Shiraishi Becomes First Female to Climb a 5.15

Sends Open Your Mind Direct in Spain

Ashima Shiraishi said in an Instagram post that the Open Your Mind Direct project became harder after a hold broke off. (Parker Alec Cross/Crossroad Studios)

Thirteen-year-old American Ashima Shiraishi became the first female climber to make it up a 5.15 route when she sent a route called Open Your Mind Direct in Santa Linya in northeastern Spain on Tuesday. Shiraishi spent four days projecting the route, according to her Instagram post announcing the climb.

Rock and Ice reports that Shiraishi may also be the youngest climber ever to break the 5.15 mark. Crux Crush says that Roman Julian first established Open Your Mind Direct in 2008. However, Rock and Ice says the UK’s Tom Bolger made the first ascent of the 140-foot route in 2010. The climb was originally rated 5.14d but was bumped up to 5.15a when a handhold near the top broke off. “I was able to be the first person to send the route after the hold broke off!” Shiraishi said on her Instagram post.

Shiraishi is from New York City and began climbing in Central Park at age seven. She’s since racked up numerous notable climbs, including becoming the youngest ever to send a 5.14c route and the second female to climb a V14, according to Rock and Ice. The North Face signed on as a sponsor earlier this year.

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