Ashima Shiraishi has been in Kentucky this week, and after she climbed both Lucifer (5.14c) and Southern Smoke (5.14c-ish) last year and climbed 5.14 and V13 this summer it should not be surprising to hear that she had success during this visit to the Red as well.
On consecutive days she has done the FFA of 24 Karats and repeated 50 Words For Pump. Both routes get 5.14c in the guidebook last I checked, although the latter seems to be leaning more toward the 5.
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14b side of things based on some comments I’ve read which makes it totally easy still pretty hard.
I had to double check that it was 5.14 and not V14 (next summer?). Girl is amazing.
FFA historically stands for First Free Ascent. Changing
this designation seems to be a trend on this site. The idea of
recognizing female accomplishments as a sub class is a separate
matter of discussion
It’s been pretty common for it to be used in this context with regard to single pitch non-traditional climbs or boulder problems for some time now.
Umm, I thought we were talking about a First Free Ascent…
Wouldn’t a First Female Free Ascent be a FFFA?
Not being from the region and therefore not knowing the history for the route… FFA has a meaning already.
To arbitrarily chang an accepted annotation means guide books worldwide are now misleading.
As a male I now apparently have a number of First Female Ascents recorded in various guidebooks.
There are guidebooks where the first ascent of a sport route is called a First Free Ascent? Usually it’s just referred to as the FA.
Of course… In areas where the first ascent was an aid ascent and then someone came along and freed it, eliminating the aid.
First ascent was using aid. FA
First Free Ascent is without. FFA
First Female Free Ascent: FFFA?
BTW, I respect where you guys are coming from. Referring to first female ascents, whatever you think of that designation, is not new as I’ve been doing it for at least 5 years on this site and I was not the first to do so by any stretch. I agree it is potentially confusing, but I think once you separate the world of trad/multipitch where it’s helpful to differentiate between aid and free ascents and the world of single pitch sport climbs and bouldering where only free ascents are recognized it becomes less confusing.
I honestly don’t understand the concept of a first female ascent. What Ashima can do is amazing and is completely worthy of the press she is getting but why is it note worthy to state that its a FFA. When is see FFA I do recognize it as a first female ascent which I imagine is insulting to women. Lynn Hill was the first person to free climb the Nose. When Scott Burke did it no one called it the ‘first male ascent’ it was jut the second ascent. I’d like to see the growing contingent of women focus on first ascents and developing versus just repeating. However, as long as its notable in the media I think women will seek out routes that have not seen a female ascent to put more effort into them. Just a thought.
If you don’t record the FFA how can you possibly know when to downrate it?
On a more serious note, climbing is, historically and presently, a male dominated sport. A First-Female Ascent is noteworthy because of this. Using Lynn Hill as an example, consider when she did the FFA of a 5.14, Masse Critique in Cimai, France, in response to J.B. Tribout saying it’s too hard of a route to be done by a woman.
Also, logging FFAs is inspiring to other women climbers, just read any recent interview with a leading woman in climbing, at some point they mention how they are inspired to try harder on a route given that another woman (i.e. by someone with a similar stature, skill set and strengths) has already done it.
Maybe you should worry about yourself. I am pretty sure
females couldn’t care less about what YOU think we should be doing.
I think it is awesome that she got the FFA, but more importantly, I
think it is awesome that she is pushing the limits of her own
climbing. Did it occur to you that females may be inspired by lines
and psyched to push their own limits, regardless of recognition? I
am frankly disgusted by your post.
“I am pretty sure females couldn’t care less about what YOU think we should be doing.”
First, the opening joke was in reference to when Better Eat Your Wheaties in Hueco Tanks was downgraded to V8 by John Sherman once Bobbi Bensman did the FFA. It was also in reference to the comment by J.B. Tribout that I included.
Second, I stated nothing prescriptive about what anyone should be doing. I only stated what people, top women climbers even, are saying in interviews about gender discrimination and sources of inspiriation.
“Did it occur to you that females may be inspired by lines and psyched to push their own limits, regardless of recognition?” This did occur to me yes, but that is not what I was responding to in Kurt’s post.
I was replying to his question of “why is it note worthy to state that its a FFA.” It is noteworthy to recognize FFAs for the reasons I listed. Those obviously aren’t all the reasons but they are common ones. In fact, my final point alludes to the opening segment of Heather Robinson on Power Windows, where she states “I started working Power Windows last march, when I saw another girl on the route…really inspiring. I just thought wow, that would be fantastic to be able to climb that route”. You can watch the video for yourself here:
Finally, take a visit to http://cruxcrush.com/ and read through the interviews. You find many examples of just what I was referring to, women being inspired by other women who climb hard.
I think it’s a great thing cause I’m inspired by anyone, male or female, taking down projects.
I was not replying to your post, but the one above by Kurt. I thought your post was thoughtful. I apologize that you thought those comments were directed at you.