On Sunday, February 26 in Siurana, Spain, 19-year-old Margo Hayes made rock climbing history. She became the first woman to ever complete a 5.15 route, the most difficult rating in all of rock climbing.
Hayes ascended La Rambla, which is one of the most difficult routes in the world that only 16 others have sent. She spent 7 days studying the climb and eventually nailed it on Sunday. Saying in an Instagram post, “None of us achieves our dreams alone, we do so together, and build on those who have come before us.”
Growing up in Boulder, Colorado, Hayes is currently studying abroad for a year in France, honing her climbing skills along the way. She recently completed 14 5.14’s and last August became the first female to send the 5.14d Bad Girls Club in Rifle, Colorado.
I am overwhelmed and humbled by the support I've received from the climbing community, and my family and friends near and far. None of us achieves our dreams alone, we do so together, and build on those who have come before us. We are a community that not only supports each other regardless of our backgrounds and differences, but is also one that realizes the importance of respecting and preserving our planet. The climbers at the cliffs in Siurana last weekend came from many nations, and were a snapshot of what the world can be like, one of support, communication, and peace. 👬👭👫🌍👫👭👬 Kudos to @honngy for the initial send… up next @jon_cardwell! Thank you @greg_mionske for capturing our try hard moments! 🎥 Xoxo Margo @thenorthface @petzl_official @lasportivana @dogearedjewelry
Hayes is not the only female that has been pushing the ceiling for women’s climbing. In March of last year, Ashima Shiraishi became the youngest climber ever, and first female, to send the second-most difficult rating in climbing, a 5.14.
With Hayes (19) and Shiraishi (15) still just teenagers, it’s amazing to see two young women leading the charge of female climbing.
Both young women are part of a new generation that has grown up dedicated to rock climbing from an early age and also experiencing the popularity of climbing gyms all over the country. They are right there with the best men in the entire world, which is extremely inspiring to see.