Ashima Shiraishi is a 13-year-old girl with an amazing ability: she can climb just about anything. This New York City resident just broke two world records in rock climbing. Just several days ago, she succeeded in making the most difficult climb that anyone—male or female—has ever attempted, "Open Your Mind Direct” in Santa Linya, Spain, where she's traveling on her spring break.
Ashima began climbing at age seven, when she took to scaling boulders in Central Park. She must have felt pretty comfortable climbing to such heights, because she just kept climbing. Her world record climb is expected to be rated 5.15a, which is a difficulty grade only accomplished by a handful of male climbers in the world. Once the rating is confirmed, Ashima’s world record will be official, making her not only the youngest climber to achieve such a difficult climb, but also the first female climber to face such difficulty.
Her climb followed the most difficult route, sometimes dangling upside down to navigate the rock face, and she did the climb in under ten minutes.
Climbing giant boulders isn’t an easy task, even for an accomplished climber like Ashima. She has fallen many times, fortunately without serious injury due to her safety harness and ropes, but it doesn’t deter her from planning future ascents. She has her sights set on climbing in Italy or Australia this summer, and hopes to make more attempts to break world records and climb literally and metaphorically to the top.
Images via Ashima Shiraishi