Everyone comes to the Red with some idea of what they will tackle during their time here. Some lists and actual ascents are impressive, but overshadowing any agenda I’ve seen come to this place is one that 11 year old Ashima Shiraishi has. Day one into her week long trip here in the Gorge and already she conquered God’s Own Stone (8b+/5.14a) 2nd try, 3rd overall (she tried it once last year in the warmest of conditions). While she made impressive work on a few other potential projects, it was just a treat to watch her climb, anything.
She is fluid, strong, and has great climbing intuition and the Red River pump doesn’t even seem to phase her. Hanging around her was super inspiring and challenging to motivate to climb anything because she is very easy to talk to and I get sucked into watching her climb rather than climbing something myself. I had read the hype on this young girl but meeting her in person and spending time with her has made it clear in my mind that she belongs among the ranks of the great climbers, past and present. She is and will continue to make history with her ascents. I only hope I get more time to cross paths with her and witness a piece of history in the making. She really is a joy to be around.
If you are hanging around the Gorge this week, be on the lookout for a petite young girl, on the hardest of routes the gorge has to offer.
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