Tag Archives: Ashima Shiraishi

Reel Rock 11!

This week, we’re psyched to share the recently released Reel Rock trailer, featuring Ashima and Brette Harrington as the stars of the show (in our biased opinion, anyways). Hop on over to the Reel Rock tour website for your local showings and get some friends together to check it out.

Climb on!

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Ashima is the First Female to Send V15!

Ashima Shiraishi V15

Ashima Shiraishi climbing Horizon (V15). Photo from Ashima’s Instagram.

Today Ashima Shiraishi announced that she sent Horizon (V15/8C) in Hiei, Japan, making her the first female and youngest climber EVER to climb V15! Horizon was first climbed by Dai Koyamada in 2015, who told 8a.nu that the boulder, “has 30 moves, the first half is endurance while the second half requires power and endurance for continuous hard sequences.” Of her send Ashima says, “My dream came true!!!!!!! 😍 I can’t believe that I have become the 1st female to do a V15 and the youngest person ever!!!!” She goes on to thank Dai and announces that we will be able to watch her send in Reel Rock 11.

Huge congratulations to Ashima! We cannot wait to see the film of your send and continue to watch you take the climbing world by storm!

Climb on!

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Sport Climbing Likely in 2020 Olympics

2020 Olympic hopeful, Ashima Shiraishi

2020 Olympic hopeful, Ashima Shiraishi

The organizing committee for the 2020 Olympics met in Tokyo today and proposed that sport climbing be included in the 2020 Summer Games. The proposal also included karate, surfing, skateboarding, and baseball and softball (under a combined bid). The organizing committee says, “This package of events represents both traditional and emerging, youth-focused events, all of which are popular both in Japan and internationally.” The proposal is highly likely to be accepted by the International Olympic Committee, but the final decision will not be made until August 2016.

So, basically huge news for the climbing community this morning. One more way our dear sport is taking on a life of its own, evolving, growing, and spreading into mainstream media. It’s pretty lovable, no wonder everyone’s digging it.

Climb on!

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, BBC, IFSC, Ashima’s Instagram

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Watch Ashima Send Her First 9a/+

Last month Ashima Shiraishi became the youngest person yet and one of just two females to have ever sent 9a/+ (5.14d/5.15a). Want to know what it looks like to send 9a/+? Check out Petzl’s just released video of the thirteen-year-old sending Open Your Mind Direct in Catalunya. As for her final words on the climb? “Finally… That was so, like, surreal.”

Climb on!

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Ashima Shiraishi Becomes First Female to Send 5.15!*

Ashima on Open Your Mind Direct (9a+/5.15a)

Ashima on Open Your Mind Direct, 9a+/5.15a (Photo credit: Crossroad Studios)

*Since posting this on 3/17/15, critics have questioned whether Open Your Mind Direct, with the broken hold, is actually 9a+. See our later post regarding this controversy

We’d made bets on who would be the first female to send 5.15a, with Ashima being a clear favorite. Yet, moments ago, our jaws dropped when we heard that it happened: the female-5.15 barrier has been broken, and it only took four days of projecting (is that really even a project?). “OMG!!!” exclaimed Ashima on her Instagram, “I sent my 4 day project Open Your Mind Direct 9a+, in Santa Linya!!!!!!” It’s hard to find words other than “OMG!!!!” to respond to Ashima’s send of the exceptionally strenuous and relentless 40 meter route in Santa Linya. Open Your Mind Direct was originally sent by Ramon Julian in 2008 who gave it 9a+, then it was repeated by several who called it 9a. Julian described the route as “Enormous! 8c+, 8c+, 8c stamina required!!” Just watching the 8 minute video below of Magnus Midtboe climbing the route confirms the endurance required to clip the chains. Recently, a hold broke near the top with local climbers claiming it bumped the grade from 9a to 9a+. “I was able to be the first person to send the route after the hold broke off!” shared Ashima. The list of factors that make this send historic is long, but we could start with the fact that Ashima is 13 years old. For reference, Adam Ondra sent 5.15a for the first time at 15 (La Rambla, Siurana), making Ashima the youngest person (male or female) to send 5.15 (are we missing anyone?). Over the last few years, Ashima has taken the climbing world by storm claiming victories in bouldering and route climbing, in competitions and in outdoor ascents. It’s clear that she is only getting started. We bet on Ashima to be the first female to send 5.15a, now we’re betting on her to be the first person to send 5.15d. Watch out world, this lady’s coming for you!

Climb on! ~CXC

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Ashima Shiraishi Earns FFA of The Swarm (V14)

Ashima sending The Swarm (V14) in Bishop, CA

With her dad faithfully spotting, Ashima sends The Swarm (V14)

Ashima Shiraishi has started 2015 off with a bang, sending her second V14, The Swarm in Bishop, CA today. The 13-year-old is one of only four females to have ever sent V14, and now she has earned the first female ascent of this famous and scary boulder. Before her, The Swarm was climbed by a number of super strong guys, including Daniel Woods, Paul Robinson, and Dave Graham. On her Instagram Ashima wrote, “Ahhhh!!!! Sending has never felt this GOOD!!! Trying to get the first female ascent of The Swarm V14 was a huge mental battle for me! What a way to start the year!!!” Indeed. Happy new year to you, Ashima!

For more on the boulder check out this video of Brian Hendrick almost sending. Can’t wait to see a video of Ashima! I bet she’s got slightly different beta…

Climb on!

Info and Photo Credit: Ashima’s Instagram and Climbing Narc

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The Great Age Debate

14-year-old Ashima Shiraishi competing at this year's Portland Boulder Rally

13-year-old Ashima Shiraishi competing in the Portland Boulder Rally. Photo by Ben Moon.

Today we’ve got a great read from guest contributor John Burgman on a question competitive sports have been asking for decades…

How young is too young for a climber to be crushing it in competitions?

If you went to the fridge for another beer at some point while YouTubing the recent 2014 Portland Boulder Rally, you might have missed the off-handed commentary about age restrictions that sparked discussion of the question on social media and message boards—in essence, reigniting a timeless debate that spans all sports.

Here are the details: while sharing play-by-play duties at the commentary desk, bouldering superstar Alex Johnson was asked how she felt about Ashima Shiraishi being allowed to compete in the Portland competition, despite the fact that Shiraishi is under 16 years old.

“A lot of these events lately haven’t been conforming to the 16-and-up, pro-event rule, so it has been interesting having [Shiraishi] thrown into the mix,” Johnson said.

Johnson was then asked her opinion on so many recent competitions not adhering to the widely-accepted age restrictions.

“Personally, for me, it is frustrating…” Johnson said. “But then, on the other hand, when [Alex] Puccio and I were 13, we were doing the same thing, competing against Lisa Rands, and now I feel bad about it. I feel like I should have waited until I was 16. It’s frustrating, but only personally because of my ego, I think.”

Continue reading

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Big Weekend Sends for Payne and Puccio


Angie slaying her nemesis, Freaks of The Industry (V13).

Clearly something is in the air in Rocky Mountain National Park, because serious sendage went down this weekend! To kick the weekend off, Angie Payne sent her 4-year-long, self-proclaimed “nemesis” of a project Freaks of The Industry (V13). Then on Saturday, Alex Puccio, fresh off her first V13’s just a couple weeks ago, she sends Jade (V14). And here we are, still trying to pick our jaws up off the floor. Both women have achieved something really amazing here, it’s hard to know where to begin, but each send is truly mind-blowing for very different reasons.

We caught up with Angie last winter, when she had already put 50 days into this project. 50 days. On her blog Angie says of Freaks“Freaks is a nemesis that surpasses all nemeses I have ever had. This is not the first time I have invested multiple seasons in a boulder problem, but it is the first time I have experienced a mental battle of this magnitude… I have tried countless mental approaches—getting angry, relaxing, letting my mind wander, repeating a mantra as I climb, screaming, rhythmic breathing, acting like my life depends on it, pretending I couldn’t care less about it, even drawing positive reminders on my arm—you name it, I have probably tried it. But the battle continues.” Just think about all that for a second. Really appreciate that struggle for a moment. And then, you know those times when you’ve worked on something for like 3 days (or let’s face it, like 3 hours) and you’re like “OMG, why can’t I do this? It’s so annoying. I’ll never be able to do this.” And then you go climb V0’s the rest of the day? No? Just me? Anyway, when I think about how much frustration she tolerated, how she was able to keep going back, year after year; it’s kind of like trying to imagine what a billion dollars really is, or like, how many stars are in the universe-very hard to wrap your head around once you start really thinking about it.


Alex on Jade (V14) in Rocky Mountain National Park

And then of course there’s Alex. What we are loving about her right now is something completely different. Rather than super focused projecting on one specific boulder, taking months or years, Puccio is basically just getting outside, taking a break from comp climbing, having some fun, and seeing what see is capable of. In our interview with her in March (just before she won her eighth ABS nationals championship) she shared with us that climbing outside is really her reprieve from the comp circuit, “I have so much stress in competition that when I go outside I finally don’t have to feel like I’m training for something. When I go outside I’m like, ‘I don’t just have 5 minutes to do a boulder.’ It’s quite nice. It’s refreshing.” At that time that she had climbed fourteen V12’s, and thought she was capable of V13, but just hadn’t found the right one yet. Well, she found the right two, Nuthin’ But Sunshine and Top Notch in RMNP within a week of one another, and then Jade, swiftly making her the 4th woman in history to climb V14. Not to mention this particular V14 is known as one of the hardest boulder problems in the world. This line was initially a project of Dave Graham’s, and graded at V15. Daniel Woods earned the FA in 2007 (video from Big UP) and it was then repeated by many big names including Jimmy Webb, Carlo Traversi, after which it was decidedly graded a solid V14.

Both Payne and Puccio are so inspiring in what they have achieved. Added to the list of other historic sends lately (Ashima, Shauna Coxsey), we feel pretty certain that the first ever V15 send by woman could happen any day now. In the meantime, we want to say thanks for giving us new energy and excitement to push ourselves in our own climbing, and we’ll be on the edge of our seats to see what happens next!

Climb On!


Photo Credits: Matty Hong and Joel Kerr

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Ashima Becomes 2nd Female Ever to Send V14

Ashima on Golden Shadow, V14 (Photo from Ashima's Instragram)

Ashima on Golden Shadow (V14) in Rocklands, South Africa (Photo from Ashima’s Instagram)

About two years ago 34-year-old Tomoko Ogawa broke the female V14 barrier with her send of Catharsis in Shiobara, Japan, and now, at just 13 years old, Ashima Shiraishi has become the second woman (well, girl really) to climb the grade. On her Instagram she says, “I still can’t believe I did this! I sent my project Golden Shadow 8b+ (V14) My first V14!” Ladies like Shauna Coxsey, Alex Puccio, and Anna Stöhr have all been ticking off V13s lately, and I’m sure with a little inspiration from the youngsters we’re sure to start seeing these veteran climbers pushing their limits ever further. Ashima, you never cease to amaze us. Congrats on this amazing accomplishment and thank you for inspiring us to climb hard!

Climb on!

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Brooke Raboutou Sends Her First V13

brooke v13

Brooke climbing Fragile Steps, V13

13-year-old Boulderite, Brooke Raboutou, has sent her first V13, Fragile Steps, in Rocklands, South Africa. With this send she joins a small group of females who have conquered the V13 grade, including her peer, Ashima Shiraishi, who climbed Fragile Steps a few years ago. On Brooke’s Facebook page she says she was, “Happy to have had the help from my brother Shawn Raboutou and encouragement from my mother.” Brooke’s mom, Robyn Erbesfield-Raboutou, was not only the third woman ever to send 5.14, but is also Brooke’s mentor and coach. For more on this incredible mother daughter duo check out our interview with Brooke and Robyn. Congrats Brooke – we can’t wait to see what you do next!

Climb on!

(Info and Photo: Brooke’s Facebook page)

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