Rockstar Interview: Hazel Findlay

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The ULTIMATE climber, this girl of the moment barely needs an introduction.  Currently out chossaneering along the Mussandam Peninsula in Oman on a North Face Exploration Trip with the likes of Alex Honnold, girlcrushrock made it our mission to score a quick chat with this bold, extremely talented but super-down to earth british rockstar.  Awesome…

What sort of lines to you tend be drawn towards trying and why?

Ones that either look beautiful, or ones with history and stories behind them. It’s obviously nice to climb routes that climb well, but it’s also nice to know that you’re standing on the shoulders of people before you, who may have had their own amazing experiences on the route.

You’ve rocked up at a new crag, eyed up a route knowing it’s at or above your limits and you gear up.  What’s going through your mind at this point? And, if you don’t get the onsight, whats the mental and physical process you follow whilst projecting it until you get the send? 

If I’ve been wanting to do a route for a long time, and I really care about onsighting it, then yes there will be some internal dialogue. But I’ve been climbing long enough now, succeeded enough times, failed enough times to know that there is no point in putting too much weight on climbing experiences like this. There are always more routes to try, and there are more important things in life, and usually I climb better when I don’t put huge amounts of pressure on my self. I usually just say to myself, Hazel try your best and try to climb well, and if you fail, accept that you weren’t good enough to do that route today. 

Whats your approach to accepting a belay?  How much does who is belaying for you have an effect on your climbing? 

It usually has no affect on my climbing, I nearly always climb with people experienced enough to belay me well, so even if I don’t know them I will trust them to belay me. Of course I prefer to climb with certain people, but that comes down to how much I enjoy their company.

Is full time climbing for you for the foreseeable now? You went to uni, and grabbed a degree. Any plans or aspirations to move into the corporate word too?

I would like to see how far I can go as a professional climber. I think there is potential for me to make a career out of it, but you never know what happens, I could get injured, or not be good enough to progress, or I could become interested in other things. I doubt I would ever enter the corporate world, I could never see myself caring that much about money or being in an office all day long. I would rather work in a shop and have the freedom to be outside and go climbing, than be a high flying business women with more money but no time.

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You freed Golden Gate on El Capitan, an achievement no other woman before you had managed.  Talk us through the highlights and lowlights of the experience?

I also recently freed the Muir Wall, which was the second ascent of that wall, and also one no other women have done. Both these experiences at the time were amazing. They each provided new challenges to me. The pitches on each of the routes were at my limit at the time, but the added challenge of these pitches being 1000 meters up a big wall makes them even more difficult. When you work routes on the ground, you can take a rest day whenever you like, give up whenever you like, but on the wall, where your water and food is running low, you often have to climb your hardest on your 5th day on. You also have to haul all your water and food and sleeping equipment up the wall. On Muir Wall we were in a party of three, on the wall for 6 days, this amounts to about 60-70 litres of water, which really weighs a lot. But being up on El Cap, on a wall for 6 days is one of the most amazing experiences you can ever have. The climbing is so beautiful, as is the scenery.

What’s your favorite saying?

Bravery isn’t something you have or don’t have, its something that you choose to have, if you want something enough. If you truly want to do something, then you’ll be brave enough to do it.

Mega – thanks Hazel!!

Check Hazel out here in the trailer for Hot Aches new film Odyssey.  Which, by the way if you haven’t watched yet, you are missing out BIG TIME!!

Follow her fearless adventures captured with here on her blog! She’s pretty darn funny as well as brave!

Rock on!

 

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