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The Nugget Climbing Podcast

EP 151: Anna Hazelnutt — Toe Training for the World’s Hardest Slabs, and Giving Others Permission to Be Real

The Nugget Climbing Podcast
The Nugget Climbing Podcast

Anna Hazelnutt is a professional climber who specializes in difficult single-pitch trad and slab climbing. But don’t let her specialization fool you—she’s an all-around badass! We talked about two of her biggest climbing achievements to date, leaning into her superpowers, top training exercises for slabs, dealing with negative comments online, embracing empathy, comedy as a mechanism for change, and much more!

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Show Notes:



0:08:20 – Anna’s childhood room

0:10:00 – Plans for Austria

0:11:21 – What we would talk about if we were doing a 6-hour podcast

0:12:50 – Switching places, and the names of our Subarus

0:14:35 – What is Anna’s last name? (Hazelnutt? Hazlett?)

0:17:39 – Lynn Hill gave a shoutout to Anna on The Nugget

0:19:41 – How Anna got started in climbing, and how she found her slab/trad niche

0:24:40 – Anna’s climbing identity, not letting herself grow comfortable, and her competitive side

0:28:57 – Balancing intensity and comedy

0:30:10 – What Anna does to relax (reading books, writing poetry, art), and having trouble sitting still

0:33:30 – Getting an overuse injury from too much slab climbing, and sending ‘Once Upon a Time’ E9 6c in the UK

0:35:53 – Anna’s “belaytioship” with Tom Randall

0:39:29 – Going back for ‘Walk of Life’ E9

0:41:33 – More context about Once Upon a Time and Walk of Life, using skyhooks as trad climbing gear, and taking an hour to lead a 50-meter slab

0:45:38 – Anna’s approach to projecting, and breaking down the climb into chapters

0:50:14 – The chapter names of ‘Walk of Life’ E9

0:55:32 – Teasing more about toe training, and Anna’s thoughts on hangboard tests

1:01:01 – Some context about the 9c test

1:02:53 – Toe training!

1:07:11 – How Anna inspired Tom to work on flexibility

1:09:15 – Leaning into our superpowers

1:14:53 – Anna’s dream board, and seeking out hard climbs that fit her style

1:19:30 – How and when Anna did her toe training, and nighttime training at Tom’s house

1:24:09 – How hard are the hardest slabs in the world, and what will it take for Anna to climb them

1:28:45 – Why vertical bouldering is so different from steep bouldering when it comes to pushing your limits

1:31:23 – Anna’s thoughts on slab grades, and how they are often unfairly sandbagged

1:38:04 – Patron question from Jonathan: Does Anna have any training tips for slab climbing? (Anna shares her top slab training exercises: toe training, flexibility, balance, and more)

1:41:20 – Pull-ups on micro edges, and the smallest holds Anna can do pull-ups on

1:43:19 – Shoulder exercises for slab

1:44:12 – Do coordination gym slabs help with outdoor slabs?

1:46:59 – Shoes for hard slabs like ‘Meltdown’ 9a (5.14d)

1:52:54 – Question from Ethan Pringle: What are some synonyms for success in rock climbing that aren’t violent or war-like?

1:58:52 – Another question from Ethan: Where does Anna’s work ethic come from?

2:02:55 – Anna’s sensitivity

2:04:14 – Dealing with negative comments and hate from dudes on the internet

2:09:31 – An example of a disgusting comment that Anna received from someone on her YouTube page

2:16:14 – Anna’s story about a recent comment she and her sister got at the gym

2:21:18 – Patron question from James: How can we make women feel more comfortable and included at the crag and at the gym?

2:23:31 – Anna’s thoughts on intention, awareness, curiosity, and acting with empathy and compassion

2:28:27 – What makes Anna feel safe vs unsafe in a climbing gym setting

2:31:32 – How the burden often falls on the people who are inflicted, and don’t assume

2:35:45 – Derek Sivers, and why we should just treat everyone the same while respecting their lived experience

2:39:17 – Some more thoughts about progressivism, and being willing to own your mistakes

2:41:34 – Comedy as a mechanism for change, and studying biochemical neuroscience and English

2:42:32 – The change that Anna is trying to make through her videos

2:47:07 – Giving others permission

2:49:28 – What Anna feels excited about right now in her climbing

2:51:01 – What Anna feels excited about right now with her YouTube channel

2:52:59 – Anna’s sources of income

2:54:54 – Being a hand model for a Sofie Tucker music video

2:56:41 – The difference between YouTube and podcasts

3:00:35 – Final question from Ethan: Does Anna have specific goals that are lifetime achievement goals?

3:06:43 – Empathy

3:09:20 – Wrap up

The Nugget Climbing Podcast
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