When Walter Parry Haskett Smith Free Soloed the Napes Needle in the late 19th century, unknown to him that he had set in motion a trend that will survive decades and be welcomed by our best rock climbers in the world and millions worldwide.
Since the early days of modern rock climbing, several generations of rock climbers have done their part in ensuring the survival of rock climbing. In recent years, the results of their labors have become apparent.
The mainstream popularity of rock climbing has led to the rise of amiable climbers with incredible skills, several of whom have recorded astounding achievements. Thus, Climbing Apex presents to you the best rock climbers in the world.
Best Rock Climbers in the World
These notable climbers who engage in multiple rock climbing forms have made names for themselves in the rock climbing world through sheer unbending will and determination.
In this article, the best rock climbers in the world are recognized for their intense passion and impressive climbing talents.
10. Angela Eiter
One of the best female climbers globally, the Austrian climber, has won the IFSC Lead Climbing World Cup three times and the IFSC Lead Climbing World Championships four times.
Eiter is also known as the first female climber to climb a 9b (5.15b) route, the La Planta de Shiva, located in Villanueva del Rosario, Spain. Before her successful ascent of the La Planta de Shiva in 2017, Eiter had made two unsuccessful attempts.
9. Tommy Caldwell
He is one of the most famous climbers globally. The American climber made headlines in 2000 after he, his ex-wife and fellow climber, Beth Rodden, and two other climbers were held hostage by rebels in Kyrgyzstan for six days during a climbing expedition.
In January 2015, Caldwell was the center of media attention after he and Kevin Jorgeson became the first climbers to free climb the dawn wall section of the El Capitan rock at the Yosemite National Park.
Caldwell has been featured in rock climbing documentaries, with the most popular being the Dawn Wall, which detailed his ascent of the Dawn Wall and Free Solo, which centers on Alex Honnold’s epic achievement.
8. Daniel Woods
A climber with immense talents, Woods specializes in bouldering, he ranks as America’s most successful male competition climber. Woods has emerged victorious in the ABS National Championship on nine occasions.
He also has recorded victories in the SCS National Championship, the Vail World Cup, an IFSC World Cup event, and his multiple winners of the Hueco Tanks Rock Rodeo.
His passion for bouldering has led him to establish bouldering problems in locations such as Rocklands in South Africa, Magic Wood, Switzerland, and the Rocky Mountain National Park, in his country of origin, the United States of America.
7. Sasha DiGiulian
A fierce competitor, Sasha DiGiulian, one of America’s top female rock climbers have recorded several wins at various competitions, such as her three-time USA Climbing National Championships Gold medal, five-time Pan-American Championships Gold Medal (Bouldering, Combined, and Sports), and her one time 2011 IFSC World Championship Gold medal in the overall category.
Sasha is the first female climber to ascend a 9a (5.14d) route and free climb Switzerland’s Eiger, Magic Mushroom, a 7c+ route.
6. Alain Robert
French free solo climber, Alain Robert, did not get is nickname “the French Spider-Man” by accident. The insanely talented climber has a reputation for not climbing artificial walls, mountains, or rock formations, but for climbing skyscrapers.
Despite several climbing accidents that have seen him slip into unconsciousness for long as five days, the star has continued to live up to his nickname.
One of his most daring climbs was his free solo climbing of the Taipei 101 in 2004, the then tallest building in the world. Alain Robert has been arrested several times after his daring climbs, but that has not deterred him.
5. Alex Megos
Alex Megos’ presence on this list is primarily due to his ability to expertly ascend challenging routes in minimal time, without practicing it previously.
The German climber who began climbing at the tender age of 6, is the first climber ever to ascend on -sight a 9a (5.14d) route.
Megos has gone on to climbers other routes and competed in several climbing tournaments where he has successfully finished I the top 3, such as his 2018 IFSC Lead Climbing World Cup Bronze medal and 2018 Briancon World Cup Gd medal wins.
In 2021, Megos will have his eyes set on adding an Olympics medal to his collection.
4. Ashima Shiraishi
The youngest climber on this list of best rock climbers in the world, the teenage climber, is genuinely a “young Crusher” and “bouldering phenom” as Outside Magazine and The New York Times respectively describes her.
As young as age 13, she emerged as the youngest and second female climber to ascend a route with 5.14d/5.15a (9a/9a+) difficulty grade.
At age 14, she became the second climber to complete the Horizon boulder problem an 8C/V15, located in Mount Hiei, Japan. She claimed Gold at the Female Youth B Lead and Bouldering category in 2015, 2016, and 2017 editions of the IFSC World Youth Championships.
In 2017, Shiraishi, who won that year’s female sports category at the SCS Nationals, began competing as an adult.
3. Alex Honnold’s
Probably the Mozart of rock climbing, Alex Honnold needs no introduction in the rock climbing world. Honnold, who dropped out of the University of California, Berkeley, to pursue a career in rock climbing, achieved one of the most extraordinary feats in athletics when he free soloed the El Capitan, the only climber who completed the feat.
His accomplishment was well documented in the 2018 documentary, Free Solo, which won a BAFTA award and an Academy Award.
2. Chris Sharma
Second, in our list of best rock climbers in the world ever seen, Chris Sharma, who embraced climbing at age 12, is the first climber in history to redpoint a 9b (5.15b)route after he ascended Jumbo Love in California in 2008.
One route, which Sharma found to be extremely difficult, is the La Dura Dura, a 9b+ (5.15c) route in Peramola, Catalonia, Spain. That route helped foster a healthy rivalry between Sharma, who was then considered the best in the climbing world, and fast-rising star in the game, Adam Ondra.
In March 2013, Sharma overcame the difficulty of the route.
1. Adam Ondra
Czech climber Adam Ondra undoubtedly holds the top spot in our list of best rock climbers in the world at the moment. The star has won more than a dozen good medals in various rock climbing tournaments.
Adam became the first climber to win Gold in lead climbing in 2014 and bouldering in the same year, at the 2014 IFSC Climbing World Championships. He also holds the record of being the only male climber to have won the World Cup Series in lead climbing and bouldering.
Ondra, who began climbing at the age of 6, is the only climber to have ascended the most challenging climbing route on the planet, which he named Silence, located in Flatanger, Norway.
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