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Hazel Findlay Sends Classic Conception 5.13 Splitter Crack

Hazel Findlay has climbed Conception, the 70-metre 5.13 splitter first freed by Dean Potter in 2003 who opened the once two-pitch aid route known as Acromaniac. Findlay found out about the route because Steph Davis posted a video on Instagram from her send. Last fall, Adam Ondra onsighted the pumpy crack.

Potter renamed the route Concepcion after the late José Pereyra’s mother. “The last time I saw José we had planned on spending the winter climbing in Utah,” he said after his first free ascent. “Then he went to Mexico and died [in a rockfall accident at El Potrero Chico]. When I got the news I was pretty disturbed. The next day I went out and found this amazing splitter.”

Concepcion starts in a thin seam and widens to a hand-and-fist crack at the top where Potter bypassed the original anchors and led the route as a big 70-metre pitch. It begins with a V9/10 boulder problem featuring a jump to a flaring pin scar, followed by a second crux of similar difficulty at 15 metres, with a long crank on tiny crimps. Then the crack leans awkwardly and widens too wide for fingers and not big enough for hands.

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Wow that was an intense process. I’ve never had to work so hard mentally and physically for a pitch that ‘should be’ easily within my capabilities. Life heaviness, finger injury, time off climbing and well I guess I have to admit: not being very good at this kind of climbing, all led to a bit of a battle. Usually I have the mental side of things down with the physical coming up short. I often ‘mind trick’ my way through certain projects I’m not fit enough to do, by trying really hard and staying composed and positive. But for some reason I struggled mentally with this one. A true dose of performance anxiety and self doubt mid route had me off a bunch of times when I should have been in. But I pulled it together and important lessons were learnt. Thanks to all 70 (!) metres of this Dean Potter classic ‘Concepcion’ you really tested me. @bearcam photos 🤩@blackdiamond 🍯 🦡

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Davis on Conception

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I found this clip on a hard drive today—this was the 3rd free ascent of Concepcion, probably my favorite long crack route in the desert. Here are a few things I remember about this one: I had a torn ACL (left knee) but I thought it was sprained for about a year until I finally went to a doctor (this is why you shouldn’t go to doctors, they tell you your ACL is gone 🙉), climbing this route was how I trained to free solo the North Face of Castleton, and: I had my right ankle taped like that for about 4 years—it got better after the ACL surgery because I couldn’t crack climb for a few months #memories💕 #selfcare #climbing #crackclimbing @kavu @garminoutdoor @backcountry @ospreypacks @evolv_worldwide @charlotteswebcbd @mammutna #garminpro #busylivin #chaseyourgoat

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Adam Ondra on Conception