The Strongest Woman in Climbing is 10 Years Old

 

Ashima Shiraishi, the 10-year-old prodigy who has torn through some of Hueco Tanks' hardest problems over the past two years, notched another landmark ascent on Tuesday when she completed the V13 testpiece Crown of Aragorn. The climb, which took Shiraishi two days, means that she is now tied for the hardest ascent by a female boulderer of any age.

No woman had ever climbed a confirmed V13 before 2010, when Angie Payne made the first female ascent of Dave Graham's The Automator in Rocky Mountain National Park. Few women have repeated the feat—between three and five others, depending on whether you count problems on the extreme low end of the grade. To see a 10 year old join those ranks is nothing short of incredible. Shiraishi, though, is clearly no normal 10 year old: in the past two years, the New Yorker has climbed at least eight problems rated V10 and above. In early March, she won her age division at the ABS Nationals by flashing every problem. As her coach Obe Carrion said in "Obe and Ashima," the film about Shiraishi released last year, "She has 'it'."

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