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And here are my favourite climbers. Mostly this is off the cuff, so is useful as a metric of attention. I can’t say this reflects any actually astute judging of athletic merit, ha. My enjoyment of climbing is artistic, aesthetic, and intellectual. (I will admit to admiring these virtues especially in strong, pretty ladies.)

Shiraishi Ashima

(Skills (Pensiveness, Exhuberance, Doggedness, Creativity))

Noguchi Akiyo

(Skills (Experience, Methodicality, Wisdom, Endurance))

Itō Futaba

(Skills (Enjoyment, Exhuberance, Endurance))

Margaret Hayes

(Skills (Kindness, Exhuberance, Daring))

I can see how Ashima may frustrate her coaches and team leaders. She is one of the best, natch. But she isn’t a competitor, really. She takes her time, sometimes far too much. She doesn’t do parkour as well as some. Hopefully she will learn daring in the coming years.

But Ashima delights the eye and heart. She is naturally part of the wall in a way few others seem to be. One watches her with awe as with as any creature with a preternatural feel for vertical surfaces. She can surprise with her seamless creativity. So although I hope she learns the skills she needs to win more medals, it is precisely her forgetfulness of the competition which makes Ashima a joy.


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