posted by dpm on 10/28/2012
On the last day of her trip to the Red River Gorge, Kentucky, Ashima Shiraishi sent Lucifer (5.14c.) Just 24 hours after her ascent of Southern Smoke (5.14c), under drizzling rain and humidity, Ashima doubled down on her title as the youngest person to climb the grade. This was her 7th day of climbing on 5.14 routes with no rest day.
Ashima cruises up the relatively easy start of Lucifer.
She says, "I think Lucifer is a little bit harder than Southern Smoke. Most of the moves are kind of reachy which makes it harder for me because I'm tiny. Some of the holds aren't the best. It's pretty long but until you get to the ledge where you can rest, it's pretty hardcore. After the ledge, it's just kind of pumpy."
The "ledge" that Ashima refers to is a big horizontal jug rail that divides the route in half. The first half of Lucifer is the business with sustained bouldering on tiny pockets and underclings. The second half is a steep 5.13- romp up steeper, more featured rock.
While working out the moves on Lucifer, Ashima contemplated using an old 3/8th inch bolt hole as a mono. She thought it was pretty funny that she could fit her finger in it.
On the morning of the last day of her stay, I asked Ashima what her goals were for this trip before she came out here. "My goal was to do a 5.14a." she said. "It felt pretty cool to do one on my first day and then to flash Omaha the next day. I was really happy to do Southern Smoke too. It's already more than I expected I could do." I asked if she'd try Lucifer one more time. "I don't know, it's pretty rainy..." she said. A few hours later I got a text from Ashima. "Sent Lucifer! Best last day ever! I seriously didn't think I was gonna send that, at least not on this trip."
In the meat of the crux.
Ashima's one week trip to the Red is impressive on so many levels. She's now the youngest person to climb 5.14c and the youngest to flash 5.14a. Even in today's world of so many strong adults, two 5.14c's in two days is still reserved for the very elite. It seems almost certain that with a longer than one week stay, and maybe a rest day or two, 5.14d and beyond would not be far off.
The final crux before the rest. After latching the next hold with her left hand, Ashima had to jump for the next tiny right hand crimp.
Congrats to Ashima on her amazing trip to the Red. Look for video footage of Ashima on Lucifer and Southern Smoke coming up soon on DPM.