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Ashima Shiraishi

At the age of 14, Ashima became the youngest person to climb a V15, one of the most difficult grades in the sport. She cemented her legacy as one of the youngest and only females to accomplish such a feat at the time.


United States

Date Of Birth




Hardest Sport

9a/ 5.14d

Hardest Boulder


Hardest Trad


Ashima Shiraishi

Ascent Log

ClimbTypeSuggested GradeDate of AscentNotes
HorizonBoulderV15/8C22nd Mar 2016First woman to climb V15 and the youngest person at the time. Instagram Post
Sleepy RaveBoulderV15/8CAug 2016Rock & Ice Magazine
Golden ShadowBoulderV14/8B+15th Jul 2014Her first V14 boulder Instagram Post
PhenomenaBoulderV14/8B+24th Dec 2015Ashima sent the boulder in just 30 minutes. Rock & Ice Magazine
JadeBoulderV14/8B+22nd Aug 2021Instagram Post
Crown of AragonBoulderV13/8BMar 2012She was aged 10
One Summer in ParadiseBoulderV13/8BAug 2013
The AutomatorBoulderV13/8BAug 2013Second female ascent
The SwarmBoulderV13/8B2nd Jan 2015First female ascent Instagram Post
Terre de SienneBoulderV13/8B25th Nov 2015
Open Your Mind DirectSport Route9a/5.14d17th Mar 2015Her hardest grade yet. Video
Southern SmokeSport Route8b+/5.14cOct 2012Youngest person to climb an 8c+
La FabelaSport Route8b+/5.14cMar 2014Instagram Post

Kit Bag

Climbing Career

Learning the Ropes

Ashima Shiraishi was born and raised in New York by her parents, Tsuya and Hisatoshi Shiraishi, who migrated from Japan in 1978. At the age of six, during a visit to Central Park, she discovered her passion for climbing at Rat Rock, a renowned bouldering location in New York City.

Ashima Shiraishi climbing aged 11
Ashima completing two 5.14c at 11 years old ©Forest Woodward

When Ashima turned seven, her father introduced her to several climbing gyms across Brooklyn. At Brooklyn Boulders in Gowanus, she uncovered her natural talent for climbing. She began training and competing with other climbers, pushing herself to new heights. 

This gym provided her with opportunities to climb at a higher level than she had experienced at Rat Rock. Despite her innate abilities, Shiraishi recognized the need for guidance to truly excel in her craft. In 2008, she was introduced to Obe Carrion, a renowned professional climber from New York, known for his exceptional technical skills, strength, and innovative climbing techniques. Carrion became her coach and mentor, working closely with her to refine her skills and guide her to new achievements in the climbing world.

Ashima Shiraishi indoor climbing
Ashima showing off her flexibility ©Andrea Laue

With Carrion’s guidance, Ashima made some impressive progress. At just nine years old, she completed her first V10 climb, and by age ten, she successfully climbed a V13.

However, in 2012, a disagreement between Carrion and Ashima’s father caused them to part ways. Since then, Ashima’s father has been coaching her. Even though Carrion is no longer her coach, his influence played a key role in shaping Ashima into the successful climber she is today.

Competition Climbing

Ashima Shiraishi has established herself as a prominent figure in the world of competitive climbing, participating in a diverse range of competitions throughout her climbing career. These events have served as platforms for her to showcase her remarkable climbing skills, resulting in numerous accolades and triumphs.

Ashima Shiraishi competing 2019
Ashima at the 2019 Sport & Speed Open Nationals ©Jarek Tuszyński

In 2015, Shiraishi made a stellar entrance into the competition scene by securing victories in both bouldering and lead climbing at the USA Climbing Sport and Speed Open National Championships. Her exceptional performance made her the first person ever to claim dual championships in the same year. She even went on to win gold medals in the IFSC Youth World Championships for bouldering and lead climbing in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

The year 2018 witnessed Shiraishi’s participation in the Youth Olympic Games held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she achieved a commendable fifth-place finish in sport climbing.

Olympic Try-Out

Ashima was unable to get through and qualify for the 2021 Olympics. She came 44th at the 2019 Combined World Championships and 22nd at the Toulouse Invitational.

Her third chance to qualify was at the Pan-American Championships, but for reasons that remain unknown, she decided not to compete.

Ashima USA team
©Jarek Tuszyński

Undeterred by her Olympic setback, Shiraishi continued her competitive pursuits. In 2020, she took part in the IFSC Climbing World Cup and emerged as the second-place finisher in the bouldering event held in Meiringen, Switzerland.

Notable Ascents

Ashima Shiraishi’s dominance in the competitive climbing scene during her youth was nothing short of exceptional. However, what truly sets her apart are the groundbreaking achievements she has amassed throughout her outdoor climbing career.

Open Your Mind Direct

Ashima on Open Your Mind Direct
Ashima sending Open Your Mind Direct ©crossroadstudios

In 2015, Shiraishi made history in Spain by conquering a challenging 9a+ in at Santa Linya. At the time, she became the first female climber to achieve such a high-grade ascent. 

Oh, and did I mention she was only 13 years old? Yep. Open Your Mind Direct has now been downgraded to a 9a/+ after some confusion around some holds getting bigger, making the climb ‘slightly’ easier. Either way, this doesn’t take away her incredible achievement at such a young age.


Ashima climbing Horizon V15
Ashima making history as the youngest and first woman to climb a V15 ©brettlowell

The following year, Shiraishi continued her streak of record-breaking accomplishments, this time in bouldering. At only 14, she surpassed all expectations by becoming the youngest person ever and the first female to conquer “Horizon,” a formidable V15 Boulder problem situated in Mount Hiei, Japan. Her ability to master such demanding climbs at such a tender age showcased her immense talent and determination, cementing her status as one of the best female boulderes of our time.

Sleepy Rave

Ashima climbing Sleepy Rave
Ashima climbing her second V15 in the Grampians, Australia ©Parker Alec Cross

As if one V15 wasn’t enough, in the same year, she climbed her second V15. This time she traveled all the way to Australia to try Sleepy Rave, a route put up by Dai Koyamada. Sleepy Rave links up 3 other climbs graded 8A (+), 7C, and 8A, all of which make up the final 3/4 of the longest boulder problem in the world, The Wheel of Life 8C/V15.


Video Library


Meet Angel, a former desk-jockey turned global wanderer. After catching a severe case of the climbing (and travel) bug, she's now a world traveller, living the dirtbag dream. Highballs? Too mainstream for her taste. She's all about the thrills of lowballs, where the real action happens. Nowadays, you'll find her in Thailand, either precariously balanced on a granite slab or trading stories with Nemo and his buddies underwater!

Dean Potter
Sasha DiGiulian

1 thought on “Ashima Shiraishi”

  1. Open your mind direct was a 9a initially. When ashima was projecting it, a hold broke so her send was supposed to be 9a/9a+. Someone repeated the line with the broken hold and confirmed it was a 9a/9a+. Anyway, ashima was the youngest female to get to the 9a dimension..but the first female 9a was done by Sasha DiGulian. I wander what happened with Ashima and I really hope she qualifies for the Paris Olympics. Her style, technique and strength are from another world.

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