International Women’s Day Interview with Anna Hazelnutt Skip to content
International Women’s Day Interview with Anna Hazelnutt

International Women’s Day Interview with Anna Hazelnutt

For International Women's Day SGT KNOTS and Tendon are taking an opportunity to honor the achievements of women in climbing by speaking with a remarkable athlete: Anna Hazelnutt.

Her passion for climbing started at 16 years old and since then has seen her conquering some of the most formidable climbs. Anna serves as an inspiration for women and girls worldwide, encouraging them to reach for the highest peaks!

Many notable women have played a key role in climbing history.  Some notable moments are Lynn Hill with the first ascent of the Nose, Alex Johnson and Alex Puccio being two of the USA’s first female competitors in the IFSC, and Margo Hayes becoming the first woman to ever climb 5.15a.  Now, Anna Hazelnutt is emerging as a future icon for women in climbing, by ticking off a Female First Ascent of Walk of Life.

Join us as we celebrate Anna Hazelnutt on International Women's Day, an extraordinary climber who exemplifies courage, innovation, and the relentless spirit of women everywhere.

What inspired you to start rock climbing, and how did you begin your journey in this sport?

When I was 16 I went on a date at a local climbing gym, and it was love at first sight… with climbing, that is! I remember buying a membership that day and it immediately consumed my life.

Did you have a female climber that you looked up to, and who was it?  Who was a female climber in history that in your opinion may have been overlooked?

There are so many! It’s difficult to choose, because there are women in every discipline of climbing that have paved the way for women like me to follow in their footsteps. An obvious leader for women in climbing everywhere is Lynn Hill. Someone often overlooked is Josune Bereziartu, a Spanish climber who was the first woman to climb practically every sport grade up to 9a/+, the first woman to onsight 8a+, 8b, and 8b+, and has ticked boulders up to 8C. What an incredible climbing career.

How do you prepare mentally and physically for a challenging climb?

I travel a lot and don’t have too much time to train. Before an important project I’ve started dedicating weeks to indoor climbing and some weight lifting so I can feel strong going into a project. I hope to dedicate more time to training in the future. The mental aspect is something I’m still actively working on. I work well with words of affirmation, so I try to remind myself that I’m a capable climber who has every right to be working the routes I want to do. Confidence and positivity go a long way for me.

As the first woman to climb certain difficult routes, can you share what these accomplishments mean to you?

Being the first woman to climb a historical route is so, so special. I simply feel honored to be a part of history. By being honest about my process and emotions online, I hope it’s a way to inspire other women to reach higher, too.

What has been the most memorable moment in your climbing career so far?

The moment I topped out the climb ‘Once Upon a Time in the Southwest’ was one of the most memorable moments of my climbing career. It was a new beginning for me, and it was the first time I felt that I could genuinely pursue my dream of being a professional climber.

What has been your favorite Women’s climbing festival experience and why?

I LOVE No Man’s Land, an all-women + gender non-conforming adventure film festival in Denver, CO. It’s so nice to meet other women who have centered the outdoors and filmmaking in their lives; it’s such a fun time.

As an elite athlete, how do you choose the brands and products you endorse?

I endorse products that I genuinely use and enjoy! Excited to be working with brands that also align with my outlooks as well, and dedicated to creating a great relationship with me (like Tendon Ropes! ;P)

How has the perception of women in rock climbing changed since you started?

There are so many more women climbing! I think almost every climber these days understands how well women can climb, and I feel we aren’t being undermined nearly as much. There’s still a ways to go, but I think the new generation of girls will have a huge impact on the perception of what women are capable of in our sport.

What are your future goals and aspirations in rock climbing?

I hope to keep pushing my limits as far as grades go, but I also hope to continue making adventure films and showcasing a side of climbing that often gets neglected- the emotional side. I’m excited about the future.

What are key factors for empowering women in climbing?

I believe having more women telling their stories is a very powerful tool for empowering women in climbing. Not only having women in front of the camera, but also in the director’s seat. Diversity and representation goes such a long way.

What advice would you give young women who may be struggling with body image/performance anxiety in climbing?

My heart goes out to anyone struggling with body image and performance anxiety! I’ve dealt with these issues on and off, which is a common story that I share with lots of women, non-binary folk, and also men. Both struggles are rooted in external pressure that often doesn’t actually exist, and certainly doesn’t matter, which is a tough concept to grasp. Every case is different, but I’ve found the mantra of accepting and meeting myself where I am, rather than comparing myself with any perceived ideas of where I should be, has helped ground me and given me my confidence back. If I don’t perform well, I aim to be happy knowing I’ve tried my best. If I feel anxious about my body, I remember how many times she has lifted me up– literally! –and how capable she has been, will be, and likely is at this very moment, even if it doesn’t feel that way. 

What advice would you give to young women who aspire to take up rock climbing?

Climbing has given me one of the most important things in my life: passion. If you are someone who’s found your love in climbing, don’t waste one more second. Go climb a rock.

What do you hope to see in the future for women in climbing?

I see a world that embraces every climber where they’re at, whether their goals are to make friends, get in shape, have fun, push physical limits, or test emotional ones. The future for women in climbing is bright! It’s filled with support, success, togetherness, passion, adventure, and new beginnings.

Finally, in celebration of International Women's Day, what message would you like to share with women around the world?

Be proud! Being a woman is magical, and how you’re experiencing the world is exactly how you’re meant to. With all of the excitement, laughs, tears, heartbreak, love, and beauty. Embrace this, and try rock climbing while you’re at it too ;)


As we conclude our International Women's Day celebration with Anna Hazelnutt, her insights and reflections serve as a powerful reminder of the boundless potential and resilience within every woman. Her message to women around the world is to embrace their experiences, pursue their passions, and support one another. This sentiment echoes the very essence of International Women's Day.

Through Anna's story and the stories of countless other women climbers, we're reminded of the importance of breaking barriers, challenging stereotypes, and celebrating the achievements and contributions of women in every space. Here's to Anna Hazelnutt and to women everywhere who dare to climb their own mountains, reaching new heights and inspiring us all to do the same.

Use the Code HAZELNUTT to receive 15% off your order at check out.

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