She is only 15, but is already a rock climber to reckon with. Ashima Shiraishi knows no fear at climbing rocks, even those that are around 15 or 20 feet tall. Her extraordinary deftness in scaling heights has got this New Yorker a mention in many a magazine. The New York Times called her a ’bouldering phenom’ while Time as labelled her the best rock climber in the world. Interestingly, she is one of the strongest young climbers – male or female – of all time – and if you are intrigued, here are some facts you should know about her:
- American born Ashima started climbing at the age of six in Central Park and at Manhattan Plaza Health Club. When she turned eight, she was already holding the record of being the youngest person ever to complete climbs around the world, and within few years she notched up world titles for being the youngest champion.
- She turned 15 on April 3 and before that on March 22, 2016 while she was still 14, Shiraishi climbed up the second ascent of Horizon(V15) on Mt. Hiei Japan. Now she is known as the youngest and also the first female to beat a boulder with a grade of V15.
- In 2014, Shiraishi climbed Golden Shadow in Rocklands South Africa, turned to be one of only five women to climb V14.
- In December of 2015, Shiraishi climbed Phenomena in Hinokage, Japan, a V14 that only Dai Koyamada from Japan, known to be one of the best climbers, had scaled. Shiraishi was enthused by the 39 year old Koyamada to try Horizon.
- Sport climbing is sheer passion for Ashima. In October 2012, at age 11 she was sent to Southern Smoke at the Red River Gorge, and achieved a quick of a 5.14c sport climb, the youngest to reach that level in sport climbing.
- Last year, on her tour to Catalonia, Spain—at a climbing area called Santa Linya, she accomplished a 5.15a rock climb, firmly establishing her mark as the first female to reach that level in sports climbing.
- Now having conquered both a 5.15a sport climb and a V15 boulder problem, Shiraishi is the first young woman to join a very small, elite group of climbers who conquered these pinnacle, benchmark grades.
- BBC, The New Yorker and Time magazine covered her influential journey and named her one of “the 30 most influential teens of 2015.”
- Shiraishi trains five days per week after school at the climbing gyms Brooklyn Boulders and focuses only on bouldering.
- So now that when she’s pushed towards her own climbing records, ready to take it to a new levels, what exactly does Shiraishi want in future? Well, Climbing is being considered as a new sport in the 2020 Olympics. So she is definitely aiming for that. Besides, she wants to keep it up until many women will climb with her one day. “I feel like climbing is just going to keep on getting bigger. In every country, everywhere, you’re surrounded by rocks. There are rocks everywhere in the world”, she says to Time.com.
Feature Image Credits: www.outsideonline.com