News – Angie Scarth-Johnson Climbs 33

Once again, one of our youngest climbers has proved herself to be one of the few Australians at the cutting edge when it comes to climbing at a world-class level. Just a couple of days ago the Blue Mountains’ Angie Scarth-Johnson became the youngest person to climb grade 33 (8c) with her ascent of Welcome to Tijuana at Rodellar in Spain. She is still only ten years old. In doing so, Angie has skipped a grade, as her previous hardest ascent was grade 31, Zona 31 at Margalef – she is also the youngest person to climb 31, doing so at the age of nine.

11173350_751455291619219_5638275677996551519_nWelcome to Tijuana is a super steep limestone route, but it obviously suits shorter people as it was also the route climbed by the previous youngest person to climb 33, Brooke Raboutou (daughter of climbing legends Didier Raboutou and Robyn Erbesfield), who climbed it at what looks like the now venerable age of 11 in 2012.

According to Claudia, Angie’s mum, the usual crux of the route wasn’t too difficult for Angie, but there was a long move to clip the anchor that she found hard. However, she worked out a way to overcome this – no doubt using some very small holds and her fearsome crimp.

Climbing Welcome to Tijuana also means that Angie is the third Australian female to have climbed 33, after Monique Forestier (who’s climbed two: Fish Eye in Spain and Tiger Cat in the Blue Mountains) and Andrea Hah (Tiger Cat). She also joins a very small number of Australian climbers – men or women – to have climbed this grade overseas.

UPDATE 27/04/15
Angie has just updated her Facebook page to say that apparently there was some confusion about what route she climbed. After talking to some local climbers it turns out that she actually climbed a variant to Welcome to Tijuana called Tijuanita, which is graded 32 rather than 33 – it climbs holds just to the left of Welcome to Tijuana. It’s still a personal best for Angie, and she says ‘…I did ‘Tijuanita ‘8b+ even though it is not an 8c I’m still really happy with this!’ Good on her for being so upfront about it. Apparently Tijunana will now be bolted as a separate route and be added to the topo to avoid future confusion.

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