Keeping Up

I just can’t seem to keep up with myself these days.  One day I’m in the Canadian Rockies, the next in Salt Lake City, the next I’m connecting through L.A. and then flying over Yosemite Valley, which may be a bit of foreshadowing as I’ll be spending 6 weeks there this fall.  Even from 30,000 feet and with a wing in the way, you can still make out the Nose and Half Dome, as clear as day.  Check out this picture I took below. Click to enlarge.  Hope you like it.  I think it’s pretty sick if I do say so myself.

Hmm,  Media Stuff.  So, I guess I was on the cover of the Patagonia Catalog in Europe this Spring,  so that’s kinda cool and they also used a Ben Ditto Image from last year of me falling off Evilution Direct, V12, right before I sent it.  A very cool shot.  Ben is so RAD.  Hmmm, what else, oh yah, I guess an article I wrote for Alpinist just came out, I haven’t seen it yet, but people have said some really nice things to me, so that must mean they are lying,  ha ha, but Paul Bride did all the photo’s and those I know for sure are amazing.  I did see the article in the latest Gripped about mine and Ben Moon’s route from last year we nick-named the Butt-Face.  It’s really called the Squamish Buttress, North-Face-Variation.  But call it what you want, it’s 5.9, and a fun little scramble up the big rocks.  Also, please stay roped up until you’re on top, I goofed on the topograph.

A Keith Ladzinski photo, also SUPER SUPER RAD guy.

Anyway, I just really want you all to know that I have been climbing my ass off lately, and feeling stronger, fitter and having more fun than I have had in years, there’s some really cool stuff coming down the pipe, lots of new routes for me, a big day with TC on the Diamond Face, a long free route here in Squamish, I took a 50 footer yesterday and ripped 7 pieces of gear.  This thing might need a bolt.  Hmmmmmm.  Any thoughts out there?   I much prefer no bolts when I can, but there is a time and place for everything, and certain things make certain amount of sense,  this is starting to make more and more sense to me.  Other than that, I am planning my wedding with my beautiful fiance Lydia, and living in my van full time with her.  We are free birds these days, it’s a good feeling.  Less bullshit, more rock climbing.  Happy August to all.

Here’s a pic of Lydia and the DreamBoat in Levenworth, WA.

and here’s a great shot of the van after I finished the building process, took me 3 long hard days, but there’s enough room to still do yoga on the floor, even for my 6 foot long carcass.  BTW, It looks much more lived in now.  Ahhhh, home sweet home.

  • Hey Sonnie, all that stuff about your life is great and all but what I really really really want…are some more pics of that sweet new van! You say you built it all out yourself? Looks like you did a bang up job! But please show me some more of the new set up!

  • mortly

    Add a bolt I say!

    What’s the point in taking 50 foot whippers and popping grear just to avoid adding a small piece of metal which no one will ever see from the ground?? If someone in the future wants to climb it more “pure” and risk their life, then they can just skip your bolt. Its very very unlikely it’ll be in there way.

    I would hate to hear that you’ve died while climbing something like this, all for the sake of adhering to some arbitrary climbing “rules”.

    but maybe I’m a naive sport climber who just doesn’t get it…

    I’d like to hear more about your thoughts on bolting. I totally understood your decision to chop those bolts on The Path, but this whipper you took sounds different… sounds like you’re taking this no bolting thing too far…
    but why? What do you personally gain from this ideal of less bolts? And also, what do climbers who follow your route gain from your resistance to bolting?

  • Wow Sonnie!

    That looks so amazing! Really nice job! I wish I had your life man!!!!!! 🙂

  • Jon

    It would be great to see more pictures of the van – some shots of the process.

  • Danny B

    Damn!! Looks like blood, sweat, and beers were put into that beauty.

  • EJ

    4 comments and no congratulations?! Dang, people. CONGRATULATIONS!

  • brews

    Congrats on the diamond face (oh yeah; and about all that other cool stuff like mariage & new road tripping wheels), that is an awesome piece of rock (& high time someone put up a route on it regardless of need for a few bolts – bolts are added when needed in the chossies, no ethical quandry with that). Hope we’ll hear more about it soon. I hate people correcting little details & loath doing it here…but you’ve relocated it from Banff to Squamish, which is a bit more serious than a bolt here or there 😉

  • Sonnie

    Thanks gang, I appreciate the feedback. EJ, we’re super stoked, thanks man.

    Van, okay, so get this, I researched Van builds for about 2-3 months before starting my own, I was looking for a how to guide. But nobody really offered it. So I just took little bits and pieces from what other people had done, asked a lot of questions to friends who have done them, and then took into consideration our own needs and desires and simply started hacking away. I swore I was going to document the whole thing, but I was so in the moment, I didn’t take a single picture until it was over. But trust me, if I can do it, anyone can do it. DO your homework, spend lots of time on google and you’ll find what you need to make your own Dream Boat. I promise.

    As for the bolts. I am NOT against bolts at all, I LOVE bolts. Probably more than most people. But I also LOVE gear, so I try to keep a healthy mix of the two in my life. I have already free climbed this pitch on gear, but it was more like a topdown headpoint than anything else. I knew where the gear was going to go and what size. BUT, when I came back a month later, I had forgotten everything, and that led me to start plugging in really bad gear. If I was stronger, I probably could have composed myself and waited until I could get something substantial, the problem lies in that there is very little good gear at all on the upper half, and those “good” pieces are very, very specific, so an onsight attempt is a bold one indeed, especially if you get up there and you realize you don’t have the exact size wire you need, then you’re basically screwed. Personally, I would much rather more people be able to climb it and enjoy it in relative safety than just a few brave souls. Certain things in life just make sense. This is one of them I think. And like Mortly says, they can always be skipped. Right?

  • bozo the love dog

    Congrats on the engagement and even more congrats for the sick van conversion. May you get many trouble free miles from her (the van not your fiancee)

  • ktmt

    Since you’re on the subject of media, it bears mentioning that you and The Path are placed in high company along with Bachar-Yerian and To Bolt or Not to Be in Chapter 10 of this recent climbing philosophy book:

  • clayton

    Sonnie, Awesome writeup man. The alpinist article was sweet too. All that climbing business aside, you should consider taking up a part time career in van conversions. Good work on the living room! Cheers.

  • Sonnie, did you install the swivel front seats or can you order your van with them already installed from the factory? Thanks.