Climbing Prodigy Completes One of the Toughest Bouldering Problem in the World

japanese climber Ashima Shiraishi v15

If you haven’t heard the name Ashima Shiraishi, you certainly will know who she is soon. The 14-year old rock climber has just completed one of the toughest bouldering problems in the world, giving the world a glimpse of her amazing talents and what promises to be quite a climbing career ahead.

Ashima lives in New York City, but on a recent spring break trip to Japan she went to a mountainous region near the town of Miyazaki on the southern island of Kyushu. While there, she took on a bouldering problem named Horizon that is rated as a V15 – the second highest rating possible on the bouldering scale. That scale differs from the Yosemite Decimal System by rating climbs on a scale of V0 to V16. Very few V16 boulders have been completed.

Horizon features some real challenges for climbers and includes a minimum of 25 moves to complete. The route goes up a tapered path that splits the ceiling of a tunnel, and includes well-rounded rocks that are often slick with moisture. The climb is far longer than most other bouldering problem, and has only been completed one other time by Japanese climber Dai Koyamada.

With her success on this route, Ashima has become the first woman to complete a V15 bouldering problem, and the youngest person to do so. She has also managed to climb a 5.15a rated rock climbing route as well, making her the first woman to achieve that feat as well.

Obviously this is an impressive accomplishment for any climber – male or female – regardless of age.  As I said, expected to hear Ashima’s name more in the future, as she continues to push boundaries in the climbing world. Since she is just about to turn 15, we can expect big things from her in the future.

Find out more about her climb of Horizon in this story from Nat Geo.

Kraig Becker