Tommy Caldwell wasn’t the only person hard at work on the flanks of El Capitan this fall.
Canadians Sonnie Trotter and Will Stanhope were also up on the Big Stone in a prolonged effort of their own to do the first repeat of The Prophet, a bold testpiece on the east edge of El Cap first freed by Leo Houlding in 2010. Trotter had been diligently providing updates on their progress via his blog as they sought to repeat the line in a similar style as Houlding, climbing as much of it in a ground up fashion as possible.
Trotter’s last update on their attempt reads like a Brave & Humble™ manifesto as one has to read very closely to even ascertain that yes, in fact, Trotter did complete the second free ascent of The Prophet. He spends most of the entry extolling the virtues of Stanhope and relishing in the full value of their experience:
It wasn’t just the A1 beauty pitch, it was everything, all wrapped up into one massive and ideal chapter. The beginning and end of everything. I think it was the most savage and satisfying rock climb of my life. One of the hardest routes I have ever done. My first El Cap route ever. And I’m glad it’s over.
Read Trotter’s full update and go back through the archives for the complete story and many great photos as well.
For more on the route, check out this excellent article Houlding wrote for Rock & Ice about the experience and then check out this excerpt from the film Psyche II which shows Houlding on the famed A1 Beauty pitch.