I'm a little behind on this news, but Sonnie Trotter is at it again. Apparently he's redpointing another contender for one of the world's hardest trad climbs, The Path, at 5.14R. Like the East Face of the Monkey Face in Smith Rock, The Path was originally bolted. Sonnie, however, lead it as a trad route. You can watch the video here.
Those who know me know that Sonnie is not necessarily my most favorite climber, especially for scooping the cutest Swiss climber that ever did be on the Cobra (and not even doing it ground-up). (Really, who could prefer Sonnie and his too-cool backwards baseball hat to Didier and his "zis is not ze crux" middle finger undercling jam?) However, I can overcome my dislike to make a general statement about the current trad scene - wow!
The new cool thing (other than bouldering in RMNP or emulating Sharma) seems to be hard trad climbing. It's not just the Canadians (Sonnie) or the Euros (Didier, among others); Americans are in on the action too. Climbers like Eric Decaria, Matt Segal, and Renan Ozturk are pushing the limits of trad climbing beyond what previous generations might have considered possible. They're taking skills and movements learned from sport climbing and applying it to trad. They're making bolts obsolete. And I think that's pretty damn cool.
It's great (especially for a traddie like me) to see trad back at the leading edge of the climbing world and it's beyond impressive to know that there are climbers out there who are pushing the limits of possibility without all the sponsor-plastered, rappel-placed, pre-placed draws.
In other news, Mountain Hardwear is sponsoring a contest for awesome, outdoorsy women called Diva and Conquer. You can read the entries so far or enter yourself or a friend (with permission). There are also special Ladies' nights at local stores carrying Mountain Hardwear products with special deals, special guests, and gear giveaways. Sounds cool, so check it out!
So get out and climb some trad! (Or clip some bolts to prepare to send some trad)