Lattice Blog

Anna Hazelnutt Interview: E9 trad climbing, fear, falling and mental control

In this episode, we have one of the Lattice athlete team, Anna Hazelnutt, returning to the podcast with Tom Randall to discuss her incredible run of climbing performance since last year. Last time Tom interviewed her, she only had a few trad leads under her belt and her first 5.14 sport climb. Since then, she’s gone on to repeat two of the most iconic E9s in the UK – ‘Once Upon A Time In The Southwest’ and also ‘Walk of Life’ in a remarkable trajectory of grade.

Tom talks to Anna about why she originally chose to try Once Upon A Time In The Southwest, how she justified attempting an E9 with almost no trad experience and her methods for controlling fear and anxiety in stressful situations. She also mentions her strategies for breaking down projects, all the way from the start to the middle ‘messy’ region and finally the ‘end’ where an attempt is imminent. 

Finally, Anna talks through how she’s specifically dealt with the 2 current season projects (Walk of Life and The Quarryman) and her ‘book chapter’ approach for breaking down long and hard routes that take multiple sessions. Tom also discusses the ‘uncertainty bucket’ concept and how this relates to his own climbing and those projects he’s shared with Anna as a climbing partner this past year. 

Topics covered:

  1. Anna’s background in highball climbing and sport climbing
  2. Her first trip to the UK and how an E9 was chosen
  3. The process of projecting Once Upon A Time In The Southwest
  4. How she controls her fear and anxiety on lead
  5. Anna’s ‘book chapter’ method for visualising and breaking down projects
  6. How her current projects have gone and what she’s learnt
  7. The ‘uncertainty bucket’ concept
  8. Her plans for the future

The Lattice jingle is brought to you by Devin Dabney, music producer of the outdoor industry who also hosts the American Climbing Project.

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