It was a huge pleasure to work on this piece with Sonnie Trotter for the fine folks at Mountain Life Annual. Considered by many to be Canada’s best climber, Sonnie is a true outdoors pro in every sense of the word. Retelling the story of him climbing Ontario’s hardest climb was easy. No one has climbed the 5.14d Forever Expired since. And it’s doubtful anyone will climb it again; unless they’re ready to lose a finger. We even found some photography to go along with it all. Here’s a little sample of the story. Slide on over to Mountain Life Annual to grab your copy.
Point of No Return
For the Niagara Escarpment, October 17, 2004, is just another day. An ordinary 24 hours weathering the seasonal changes of fall. The leaves are bursting with colour in one final blast of expression before winter’s first storm. Another season gone. Another blip on the existence of Ontario’s rocky backbone; No different from the millennia before or the millennia yet to come.
But for Sonnie Trotter it’s a turning point. A pinnacle. The closing of a chapter. And for the climbing community that revolves around Ontario’s crags, it is a day that will become folklore.
Throughout September and October of 2004, the 24-year-old, Toronto-born Trotter has spent every weekend at Lion’s Head, hanging from a rope. By himself. He doesn’t care that he’s being anti-social. He forgets that his relationship with his longtime girlfriend is crumbling. There is nowhere else he wants to be. He isn’t missing anything.