Hazel Findlay

Rock Climber

Recognition in rock climbing comes not only from ascending the hardest routes, but from the style the climber adopts. So it is with Britain’s Hazel Findlay, a philosophy student who, when not studying at the University of Bristol, is turning heads with the poise and calm with which she ascends bold, traditional rock routes.

“Trad’ climbing” is rock climbing without pre-placed bolts. Its safety net is derived from the equipment one places along the way. A cool head is essential in this branch of the sport, as such protection may be sparse, and long falls are a risk. Yet Hazel, who started climbing with her father at age seven, has shown a maturity in this type of climbing on a diversity of rock, from British sea cliffs where crashing waves spray the climber, to North American granite monoliths, to desert sandstone cracks in Utah, to the glassy quartzite of Australia’s Mount Arapiles.

Her resume of routes bearing the “X” rating – for serious fall potential, combined with difficulty up to 5.13 – is extensive. In addition to interviews in the international climbing media, Hazel’s prowess is highlighted in the climbing DVD “Monkey See Monkey Do.”

  • Nickname: Hammy
  • Most Humbling Moment: The first time I tried to hand jam
  • Weakness: Training inside
  • Go to Media Source: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/
  • Three Things People Should Know About Me
  1. I drink on average 5 cups of tea a day
  2. I did a degree in philosophy
  3. I’m short
  • Inspiration Within the Sport: Meeting people who really love climbing, whatever their level
  • Dream Vacation: Renting a nice place on Kalymnos for a few weeks with good friends
  • Favorite Snack: Marmite on toast
  • Favorite The North Face Product: Diez Jacket
  • Favorite Destination for Your Sport: Wales
  • Favorite Movie: Hard Grit
  • Favorite Piece of Your Sport’s History: Lynn Hill’s ascent of the Nose
  • Words to Live By: Don’t live your life by words!
  • Item You Always Pack: waterproof (sensible when you live in the UK)
  • Theme Song: Eye of the Tiger!
  • Favorite Vice at Basecamp: Red Wine

Traditional Climbs:

  • Once Upon a Time in the South West, Devon, England, E9 6c (5.13c R) third ascent/first female ascent/ first British female to climb E9
  • San Simean E8 6c (5.13c R), Pembroke, Wales, first female ascent
  • 10 o’ Clock Saturday Morning at Nescliffe, UK, E7/6 6c (5.12cR) (ground up)
  • SixtyNine 5.13b/c R, Squamish, first female ascent
  • Pyromania, 5.13a/b R, The Needles (California) first lead attempt
  • Magical Dog 5.13c, Cirque of the Uncrackables, Squamish, first female ascent
  • Air Sweden, Indian Creek 5.13 R, first female ascent
  • First accent of a route at the Cirque of Uncrackables, 5.12c R, ‘Hazel’s Horrorshow’
  • Denim, 26, mount Arapiles, 3rd attempt

Multipitch trad:

  • The Free Grand, 5.13b, free variation of the Grand Wall, 12 pitches, Squamish Chief
  • The Power of Lard, 5.12c/d, Bugaboos (first female ascent)

Traditional Climbs Onsight:

  • Rainbow of Recalcitrance, Welsh Slate Quarries, E6 6b (5.12b R X)
  • Onsight First Ascent of ‘Dicing with Guppies’ Pembroke E4 6a (5.12a R)
  • Ruby’s Café, 5.13-, Indian Creek UT
  • Disco Machine Gun, 5.12c, Indian Creek UT
  • Mr Joshua, Archimedes Principle, The Invisible Fist; All in the Grampians, Australia all graded 26 (5.12c)
  • Underfling pitch of the free grand, 5.12+/13a, Squamish
  • Crux pitch of Power of Lard, 5.12c/d, Bugaboos

Multipitch onsight:

  • Romantic Warrior, 5.12b, multi-pitch (onsighting every pitch, swinging leads) The Needles, CA
  • Free variation of Half Dome, 5.11d, (onsighting every pitch, swinging leads), Yosemite, CA
  • Fingerberry Jam, 5.12a (onsighting every pitch, swinging leads), Bugaboos, Canada
  • Bachar Yerian, 5.11d R X (onsighting every pitch, swinging leads), Tuolumne, CA

Sport Climbs:

  • Redpointed up to 8b
  • Onsight: up to 7c