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Mishka Ishi, 13, Becomes Youngest Ever to Send V15!

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Yes, that headline is correct: a 13-year-old has sent a V15! Mishka Ishi, from Japan, has become the youngest person ever and just the third woman ever to send a a V15 boulder problem with the third ascent of Byaku-dou (which means “The Road to Heaven” in Japanese), Mt. Hourai, Japan.

Little information about Ishi is available at this time, but more is sure to come now that she is the youngest person to send the grade.

[Also Read Ashima Shiraishi Sends V15!]

Japanese powerhouse Dai Koyamada made the first ascent of Byaku-dou in November 2003 at 27 years old, launching him to the forefront of hard bouldering. Afterwards, he wrote on, “I have been working on making the hard problems through this year in Japan and I first ascended the new 8C at Hourai, Aichi prefecture, Japan on 18. Nov. The problem is called Byaku-dou (the meaning is “the road to the heaven” in the Buddist world), 8C, which is 150-160 degree roof, is separated to two parts with 22 moves, the first part is made from many tricky moves graded 8B [V13] and the second part is 8A+ [V12] which has a dynamic dyno. Just then, I was with Fred Rouhling, who tried the route and said the Byaku-dou is harder than Dreamtime, 8C [V15]. I myself think the grade of this problem is at least 8C.”

For a time, Byaku-dou may have been the hardest boulder in the world, and was thought possibly to be V16 even. The second ascent didn’t come until over a decade after Koyamada’s when Motochika Nagao repeated the problem (video below!) in February 2015. Nagao put the grade at V15.

[Also Read Interview: Ashima Shiraishi on Horizon (V15), Sleepy Rave (V15) & “Young Guns”]

Prior to Ishi’s recent third ascent of Byaku-dou, the youngest person to have sent V15 was Ashima Shiraishi. Shiraishi sent Horizon, Mount Hiei, Japan, in March 2016. She climbed her second V15 in August 2016 with Sleepy RaveDai Koyamada established both of those problems as well.

Between Shiraishi and Ishi’s V15 ascents, the German climber Kaddi Lehmann became the second woman to send the grade. Lehmann climbed Kryptos (V15), in Basler Jura, Switzerland, in June 2018.

Motochika Nagao making the Second Ascent of Byaku-dou, February 2015