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Meet The 13-Year-Old Girl Who Might Be The World's Best Female Rock Climber

BuzzFeed News interviewed Ashima Shiraishi, who just broke two world rock-climbing records, on Snapchat.

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Last week, she conquered what is likely the toughest rock climb ever done by a woman: "Open Your Mind Direct" in Santa Linya, Spain.

At 13, she is also the youngest person — male or female — to climb something so hard.

The climb is expected to be rated 5.15a, a difficulty grade that only a handful of the world's best male climbers have ever completed. The rating is awaiting consensus that will cement Ashima's climb as a world record: A handhold on the route recently broke off, making Ashima the first person to climb the more difficult route.

Only two women in history have ever even climbed the difficulty level below, 5.14d.

It was such a hard climb that at some points, Ashima had to be upside down.

Ashima, who lives in New York City, started climbing when she was only 7, scaling boulders in Central Park.

And since then, she's broken several world records for the youngest climber to reach top difficulty levels.

She was the first woman in the world of any age to climb this tough boulder, called The Swarm.

She snapchatted BuzzFeed News from Spain.

She's there hoping to tackle even more record-breaking climbs.


Molly Hensley-Clancy is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Molly Hensley-Clancy at

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