Sonnie and I are still tinkering away on the Prophet. Trotter is leading the charge. I think it’s really interesting to look at how the very best trad climbers operate on the sharp end. I would put Sonnie in a really small group of people I’ve climbed with that are truly built for hard, scary rock climbing. Skill plays a huge part. Strength plays a huge part. But an innate positivity is the biggest factor, I think. When the house of cards begins to collapse for me, I start losing the optimistic edge, and everything seems to spiral towards negativity. If one foothold breaks, I start thinking all the footholds are going to break. It might stem from the accident this spring, feeling a little more rattled than usual. But it could also be that this route is just damn-hard and scary, standard setting in boldness. Sonnie maintains a consistent ‘Sunny-side-up’ disposition. He might back down for a day or a week, but he never gives up.
Superhero Sonnie - Will Stanhope
I’ve learned allot from watching him. I’d also put Alex Honnold in that small club of guys that I’m not stressed out belaying on 5.13R. I am attentive, but not worried for them. I guess it comes down to total faith that they’ll make good decisions.
Giving up is like a warm blanket. So tempting to give in, call it a day, admit defeat. Put it off for another day, another trip... Far more difficult to step into the fray again, to push a little farther. So, tomorrow I think we’ll try again from the ground. Then take a day off and try the route in a two day push. I absolutely have to fly out on Nov 17. I’ve already pushed back a trip to China by ten days.
Even if this line doesn’t go down this trip, I will certainly be back.