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NEWS: Open your mind direct, 9a+, by Ashima Shiraishi

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 UKC News 18 Mar 2015
Ashima Shiraishi on Open your mind direct, 9a+, Santa Linya, Spain, 6 kbAshima Shiraishi, still only 13, has managed to repeat Open your mind direct at Santa Linya, Spain. If confirmed at 9a+ post break, this means Ashima joins the likes of... no other women* who have climbed this grade!
From IG:

OMG!!! I sent my 4 day project Open Your Mind Direct 9a+, in Santa...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=69590
 Morgan Woods 18 Mar 2015
In reply to UKC News:

wow!


(picks jaw back off floor)
1
pasbury 18 Mar 2015
In reply to UKC News:

Ondra got his first 9a at 13 so if this is 9a+ then Ashima is truly blazing a path no-one else has travelled before.
In reply to UKC News:

This is truly amazing! Is their any evidence or reason to believe that, like gymnasts, girls might ideally actually reach their peak in climbing pre puberty?
In reply to pasbury:
Good point. Before this, what age was the youngest male to climb 9a+? I am guessing it was Ondra - what age was he? 15 when he did La Rambla?
Post edited at 09:48
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Is their any evidence or reason to believe that, like gymnasts, girls might ideally actually reach their peak in climbing pre puberty?

I suppose it depends on the route. The gymnastic disciplines are quite different for men and women, with the men's requiring feats of enormous upper body strength ( iron cross etc ), not something you can just overcome with good technique.

 Mike Highbury 18 Mar 2015
In reply to Robert Durran:
> Is their any evidence or reason to believe that, like gymnasts, girls might ideally actually reach their peak in climbing pre puberty?

Is this still held to be true?
 stp 18 Mar 2015
In reply to Robert Durran:

No. Most of the top women climbers are in there 20s or older. Belgian woman Muriel Sarkany climbed her first 9a at age 39.
In reply to stp:

> No. Most of the top women climbers are in there 20s or older.

Yes, I know, but I wonder whether, with many kids starting to climb indoors now very young, we might be seeing a new generation of female climbers at their peak in the first half of their teens. Of all the people I see climbing at Ratho, there is no doubt that many of the youngest girls have a pretty optimum body type ie there is virtually nothing to them!
In reply to Mike Highbury:

> Is this still held to be true?

I don't know. Maybe it only worked because the Russians and east Europeans used to delay puberty with drugs.
 stp 18 Mar 2015
In reply to Robert Durran:

Well I suppose light can mean awesome finger strength: a key asset. But climbing requires such a diverse set of other skills not least the mental aspect to it. Ondra was pretty strong when young but is even stronger post puberty. I suppose some women might well develop into a less than ideal physique for climbing but then there are many who don't.


Meanwhile here's vid of the route with Magnus Midtboe climbing it (turn the sound off unless you're a fan of cheesey rock):
youtube.com/watch?v=ChnOath0kkY&
In reply to UKC News:

Okay, so looking around, this is indeed the youngest 9a+ by anyone, male or female. Two years ahead of Ondra. A truly historic ascent.
 dale1968 18 Mar 2015
In reply to UKC News:

Breath taking...
FrenchyZ 18 Mar 2015
In reply to UKC News:

Bimbaluna might be 9a/+, but PuntX is considered a hard 9a by everyone who climbed it. Ondra gave it 9a/+.
 goose299 18 Mar 2015
In reply to UKC News:

Go on lass!
 pbla4024 18 Mar 2015
In reply to FrenchyZ:

Exactly:
http://www.lezec.cz/cesta.php?key=47859
And the list of the strong climbers who tried it to no avail is quite long.
 MischaHY 18 Mar 2015
In reply to UKC News:

Absolutely incredible. Hasn't Sasha done 9a+?
In reply to MischaHY:
SD's website says 9a as her hardest redpoint: http://www.sasha-digiulian.com/about/

But she was working La Ramble 9a+ last August https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=845324118811686
Post edited at 20:32
 MischaHY 18 Mar 2015
In reply to ericinbristol:
Mm okay. I thought she'd done Era Vella

EDIT: Me being thick. I thought it was 9a+.
Post edited at 21:36
In reply to MischaHY:

She has but it's 9a.
 koalapie 19 Mar 2015
In reply to Robert Durran:

Unlikely, given early optimum training parameters for a strength, strength-endurance sport you would expect to see peak performance with peak physical maturity of those parameters. Given climbing's diverse necessary skills this can be skewed most likely to an older age, so you should see this lass improving for another decade or two, at least.
Last time I read girls get 50% less muscle in upper limb and 30% less muscle in lower limb during puberty than boys, so the Shiraishi/Ondra comparison will be an interesting one to track.
 koalapie 19 Mar 2015
In reply to Robert Durran: It's likely their training regimes would have been sufficient to do this, and it's very common with female athletes not on drugs today. Gymnastics is considered one of the early development sports but I forget what that definition is exactly and again the skills/strength required between males and females is a factor. Looking at ages of medal winners at Olympics and world championships should be a good indicator. I was at an injury-rehabilitation conference a couple of years ago and the top two Australian physiotherapists suggested removing the pommel was probably the best way to make a significant impact on injuries for males. Now if one feels that is a little OTT, I don't think ready to start thinking about rule changes for female gymnastics in the context of long term health optimisation!

cb294 19 Mar 2015
In reply to koalapie:

I might be wrong, but is delayed puberty (by training, not drugs) not more of a problem in endurance sports rather than gymnastics?

CB
 koalapie 19 Mar 2015
In reply to cb294:

It's not my speciality, if we are talking delaying and disrupting menarche it's possible, but I would argue it's more to do with training volume and fatigue. Perhaps someone more qualified can comment. This is where countries that prioritise the health of their athlete in early development sports while trying to be competitive are realising there is a discrepancy.
cb294 19 Mar 2015
In reply to koalapie:

Thanks, not my specialty either... I totally agree that the training regimes for gymnasts, especially for young girls, that are required to achieve international success are completely insane.

IMO it would help if the indivdual exercises required in womens gymnastics would be modified so that they were more easily achievable for a young adult rather than a child. Simply compare it to men´s gymnastics: The strength elements alone ensure that a 12 year old would have no chance of being competitive, and most gymnasts reach their peak in the early 20s. No idea how to do this, but certainly worth thinking about.

As to climbing, I believe it would be possible to find or set a route that was climbable for a 13 year old girl but noone else (crimpy stuff that really emphasizes power to weight rather than pure power or endurance). Just as easily one could find/design other routes where the same climber would fail miserably.

One would not even have to think about mountaineering, with hours of faffing with ropes in the cold or breaking trail through the snow... Even for sports, think of flaring cracks that would be a wide handjam for a grown up man but horribly offwidth for a young girl, or long overlaps that would force her to dyno where he could reach out statically.

CB

In reply to cb294:

> As to climbing, I believe it would be possible to find or set a route that was climbable for a 13 year old girl but noone else (crimpy stuff that really emphasizes power to weight rather than pure power or endurance).

Of course for a child with small hands, the holds will be relatively larger but further apart; a route which for an adult male is cranking between 2 finger pockets might be yarding between jugs for a child (and probably easier if they are not too far apart)

> Think of flaring cracks that would be a wide handjam for a grown up man but horribly offwidth for a young girl.

But it works both ways; glorious hand jams for a young girl might be horrific thin hands for an adult male (which is why women typically find 5.11 at indian Creek easier than 5.10; the route are graded for average adult male hands)
cb294 19 Mar 2015
In reply to Robert Durran:

I fully agree. My point is only that while 13 year old girls will have advantage on some (theoretical or rare real) routes, the hardest sports climbs will for the foreseeable future be done largely by men in their 20s. Alpine and trad maybe a bit older, as experience counts more heavily.

I agree also about the thin hands effect. Haven´t been to Indian Creek, but I have climbed a couple cracks in the Elbe sandstone that were just too thin to work as hand jams for me, whereas my climbing partner can sink her hands all the way to her wrists and wondered why I was struggling...

CB
In reply to cb294:

> The hardest sports climbs will for the foreseeable future be done largely by men in their 20s.

And not by Ashima in ten years or so?
cb294 19 Mar 2015
In reply to Robert Durran:

Yes. No doubt she will be a top end sports climber, but there will be more men at this top end. As she grows up she will most likely become a better climber as far as technique and experience are concerned, but will lose some of the advantages that help her on certain routes right now.

By the way, just to come back to the point discussed with koalapie, gymnastics is a fantastic complement or basis to climbing: The greatest example of a gymnast turned climber I know of is Lynn Hill, and I think (but am less certain) that Catherine Destivelle also had a gymnastics background.

CB
In reply to cb294:

> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> No doubt she will be a top end sports climber, but there will be more men at this top end.

But is this because women are just not naturally built as well for climbing as men (with Ashima just being an outlier/freak) or for other reasons such as more men taking up climbing or just being more driven? It wil be interesting to see.

> The greatest example of a gymnast turned climber I know of is Lynn Hill, and I think (but am less certain) that Catherine Destivelle also had a gymnastics background.

John Dunne?
Post edited at 23:53
 Epsilon 20 Mar 2015
In reply to cb294:

> By the way, just to come back to the point discussed with koalapie, gymnastics is a fantastic complement or basis to climbing: The greatest example of a gymnast turned climber I know of is Lynn Hill, and I think (but am less certain) that Catherine Destivelle also had a gymnastics background.

> CB

How about John Gill (at least, relative to his contemporaries)? As an added bonus, he may have invented the Victorian Cross in gymnastics (although such a thing is hard to verify, it's quite possible someone else at a similar time or earlier had fathomed the same idea).
 koalapie 20 Mar 2015
In reply to cb294:

> IMO it would help if the indivdual exercises required in womens gymnastics would be modified so that they were more easily achievable for a young adult rather than a child. Simply compare it to men´s gymnastics: The strength elements alone ensure that a 12 year old would have no chance of being competitive, and most gymnasts reach their peak in the early 20s. No idea how to do this, but certainly worth thinking about.

Couldn't agree more with the above. I wonder how long such a process will take and what are the steps best taken to facilitate it as efficiently as possible? My perception is that it won't be easy.





.



In reply to UKC News:

Looks like this might have to be corrected: apparently what she did was 9a:

From 8a.nu
"2015-03-20 00:00:00
Ashima Shiraishi reported on Instagram, "After a hold broke off up high, local climbers said that the route became harder which changed it from 9a to 9a+."
Our Spanish editor since 13 years, Ignacio Sandoval Buron, have received several comments from well known Spanish climbers saying that it is correct that one hold broke making one sequence harder at the same time as other breaking's have made the route easier. Further more, Ashima did not climb all the way to the top, skipping the last 15 meters of 8b+, so some guys think what she did was an amazing quick 4 days ascent of a 9a. It should be noted also that some guys think Ashima did a 9a+ but they might not have known she did not climb to just the 9a anchor? Ignacio and his 8a co-worker, Esteban Diez, will follow up the story and present more facts, the next week."

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