First 8a Onsight for Hazel Findlay

© Jack Geldard
Hazel Findlay  © Jack Geldard
Hazel Findlay
© Jack Geldard, Apr 2012
Top British trad climber Hazel Findlay has been working her way up through the sport grades this spring, culminating in an 8a onsight at the French limestone venue of Les Gorges du Tarn.

Hazel, who has previously redpointed 8b and onsighted 7c+, as well as climbed E9 and free climbed El Capitan, has been focusing on steep limestone sport climbing, which is an area she feels she is 'weak' in.

Hazel onsighted the 45m long 8a Les ailes du désir at the Tennessee Arete area of Les Gorges du Tarn, and commented:

"I'm not sure about counting it as an 8a onsight, it didn't feel that hard."

They never do if you don't fall off Hazel! Well done!

Next up for Findlay is a trip to the limestone big walls of Morocco in the Taghia area, followed by a road trip around the UK for some sea cliff trad climbing.

With her granite crack, limestone sport and big-wall free climbing skills, Hazel is fast becoming the UK's top all around female climber. She also has alpine ambitions and has been putting in the time this winter to learn to ski in big mountain terrain.

Commenting on her blog, she said:

Hazel Findlay skiing the Vallee Blanche, Mont Blanc range, Chamonix.  © Jack Geldard
Hazel Findlay skiing the Vallee Blanche, Mont Blanc range, Chamonix.
UKC News, Apr 2012
© Jack Geldard
"I would like to say that I want to learn how to ski 'to improve my skills in the mountains', so 'I can ski into alpine routes in the future'. This is true, but I mainly want to ski because skiing is ridiculously fun, even if I did face plant on numerous occasions."

Hazel Findlay is sponsored by Black Diamond , The North Face , Sterling Rope and La Sportiva

Hazel is working on a trad climbing workshop in North Wales this coming June - more details here: Trad Workshop

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Hazel Findlay has been climbing for 25 of her 31 years, and started out trad climbing on the limestone sea cliffs of Pembrokeshire. She dabbled in competition climbing - she was the British junior champion six...

Hazel's Athlete Page 57 posts 6 videos

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17 Apr, 2012
"I'm not sure about counting it as an 8a onsight, it didn't feel that hard." A few years ago I was also able to onsight what I believe is the same route, which surprised me as I hadn't been doing all that much sport climbing at the time and didn't think I would be fit enough. But rather than dismiss it as easy for the grade I instead decided it must have suited me really well and I must have got lucky! Although to be fair I also did at least one 7c and one 7c+ on the same short trip and it definitely felt harder than both of those. And she does seem to be climbing ridiculously well at the moment, so if I was her I wouldn't protest too much. Well done Hazel.
17 Apr, 2012
Great Effort! To excell so highly across the board is amazing!
17 Apr, 2012
thanks John for your valuable contribution
19 Apr, 2012
Fast becoming ? arguably already is !
19 Apr, 2012
Kinda wishing I spent more time climbing at Uni - I didn't get my priorities right - good on you Hazel and would second the "UK's top all around female climber"
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