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Bronwyn Hodgins Sends Epic 5.13d/14a Roof Crack in Utah

She adds this ascent to her impressive list of hard trad climbs, including historic big wall repeats and first ascents

Photo by: Lindsay Hamm

Squamish-based pro climber and guide, Bronwyn Hodgins, has just sent the hardest single pitch of crack climbing of her life. Located in the White Rim area of Utah’s Canyonlands, Necronomicon 5.13d/14a is in an intimidating climb, to say the least.

At 30 metres in length and overhanging by 90 degrees, the route is one of the hardest roof cracks in the world. Jean-Pierre Ouellet made the first ascent in 2011. The climb was left unrepeated until 2019, when Wideboyz Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker both sent the route. Its first female ascent came last month in October 2022 by Mary Catherine Eden, a.k.a. Tradprincess.

Hodgins sent the line on her fifth day working the route, during her second proper redpoint attempt. Originally graded 5.13d/14a, Hodgins believes the grade is on the lower end for her due to her smaller hand size. Randall and Whittaker struggled where the crack thins out to tight reds and greens requiring paddles and finger locks to get through the crux. To get through other tough sections, they often had to cut feet or spin around.

Hodgins employed similar trickery, including multiple 360-degree spins and a no-hands double knee bar. She chose to not place any gear during the crux, leading to some big air while projecting the route. You can see her in an upside-down no-hands rest after this big runout in the photo below:

Hodgins recovering on Necronomicon. Photo by Lindsay Hamm.

Prior to her send of Necronomicon, Hodgins had climbed 5.13d sport and 5.13c trad. In 2018, she made history by being the first Canadian woman to free climb El Cap in Yosemite, ascending Freerider 5.13a in five days. In 2021, she sent El Cap’s Golden Gate (5.13a), being the third woman ever to climb the route free.

In Summer 2022, Hodgins embarked on a massive 65 -day, 400-kilometre self-propelled expedition in Greenland. Joining her on this trip was her husband Jacob Cook, Jaron Pham, Zack Goldberg-Poch, Kelsey Watts, and Angela Vanwiemeersch. The group put up numerous first ascents, travelling between climbs via sea kayak (including a week-long portage). The group established several new routes during the journey, the biggest of which was Sea Barge Circus, a 900-metre 5.11+ with beautiful cracks, perfect rock, and no aid climbing.  A film about their trip is included in the latest Brit Rock Film Tour. In-person showings have been playing at venues across Canada.

For some video footage of this incredible crack climb, watch the video below of Whittaker and Randall’s trip to the Canyonlands. You can see them on Necronomicon from the 0:42 to 2:05 timestamps.


Lead photo: Lindsay Hamm