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Nine-Year-Old Climbs 5.14a, is She the Youngest to Tick the Grade?

Ziheng Qiu makes history with her recent redpoint of China Climb 5.14a

On Jan. 7, 2022, a nine-year-old girl by the name of Ziheng Qiu made history by redpointing China Climb 5.14a at White Mountain in Yangshuo, China. She may be the youngest person to ever climb 5.14a.

Logan Barber, who equipped the route in 2006, said, “It was the first 5.14b in China but later downgraded to 5.14a. I never managed to climb the route. Its amazing how standards are rising so fast.”

On May 5, 2021, at age 10, Meini Li sent China Climb, and became the third Chinese female to climb it after Weijun Huang and Ting Xiao, and also the youngest Chinese climber to send the grade.

Another young climber to tick 5.14a was Cam Horst at 10 years old in 2013. At nine years old, Angie Scarth-Johnson climbed 5.13d. In 2020, Théo Blass climbed Souvenirs du pic 5.14b in Saint Guilhem le Desertin, France, and become the youngest climber to send the grade at only 10; he skipped 5.14a. Ashima Shiraishi, Adam Ondra and Illya Bakhmet-Smolensky climbed their first 5.14b at age 11. Bakhmet-Smolensky then climbed 5.14d at 13 years old.

 

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