|Climb||Type||Suggested Grade||Date of Ascent||Notes|
|Mr Hyde||Sport Route||8c+||Sep 2021||This was her first outdoor route in a long time. Instagram Post|
|Euro Roof Low||Boulder||V13||2020||This is Miho’s hardest boulder grade Instagram Post|
|The Practitioner||Boulder||V11||2020||Instagram Post|
Five Ten Hiangles
Tokyo Powder Chalk
Black Diamond Airnet Harness
Metolius Crash Pad
Early Life & Competition Climbing
Miho Nonaka’s love for climbing began at the age of 9, when her father, already an avid mountaineer, introduced her to the sport by taking her to the local climbing gym. With her sisters already participating in the activity, it quickly became a family affair. Despite initially lagging behind her siblings, Nonaka was determined to catch up and devoted herself to improving her skills.
Her hard work paid off as she rapidly grew stronger and started competing locally. To fully focus on her passion, Nonaka was privately schooled so she could dedicate her time to climbing. Her dedication to the sport did not go unnoticed, and at the age of 16, she was accepted into the Japanese national team, marking the beginning of her journey to compete at the world level. By 2013, Nonaka was ready to take on the world stage and began competing in various international competitions.
Her first year competing didn’t go as well, but the knowledge and experience she gained in her first year meant that the year after she would come back stronger than ever. Indeed, since 2014, Miho has been placed in the 10 top in most World Competitions.
Miho’s strong suit is definitely bouldering, as evidenced by her impressive track record in the Boulder World Cup. In nearly every competition, she has made it to the finals or earned a medal, with her lowest placing being an uncommon 7th. Nonaka’s exceptional power and dynamic style make her a natural fit for modern bouldering and makes her stand out from the crowd. Recently, she won a gold medal at the 2023 World Cup event in Seoul.
For the Olympics, Miho knew that she had to up her game for lead and speed as the athletes had to compete in all three disciplines. She had bouldering in the bag, but lead was definitely one of her weakest disciplines. Even though she would rank quite low in lead, she took 5th place in the Lead World Cup in 2019 in Inzai and again in June 2021 before the Olympics.
While most athletes struggled with speed, Miho had some surprisingly great times. Many female climbers, like her teammate Akiyo Noguchi, are slower and more delicate when it comes to climbing. Miho is very powerful and dynamic and that certainly played to her advantage in speed.
Although Miho did qualify for the Olympics, she did not come first, or second in the qualifiers. The results were quite confusing. For the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan was allowed to send only two athletes per discipline. In the Combined Climbing World Championships in 2019, both Miho Nonaka (7th) and Akiyo Noguchi (2nd) placed in the top eight for the qualifiers and finals.
While it was originally thought that the top two athletes from each country would gain the spots, it was later determined that countries could choose from any of their athletes who qualified in all events. Japan ended up selecting Akiyo and Miho, even though there were higher placers in the qualifiers.
Turned out to be a great choice from Japan since Miho won silver, behind Janja Garnbret, and Akiyo won bronze in the Olympics. We are all excited to see how Miho performs in this year’s World Cup and in Paris 2024!
Outdoor Climbing & Notable Ascent
Having grown up in such a dense city with no outdoor climbing, Miho has spent the majority of her career training and climbing indoors. With competitions being so demanding, projecting an outdoor route would take away valuable training time.
That doesn’t mean that Miho can’t climb outdoors. She’s done some impressive stuff and has climbed all around the world. Her most impressive outdoor climb is her ascent of Mr Hyde (8c+) which is part of Biographie in Ceuse, France. She also crushed a few boulders, with her hardest being Euro Roof (V13)
Miho is pretty famous in Japan. In fact, you can see her on multiple billboards in Japan and she amassed a huge number of sponsors over the years in the climbing world and outside of it.
In climbing, she is sponsored by Five Ten, Red Bull and Tokyo Powder. Outside of climbing, she is sponsored by Adidas and has featured in adverts for Tag Heuer and Oikos Yogurt. One of her biggest sponsors though is Beats by Dr Dre. She’s featured in various campaigns promoting their newest headphones.