Shawn Raboutou (13) has done the short and steep Welcome to Tijuana at Rodellar, Spain and thereby his first 8c. Shawn is the son of Robyn Erbesfield-Raboutou and Didier Raboutou, so I guess the tale about the apple and the tree isn't entirely untrue.
Especially so as Shawn's younger sister, Brooke (10), has redpointed a number of routes in the 7c to 8a+ range this summer. Her hardest to date remains Swingline, 8b, in the RRG, however.
Robyn did quite well too, onsighting and flashing a few 8a's and redpointing one 8b+ and one 8b.
Earlier this summer I asked Shawn and Brooke a few questions:
Why do you think you've become such a good climber at such a young age? Would you say physical or mental aspects are most important?
Do you have any specific goals with your climbing?
Shawn: I prefer to climb outdoors rather than indoors and I prefer redpoint over onsight. I also really like to boulder.
Brooke: I like to link hard routes for me. I really like everything.
Shawn: I'm sure I'm a good climber because I've been climbing since I was very young. You must be good physically and mentally because if you aren't good at both you will fail.
I also asked Robyn some questions:What are the main reasons why kids get so good at such an early age compared to 20 years ago?
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