9. Sonnie Trotter

A pro shares stories of his most epic climbs

Sonnie Trotter

Sonnie Trotter     Photo: Screenshot

Good for: Adventure stories straight from one of the world's boldest climbers.

Written by: Canadian Sonnie Trotter, first ascensionist of hard trad routes including Cobra Crack and The Path.

The scariest climbs often make for the best stories, which is part of why pro climber Trotter’s blog is so captivating. Trotter, 32, has made a career out of climbing epic, occasionally frightening, trad routes. He’s made gear-only ascents of bolted routes like the East Face of Monkey Face (5.13d R) in Smith Rock. His writing is raw and personal—straight-up adventure stories mixed with the occasional musing on risk-taking—but still entertaining.

Sample post: After completing the second ascent of The Prophet (5.13d R) on El Capitan with Will Stanhope, Trotter summed up the experience.

" Wow.  What a roller coaster.  As life is I suppose.  The Highest of highs, and Lowest of lows.  It’s a beautiful thing really...there’s a sad truth that when you’re so focused on a project such as the Prophet, time literally just flies by. Days turn into weeks and you don’t even think twice about it.  Looking back now, most of it’s a blur.

5 weeks in the Valley, 5 failed ground up attempts, 4 days in Lake Tahoe, 2 days in Santa Cruz, and over 25 days climbing, hiking, rappelling, hauling and slogging.  El Cap is a glorious son of a bitch – that’s a fact.  And the Prophet, is one of the richest, most deeply rooted climbing experiences I have ever had, with a partner who’s got both a boyish charm, a man’s ambition, and a spirit that’s tougher than leather.  It was more like an expedition than a climbing trip."...

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