posted by dpm on 08/02/2013
12-year-old Ashima Shiraishi has just wrapped up the first leg of her European trip and is on to the next. In France, she spent three weeks at Céüse, a sport crag touted as the best in world, and while there achieved some unsurprisingly impressive ascents. She sent Slow Food (5.14a) on her second try, flashed Dolce Vita (5.13c) and completed a number of other 5.13b's and 5.13c's. Last week, she sent the famous route Dures Limites (5.14b) on her second try which encouraged her to try L'arcademicien des Crepis (5.14b). Ashima wrote in an email to DPM:
"With some great beta from Arnaud Petit I managed to get all the moves. After a quick photo shoot for Grimper magazine on my last day I tried the climb once but fell at the top of the crux and was about to give up but I decided to try hard one more time. Feeling awful in the beginning I knew that I would probably fall off at the crux, but I kept on moving. By the time I reached the place I had fallen before, I told myself that I was not going let go before the anchors and kept on going. Before I knew it I was at the top!!!! I am so happy that I kept on holding on! Au revoir Ceuse! On to Switzerland!!!"
Ashima on her ascent of Dures Limites (5.14b). Photo: visualimpact.ch | Rainer Eder
Ashima has an outrageous ticklist for a 12-year-old, or anyone for that matter. She and her family have wasted no time in seeing the world's best climbing locations either. Last summer, she headed to South Africa for a bouldering trip where she flashed V11 and climbed the V13's Fragile Steps and Steady Plums Direct. Shorter trips during school holidays have taken her to Hueco Tanks, Texas and the Red River Gorge, Kentucky. Notable ascents in Hueco include The Power of Silence (V10) at the age of 8, and Crown of Aragorn (V13) at the age of 10. Last fall, Ashima visited the Red River Gorge and within a week became the youngest person to climb the grade of 5.14c with an ascent of Southern Smoke. The next day, she doubled down with an ascent of Lucifer. Click the image below to watch Ashima climb Southern Smoke and Lucifer at the Red River Gorge.