never rains.

I’ve been climbing a bit but also busy with work too. I’m pretty lucky because I have many projects in my backyard, so I can work and climb lots in the same day. Which brings me to the first point of this post. I have a project that is about 5.12c -13c depending on how tall you are, I’ve sent it clean on toprope 3-4 times in a row, and have never fallen off the last moves. By the way, it’s super high quality, short, but def 5 stars. SO – if I lead it on removable gear it will be r/X rated, meaning you could really fuck yourself up, especially higher up, I’m talking crushed ankles, maybe legs, and a possible head injury. If I place one bolt (max two) it becomes a safe, pleasant climb for everyone to enjoy. Or I could just leave it, it makes for a great top-rope too and if someone was so inclined, they could tie into the sharp end and lead it or solo it whatever they choose. The chance of falling off after the crux is extremely low, but still a possibility, and it’s definitely a NO FALL zone, razor sharp talus. I’d like to know what people think. The area already has a number of bolts, in fact it’s a great mix of gear and bolts and people seem to respect the blend very well, it has a wonderful balance to it, so adding a bolt or two is not going to be unacceptable, it’s just whether or not it’s worth it for a climb that is only 30 feet tall. Of course I would paint the hangers black to make it less visible, but I’m just sitting on the fence right now. If you have any comments we’d like to hear them. I think I’ve already made up my mind, but I would like to throw it out there regardless!

On the work front, I’ve been busy developing a new website. Yay! I’m getting stoked ’bout this, it’s going to be fun, colorful, playful and interactive. Its main focus is going to be training and free climbing tactics. I won’t be covering much alpine stuff, aid stuff, multi-pitch stuff, mostly just movement and strength training for the body and mind. I hope you will continue to join me when we make the shift and that you’ll even play an active role in it’s development. I have two friends from Toronto who are designing the site, because when it comes to the web or compooters in general, I am a lost soul. These two guys have been absolutely integral to the new site look and layout and function, I swear to god they should win an award, my appreciation for them has NO END. So to Neel (you know who you are) I want to say thank you, I am forever grateful and in your debt, to Jason, I want to say the same, but since Jason is in the arts department, I want to add a link to his site. The guy is talented and really makes it happen, you’ll know what I mean when you see some of his stuff. For now, here is a little clip of his latest piece, I hope he doesn’t mind me posting it here, but it’s really uplifting stuff, so I couldn’t help it. For more of Jason’s work you can check out his website at

Okay ya’ll, I gotta go, I hope everyone is living their dream, not just thinking about them, but actually living them out day to day, for those who are, you inspire me, for those who are working towards it, you inspired me to, it’s a never ending act of balance and everyone has their time, we are merely doing the best we can with what we have, so today make it happen. Hustle, grind, Make it count. Spread the love. S.

  • Greg

    I like hard bolted route and not so hard kinda safe trad route but I always respect the FAist wishes. Do you think that bolt will make it better or is the head game the real crux…. two cent Good luck with that, and thanks for the last part of the blog it was very helpful I have been having a long winter with many setback. But today the sun is out in Jasper

  • supafly

    my opinion – bolt it. climbing is about fun, not getting your butt licked on some “razor sharp taluss” (talii?).

    that’s one of the things i love about climbing in squamish, it’s a climber friendly kinda place.

    and i you’re finding it hard making a decision, just ask yourself the question, which i’m sure you do all the time.. “what would chris sharma do?” 😉

  • josh

    I say, add the bolt or two. It sounds like that would make for a route more people would enjoy with less trips to the ER, without stirring up any controversy.

  • Sonnie

    Jasper eh? I’ve never been there during my adult years, but this summer it just HAS to happen. I’ve heard rumors of quartzite, hell yah. Thanks for the input, I know what you’re saying, I would never want to see anyone hurt climbing, especially not on any route I opened, that’s not why we do it, if we wanted to get hurt, we’d just take up skateboarding, or bouldering without any pads. But the head game on this climb would certainly be the crux, not the moves, so many other climbs I’ve done that involve danger only FLIRT with danger, it could go wrong, in a worst case scenario, but probably wont’ – those I enjoy because you can control many factors and make something that once felt “INSANE” feel “REASONABLE” however I don’t feel this is one of them. There are probably three guys in Squamish who will lead this thing, and then it’ll be left to gather dirt and cobwebs for 16 years, until Ron Kauks grandson comes along and onsight solos it, with a toothbrush clutched in his teeth as he goes. I agree Supa, climbing here is friendly and there is still enough stuff that is “scary” but hey on the flip side, the hospital IS only 1 min away. Hmmmm?

  • Stray Cat

    Thanks for reading my spray. You made my day. Bolt to be.

  • ConBioAdam

    In my opinion, if sinking a blot or two into the upper portion would take the climb from an R/X scarefest to an accessible, enjoyable, projectable route then go for it! Some of the better lines at my home crag are mixed gear routes and I’d much rather clip the bolt on a fun route than risk a grounder.

  • awww! I can feel the love man, thanks for the art-pimping 🙂 S’cool though, you’ve inspired me to climb (and even write about climbing on my site,) and in the last 2 months I’ve got 10 other people into it. Its spreading like… um… facebook!

    you and Lydia at James Bondage — awesome.

  • Patrick

    Bolt that shit! “The best climber in the world is the one being the safest and having the most fun.” I’m sure it’d still be some intense head space even if it had a single bolt.

  • I say follow your heart and climb it in the style you think best suits the route and the experience you want from climbing it – if that means scary as hell headpoint rather than accessible clip up, then so be it

  • Phunk

    I think I speak for everyone when I say “post at least 1 pic of your lady or else I’m leaving you(r blog) forever!”

    Forever is a long time, Sonnie. Think about it.

  • Greg

    If you are keen on a trip out to jasper. Drop me a line, The jasper Climb Association is trying to rise funds for a indoor wall if you want to come out we could hook you up with a nice place for you and your partner to stay. Show you all the Gems and I mean Gems
    Maybe a slideshow? JASPER.. Out of the way but worth it.
    the rumours are ture and them some

    Take care

  • Dino

    Two bolts in 30foot of climbing still sounds pretty bold to me…

  • I’d go with placing a couple of bolts as well – If people want to do it old skool, they don’t HAVE to use them, but it’ll make it safer and more enjoyable for everyone if they know they have the otion to not totally mess themselves up. Supafly summed it up well: “my opinion – bolt it. climbing is about fun, not getting your butt licked on some “razor sharp taluss” (talii?).”

    I’m looking forward to the new site as well. I was hoping you’d write up some more training stuff – There’s a few things I’ve been wondering about/meaning to ask you, Sonnie. Do you think you’ll include a section on food and nutrition?


  • Sonnie

    Thanks for all the thoughts gang, I really put this on hold until I got a “majority speaks” vote. I really resonate with honkkongstuey about doing what “feels” right for “that” particular climb, there are no hard and fast rules, every situation is slightly different than the next, as well as Greg who says he respects the choice of the first ascentionist. Really good stuff.

    Tomorrow they’re calling for sunshine, THE BOLTS WILL BE PLACED, how many I don’t know yet, but I’m doing it on lead.

    Talk soon. Have fun. S.