Will Stanhope: if it was easy, well... then it wouldn't be that hard then would it?
A journey to climb the Prophet on El Cap, pitfalls along the way, and a sneak peak at a Bugaboos mega project.
A feel-good tale involving rickety British flakes, a bad whipper, broken bones, and two autumn attempts to ascend one glorious route on the right side of El Capitan. And a video sneak peak at an even bigger project, this one right next door in the Bugaboos of BC: an overhanging, perfect finger crack above a glacier.
Will Stanhope has been climbing since he was a 9 year old kid at the Edge Climbing Center in North Vancouver. He was instantly enamoured with the sport, and has hasn't looked back since. He began competing in indoor competitions, but quickly decided that life is too short to spend in a gym, and began begging older climbers for car rides an hour north up the highway to Squamish, the land of big granite.
Now 26, Will calls Squamish home, but travels throughout much of the year. Some career highlights include climbing the Cobra Crack (5.14 trad), the Prophet on El Capitan (5.13d) and establishing first free ascents in the mountains of Patagonia and BC. He loves climbing for the deep-rooted experiences it provides, and for the friends he has made along the way. He also loves laser-cut cracks, strong espresso in the mountains, British rock and roll, fine Czech Pilsners and bushwhacking through the coastal bush with the family golden retriever, Elsa, on the hunt for the next first ascent.
In 2009 Will received the Jim Baldwin Memorial Award for the first free ascent of the Cannabis Wall. In 2011 he was named Canada's top Athlete in Explore Magazine's 30 under 30 issue.