This video shows how astonishingly dexterous you have to be to climb these indoor walls. It’s unimaginable. Watch for Ashima’s upside down toe hold followed by a crunch that raises her trunk and arms!! She was only nine in this video.

Here is an article about Ashima Shiraishi, an 11-year-old girl who has been climbing boulders and indoor walls since she was six. And now she can beat competitors who are years older than she is. I love that her talent appeared at such a young age.

Competitions have been part of her climbing repertory since she was 7, and for the last three years, she has won the national youth bouldering championships, the biggest contest in the sport.

Modern bouldering is not much older than Ashima. It reached widespread recognition only in the 1990s as a discipline of rock climbing, one that requires participants to climb without ropes or harnesses, on rocks that generally do not reach higher than 15 or 20 feet.

The sport favors the small rocks over the big ones, so it lacks the drama and death-defying heights of climbing mountains like Everest and K2. But its fans are drawn to bouldering for its spare quality, powerful movements and the simplicity of being unburdened and unaided by heavy equipment.

Very little gear is used, beyond a pair of light climbing shoes, a pouch of white chalk to keep the hands dry and a thick mattress, known as a crash pad, that lies beneath the climber.

During local competitions, a point value is assigned to each boulder problem based on how difficult it is. Athletes climb in isolation, without any verbal help from the ground.

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, 3.65 million people participated in indoor and boulder climbing in 2011. Physically, children and teenagers may even have some advantages over adults: their small hands and feet allow them to use holds that adults cannot. Some experts have suggested that they bounce back more quickly from falls and injuries than adults do.

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