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Rock Climbing : News : Ascents : Tomoko Ogawa Becomes First Female to Boulder V14

Tomoko Ogawa Becomes First Female to Boulder V14

Submitted by admin on 2012-10-23

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On the 20th of October Japanese climber Tomoko Ogawa was able to achieve a career highlighting goal, at thirty four years old, she is the first female to climb a confirmed V14. Her amazing ascent was recorded at Catharsis in Shiobara, Japan. The meaning of Catharsis being “The process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.” is quite fitting under the circumstance.

The problem, Catharsis, which consists of about 15 moves across a big cave roof, was originally discovered by the great Japanese climber Dai Koyamada in 2005. Koyamada also developed many of the hard climbing routes at this big cave in Shiobara.

The second ascent of Catharsis was done by Daniel Woods, who made a trip to Japan earlier this year and managed to make the problem 2nd try on the 14 of February. Woods was able to confirm the grade, calling it a “soft 14”.

This momentous task didn’t come easy to Ogawa, the problem has taken her three years of hard work to accomplish.

Ogawa had previously climbed two other V12 problems in Japan and many other V10 and V11 problems all around the world, some of these include: Bishop, Fontainebleau, Hueco Tanks, and Rocklands. All these previous problems were idea practice for the monstrous V14 in Shiobara.

There are a number of women who have bouldered V13, these include: Angie Payne and Ashima Shiraishi from America, Barbara Zangerl and Anna Stöhr from Austria, Dorothea Karalus from Germany, and Therese Johansen from Norway.

This problem, as many V14’s, can be summed up as big moves, with bad holds on steep rock seems. The video below shows Ogawa’s determination as she fights her way through this grueling climb and sends Catharsis. Her excitement at the finish just shows how hard this problem is to complete.

We at would like to congratulate Tomoko on her outstanding feat!


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