Ashima breaks another record – Southern Smoke and Lucifer 5.14c/8c+
And so comes this moment when we can triumphantly say (or rather write): told you so
. Gone are the times when the climbing world was astonished by the 8b or 8b+ ascents made by, literally, kids. Such routes are no longer perceive to be even a little bit hard for 8-, 10- or 11-year-olds and it sometimes happens that they are even done flash. It’s high time one reached for something more. And this is what Ashima Shiraishi
has just done.
The 11-year-old, who few days ago was reported to be doing amazingly well on Red River Gorge
classic Southern Smoke
, brought things to end end during her sixth day of climbing in a row. Located in the Bob Marley Sector
, Southern Smoke
was described by Joe Kinder
and Brad Weaver
, who managed to send the route as first ones, as "super sustained climbing with one rest place on bad holds only."
Ashima’s ascent is the second female one, as it was American Sasha DiGiulian who last year succeeded in making simultaneously the FFA of the route as well as her debut at this level of difficulty. And as past few days showed, Ashima's ascent is not the matter of a single excess. On her seventh day of climbing Ashima succeeded in sending her second 8c+. This time her choice fell on Lucifer which, in comparison to Southern Smoke, differs significantly in terms of character. The 25-meter route is less overhanged and more bouldery. The line was set up by Mike Doyle in 2006 and is considered to have rather steady grade as it was repeated several times during these last six years.
It is also worth mentioning that Ashima’s achievement is an absolute record of hardest ascent done by any person at her age. Suffice it to say that even the master himself, Adam Ondra, can’t boast about such difficulties sent in such a young age. Ashima’s Red River Gorge tick list looks impressive: she sent her first 8b+ only six days ago, the following day she succeeded in flashing another 8b+ and during last two days she clipped her rope into the 8c+ anchor... twice.
With this speed of events, the arising question is wheteher in few years time she will have anything to climb on?