Lattice Blog

Bronwyn Hodgins has clipped the chains of La Rubia (8c+/5.14c)

A huge accomplishment for the Canadian climber, Bronwyn Hodgins, who sent ‘La Rubia’ (8c/5.14c) in Spain on Wednesday 28th February.

She is more known in the climbing world for her big wall free climbing and first ascents in remote locations. After three back-to-back big wall expeditions in 2022, Bronwyn was feeling burnt out from expedition stress and logistics. A little lost for motivation she travelled to Spain to climb tufas, and improve her Spanish, and soon found herself wondering how hard she might be able to climb if she put her intense focus into training and sport projecting.

She set her sights on La Rubia 11 months ago, when she began working with Maddy Cope our coach here at Lattice Training. She dedicated herself to training for 8 months and then spent 2.5 months living in southern Spain working on the line itself.

Commenting on the ascent, Bronwyn said:

“It was hugely intimidating arriving at La Rubia, having only climbed one 8b+ and a handful of 8b’s. I definitely felt like maybe I had dreamed a little too big this time! But over the course of the season I slowly ticked away at more manageable chunks of the route until I was finally able to put it all together.

The mental aspect was really tough. I felt like I had some of the tools from big wall free climbing such as performing well under pressure, sequence visualisation and execution, but I had no experience in sticking with a project for anywhere near this long. At the same time, I continued to make progress pretty much every time I tied in which was super motivating.

The route is 55m long, and steep with many knee-bar rests in the top half, which also gives a lot of opportunity to overthink things and get nervous. On the send go, I climbed super smoothly and faster-than-ever all the way up to the final bolt (where I’d fallen on my last attempt a few days earlier). I tactically skipped the final knee bar so that I didn’t interrupt my mental flow and launched myself with all I had left for the big move just next to the chains. I still can’t believe my fingers latched onto that hold!

A big congratulations to Bronwyn, it seems anything is possible if you put your mind to it!

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