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Trotter Headpoints New Squamish 5.14

Sonnie Trotter toproping Sugar Daddy (5.14), Nightmare Rock, Squamish, British Columbia in 2009. On May 15, Trotter headpointed the route, parsing out a direct start up the steep arete that links into Big Daddy Overhang (5.12b). [Photo] Sonnie Trotter collection

The Big Daddy Overhang (5.12b) in Squamish, British Columbia now has a Sugar Daddy thanks to Sonnie Trotter’s new all-gear variation, which clocks in at 5.14. Taking a direct start from the base, Trotter climbed an overhanging arete directly below Big Daddy Overhang to eventually join up with the rest of that pitch. He reported that the arete is “the sort of feature you look up at and wish it had holds on it. This one did, but barely.”

Trotter considered Sugar Daddy the last major unclimbed feature at Nightmare Rock. “I was curious if it was even possible,” he said. “It climbs really aggressively… [with] lots of heel hooking and squeezing, two tiny crimps and a sketchy mantle at the top,” making for a “stellar route.”

After trying the line sporadically last spring on toprope, Trotter led Sugar Daddy cleanly on May 15. He had devoted six or seven days in the past year to the project.

Trotter initially considered bolting the route. Some persuasion from his climbing partners, Jeremy Blumel and Will Stanhope, convinced him otherwise. Trusting the crux gear was the key for Trotter: the crux mantle is “about two body lengths above the last pieces of gear, which are placed almost blind behind a solid, but disconcerting flake.”

Sources: Sonnie Trotter, Canadian Rock: Select Climbs of the West (Kevin McLane),