It’s Wednesday afternoon and Sonnie Trotter has made his way to an Internet café in El Paso, Texas. Not that he was dodging the interview, but it took some effort to get the Canadian alpinist on the phone. Trotter is a professional adventure rock climber, and when your job is hunting down the world’s most challenging lines, it means immersing yourself in some fairly remote locations.
“It’s like a killer instinct. It’s a really raw, beautiful thing that comes out of you,” says Trotter, one of the most prolific climbers of the past decade, as he describes his body’s response to an especially challenging route. “I feel like I’m lighter, I’m strong, I’m sharper – all those kinds of things occur. It’s a very fleeting moment, but it’s a very addicting feeling. It’s almost drug-like.”