Hazel Findlay has headpointed Dean Potter's classic 70-metre splitter crack Concepcion 5.13 in Day Canyon near Moab, Utah. Originally a two-pitch aid line called Acromaniac (5.10 A0), Potter freed the route in 2003 in one 70 metre push.
Hazel chose to go on a crack climbing trip to the desert to challenge herself while rehabilitating a torn A2 and A1 pulley. She told UKC:
'I knew I could try hard and be challenged crack climbing without worrying about my finger.'
Concepcion received its first female ascent in 2008 by American Steph Davis, whose ascent inspired Hazel when she saw the highly aesthetic line.
'I found out about this route because Steph Davis recently put a video on her Instagram of when she did it. I hiked up the canyon one day to look at it, and it's one of the most striking lines I've ever seen. A 70 metre crack that runs from the ground to nearly the top of the canyon side.'
The route tests a variety of crack skills with the width of the crack gradually increasing as the climber gains height. Hazel explained:
'Concepcion starts at the ground seamed-out, then at head-height becomes wide enough for tips. As the crack gets higher it gets bigger and runs through all the sizes from tips to a chimney right before the anchor at 70m.'
The hardest part for Hazel was the 0.5 width section, which is off-finger size and hard to climb. She commented:
'I had never climbed a hard .5 crack before and I thought the route would be a great challenge because I'd have to be able to climb that size to climb it, and therefore learn something new.'
Still recovering from injury, Hazel didn't have her typically high level of endurance in the bag. Once through the crux, 30 metres of sustained climbing remain. A battle ensued:
'I think I underestimated the difficulty of the route and overestimated my fitness coming back after the injury because the route took me a lot longer than I expected. I probably got it on my 6th lead burn, which was much longer than I expected. My body wasn't used to climbing hard and I had to take a lot of rest days. Apart from that, it was a great challenge for me after injury and super fun to learn a new style of climbing.'
In November last year, Adam Ondra onsighted the line. Watch a video of his ascent below:
Out of interest how many pieces of gear were used on such a long route? Anyone know if there’s much variation between Hazel’s rack (no pun intended) and Adam or Dean’s?
I love Hazel's response to a finger injury - have a rest for a bit? Nah just find a really hard crack and get jamming!
What is this 0.5 crack she is talking about? Half a hand?
Camalot 0.5, I would think...