Young Rock Climber First Woman to Conquer Tough Boulder

The 14-year-old rock climber Ashima Shiraishi continues to set the climbing world on fire. After wining the Youth World Championships last year, the young New Yorker has conquered the toughest bouldering problem for a woman in history.

The ascent of Horizon at Mount Hiei in Japan is recognized as an 8C or V15 rated boulder problem, depending on the scale, a level to which a woman has never successfully scaled before let alone anyone that young. But that was no matter for Shiraishi, who completed the route in 25 moves.

Shiraishi had reportedly tried the route during her Christmas break in 2015 only to return recently to put it in the bag. Last year, Shiraishi also made headlines for conquering “Open Your Mind Direct” in northeastern Spain that is notorious among rock climbers for its 9A+ rating.

When it comes to rock climbing versus bouldering, the rating system can be confusing. Bouldering, as opposed to lead climbing, is performed close to the ground, often short routes, without ropes. Pads are often placed below the climber to protect from injury during a fall.

The route at the 8c boulder in Japan put Shiraishi in a near horizontal position, clinging to the rock like Spider-Woman, as seen from the photo she posted to Instagram.