posted by dpm on 07/16/2012
Every summer the Raboutou family takes a trip from their home in Colorado to Europe. Last year the two kids had a great trip with 13-year-old Shawn redpointing Welcome to Tijuana (5.14b) and 10-year-old Brooke falling just shy of her first 5.14a. She did send her second 13c though, as well as some other hard routes.
Shawn Raboutou, with mother Robyn belaying, on Welcome to Tijuana (5.14b). Photo: Magnus Midtboe
This past spring, Brooke snagged her first 5.14a and became the youngest female to climb the grade when she sent the Red River Gorge's God's Own Stone at the age of ten. On the same trip to the Red, she climbed Swingline (5.13d).
Brooke on God's Own Stone (5.14a) at the Red River Gorge. Photo: Team ABC Blog
Yesterday, she became the youngest person to climb the grade of 8c (5.14b). According to Desnivel.com, Brooke spent some time shopping around for the appropriate project before settling on the one her brother sent last year. Welcome to Tijuana, located in Rodellar, Spain, is a relatively short and bouldery route. The greatest challenge of the climb for Brooke, as well as Shawn, was a long reach toward the end that they had to use unique beta to overcome. After six falls at this spot, Brooke sent the route. The grade of the route is solidly confirmed at 5.14b, with all 41 registered ascents on 8a.nu considering it 8c.
Brooke's ascent signifies another step in the progression of both youth and female climbers. Not only is she the youngest female to climb the grade but she is also the youngest person overall. Adam Ondra's first 8c came at the age of 11 but he was towards the end of his 11th year while Brooke is just over 11 years and 3 months old. It's splitting hairs but the record stands! Congrats to Brooke and we look forward to seeing what the next years will bring.