Hazel Findlay has made her hardest ascent to date with a send of Mind Control 5.14c in Oliana, Spain. Findlay wrote on Instagram after sending the 50-metre tufa route, “This is the only route I’ve ever really thought about or trained for. And it’s not because it’s the best route I could find (although for a sport route it’s pretty good) it’s because I knew if I could do this route then I knew I would be over all my injury troubles.”
Findlay has had a number of injuries lately including a shoulder that needed surgery. “The crux is a giant cross over move using all the shoulder stability you can muster,” wrote Findlay.
The top U.K. climber hadn’t been to the famous crag for three years. She noted that it has also been three years since she has “climbed hard.” Findlay made the coveted first female ascent of a British grade E9 in 2011 with her send of Dave Birkett’s Once Upon a Time in the Southwest in Devon.
Findlay was also the first British woman to free climb El Cap with her first female ascent of Golden Gate 5.13 in 2011, the first female ascent of Pre-Muir Wall 5.13 in 2012 and an ascent of Freerider 5.12 in 2013. Watch Findlay on an earlier attempt on Mind Control below.
Findlay also made the first ascent of the now-classic Adder Crack 5.13a in Squamish in 2012. Other notable ascents include Air Sweden 5.13bR, 69 in Squamish 5.13b/c, Fish Eye 5.14b and Chicama E9. Chris Sharma made the first ascent of Mind Control in 2012 and Daila Ojeda made the first female ascent not long after.
Listen to a Basecamp podcast conversation between Gripped editor Brandon Pullan and Findlay in Banff a few years ago.