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Ashima Shiraishi Climbs Possible 5.15

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3/17/15 – Ashima Shiraishi has climbed Open Your Mind Direct, a possible 9a+ (5.15a) in Santa Linya, Spain. Shiraishi, a New Yorker who will turn 14 next month, climbed the route in a mere four days of attempts during her spring break. While the original consensus grade of the route was 9a (5.14d), a broken hold has led some to suggest it could now be as hard as 5.15a. If the grade holds, she could be the first woman to climb a solid 5.15a.

In 2005, Josune Bereziartu from Spain did the second ascent of Bimbaluna, a François Nicole route that is generally graded 9a/9a+ (5.14d/15a). Several women, including American Sasha DiGiulian, have climbed 9a routes.

Shiraishi broke the news on Instagram, writing: “OMG!!! I sent my 4 day project Open Your Mind Direct 9a+, in Santa Linya!!!!!! The beginning is a hard boulder problem which leads into a pumpy route. After a hold broke off up high, local climbers said that the route became harder which changed it from 9a to 9a+. I was able to be the first person to send the route after the hold broke off!”

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