February 9, 2022

20 of The Best Rock Climbers in the World

by Kevin

Rock climbing is both an intriguing and a challenging event. It’s an adventure most people would instead not participate in it.

However, rock climbing enthusiasts will do everything possible to achieve their climbing objectives. Certainly, creating a name in rock climbing is quite an involving task.

Most of the world’s renowned rock climbers have credit for conquering some of the riskiest routes, some of which the attempt of climbing is itself a risk to an individual’s life.

This article features the best climbers in the world, whose skills have left the entire world wondering as numerous watch their documentaries. Follow us as we outline details regarding their achievements. 


Table of Contents

Best Professional Female Rock Climbers in the World

This is a list of the 10 best professional female rock climbers in the world.

  1. Janja Garnbret
  2. Ashima Shiraishi
  3. Sasha DiGiulian
  4. Angela Eiter
  5. Shauna Coxsey
  6. Lena Herrmann
  7. Lynn Hill
  8. Beth Rodden
  9. Claire Buhrfeind
  10. Margo Hayes

1. Janja Garnbret

Janja Garnbret

Janja Garnbret has created herself a name in rock climbing sports, having accomplished unmatchable challenges in the sport. One of the notable moments is the Tokyo Olympics, where she bagged the gold medal has emerged as the winner of the competition.

2019 was specifically a defining moment, during which she achieved her first victory in the Bolder World cup, having won all the matches. Notably, she has been able to resolve 74 of a total of 78 problems. 

  • Birthdate and Place: Mar 12, 1999, in Smartno pro-Slovenj Gradcu, Slovenia
  • Height: 1.64m (5 ft 5in).
  • Weight: 47kg
  • Highest grade: Redpoint: 9a (5.14d) On-sight: 8c (5.14b)
  • Specialty: Bouldering
  • Standout climbs: Having gone an entire IFSC Bouldering World Cup season without losing (2019).
  • Biography: Janja Garnbret Net Worth and Bio

2. Ashima Shiraishi

Ashima Shiraishi
Ashima Shiraishi

Ashima Shiraishi is the youngest, most prominent female rock climber globally. Among other dailies, the New York Times has pictured the gem as the most youthful bouldering phenom whose limelight caught the world at a surprise right at the age of 13.

Interestingly, she emerged as the 2nd climber to have succeeded in climbing the Horizon boulder at 14 years. Her star continues to shine, participating in IFSC World Youth Champions in 2015, 2016, and 2017 and she emerged as the winner in the female category. 

  • Birthdate and Place: Apr 3, 2001, in New York, United States of America
  • Height: 1.54m (5 ft 1in).
  • Weight: 40 kg
  • Highest grade: Redpoint: 5.14d/5.15a (9a/+), Bouldering: V15 (8C)
  • Specialty: Sport Climbing
  • Standout climbs: Known as the youngest person to climb a 5.14d/5.15a (9a/+) route and the first female to climb a 15 (8C) boulder.
  • Biography: Ashima Shiraishi Net Worth and Bio

3. Sasha DiGiulian

Sasha DiGiulian
Sasha DiGiulian

Sasha DiGiulian utilizes her small stature to her climbing advantage, utilizing the dynamic technique. The technique enables her to make powerful moves while carefully focusing on her footwork and body positioning. Furthermore, she has a characteristic of never giving up attitude and an ever-positive attitude which has been significant in her victories.

  • Birthdate and place: Oct 23, 1992, in Virginia, United States of America
  • Height: 1.57m (5 ft 2in).
  • Weight: About 45kg
  • Highest grade: Redpoint: 5.14d (9a), Bouldering: V11 (8A), On-sight: 5.14a (8b)
  • Specialty: Sport/Multi Climbing
  • Standout climbs: Mora Mora in Madagascar: She is the first female in ascent and 2nd ever female in free ascent (2017).
  • Biography: Sasha DiGiulian Net Worth and Bio

4. Angela Eiter

Angy Eiter
Angela Eiter

Angela Eiter features a notable personality among the greatest female climbers in the world. Her sports prowess is finding credit in IFSC Lead Climbing Word Cup victory three times. Furthermore, she has a win in IFSC Lead Climbing World Championships 4 times. She is the first female climber to climb a 9b (5.15b) route in Spain. 

  • Birth date and place: 27th Jan, 1986 in Arzl im Pitztal, Austria
  • Height: 1.54m (5 ft 1in).
  • Weight: 46kg
  • Highest grade: Redpoint: 9b (5.15b) Bouldering: V11 (8B), On-sight:8b (5.13d)
  • Specialty: Sport Climbing
  • Standout climbs La Planta de Shiva in Villanueva del Rosario (Spain), which is notably the hardest climb by a female climber (2017). Winning three World Cups in a row and four world championships. The first female to climb a 9b route (2017).
  • Biography: Angela Eiter Net Worth and Bio

5. Shauna Coxsey

Shauna Coxsey
Shauna Coxsey

Under the inspiration of Catherine Destiville, whom she only watched on a video for four years, Shauna continued to become a world sensation in bouldering. At the moment, she is one of the few who have won the gold medal in climbing, something that has been paramount in creating a niche for herself in climbing.

It’s noteworthy that, when she was 20 years old, she managed to climb her first V13 boulder problem and managed to attain the third best woman to ever climb V14 (8B) in the following year. 

  • Birthdate and place: Jan 27, 1993, in Runcorn, Cheshire. UK
  • Height: 1.63m (5 ft 4in).
  • Weight: 58kg
  • Highest grade: Redpoint 8B+ (V14)
  • Specialty: Bouldering
  • Standout climbs: IFSC Bouldering World Cup Winner 2016 and 2017.
  • Biography: Shauna Coxsey Net Worth and Bio

6. Lena Herrmann

Lena Herrmann
Lena Herrmann

Drawing inspiration from her dad and other Northern German climbing personalities, Lena Herrmann is Germany’s most vibrant rock climber. One of the most notable moments in her climbing life is the year 2015, during which she emerged as the winner of the German Champion in lead climbing in Frankenthal. 

Afterward, she continued to win a couple of other competitions in bouldering, including the German Youth Championship and Junior European Cup in 2012 and 2013, respectively. She also is the first woman who ever climbed the 8c+ difficulty “Battle Cat” route. Furthermore, she’s a discipline of revisiting Frankenjura, termed her favorite climbing location. 

  • Birthdate and place: Jan 28, 1994, in Germany
  • Height: 1.71m (5 ft 8in).
  • Weight: Not revealed
  • Highest grade: Redpoint: 8c+ (5.14c)
  • Specialty: Sport Climbing
  • Standout climbs: Battle Cat in the Degree of Difficulty 8c+ in Frankenjura.
  • Biography: Lena Herrmann Net Worth and Bio

7. Lynn Hill

Lynn Hill
Lynn Hill

Lynn Hill is a renowned rock climber who was born in America. She has the fame for leading competitive climbers, sport climbers, and boulders during the late 1980s and 1990. Moreover, she has a name for making the first free ascent of the difficult sheer rock face of “The Nose” in Yosemite Valley. She has the credit of being the best female climber globally and among the best all-time climbers. 

  • Birthdate and place: Jan 3, 1961, in Michigan, United States
  • Height: 1.57m (5 ft 2in).
  • Weight: 50kg
  • Highest grade: Redpoint 8b+/c(5.14a/b), On-sight 8a(5.13b) Bouldering 7B+ (V8)
  • Specialty: Sport Climbing
  • Standout climbs: First free ascent (FFA) of The Nose of El Capitan, First ever woman to onsight 8a (5.13b).
  • Biography: Lynn Hill Net Worth and Bio

8. Beth Rodden

Beth Rodden
Beth Rodden

Beth Rodden is a famous American rock climber well-known for her ascents of hard single pitch traditional routes. Beth is the youngest woman to climb 5.14a. Moreover, Rodden is the only woman who has redpointed a 5.14c traditional climb. From 2003 to 2010, Beth Rodden was married to the famous rock climber Tommy Caldwell.

  • Birth date and place: April 5, 1980, in San Francisco, California, United States
  • Height: 1.54m (5 ft 1in)
  • Weight: Not revealed
  • Highest grade: Redpoint: 5.14c (8c+); On-sight: 5.13a (7c+)
  • Specialty: Sport Climbing, Trad Climbing
  • Standout climbs: In 1998 she redpointed the sport route To Bolt Or Not To Be. This is the first 5.14 established in America, and Rodden became the youngest woman to ascend 5.14a. In February 2008, Rodden redpointed the first ascent of Meltdown.
  • Biography: Beth Rodden Net Worth and Bio

9. Claire Buhrfeind

Claire Buhrfeind
Claire Buhrfeind

Born in the United States, Clair Buhrfeind is a rock climber acknowledged for having emerged as a winner of the Panamerican Youth Championship of Montreal in 2017. In the same year, she also won the IFSC Youth World Championships in Innsbruck, emerging as the lead junior female winner.

Her rock climbing career continues to shine, participating in many other competitions, the most recent being the IFSC Climbing World Cup of 2021.

  • Birthdate and place: Aug 3, 1998, in the United States of America
  • Height: 1.54m (5 ft 1in).
  • Weight: Not revealed
  • Highest grade: Redpoint: 5.13d
  • Specialty: Sport Climbing
  • Standout climbs: Winner of Panamerican Youth Championship of Montreal in 2017.
  • Biography: Claire Buhrfeind Net Worth and Bio

10. Margo Hayes

Margo Hayes
Margo Hayes

Born in Colorado, Margo Hayes is a professional rock climber specializing in bouldering. During the World Youth Championships in Guangzhou, she won the Lead Climbing and Bouldering categories. She also has the title of the first woman to climb a 9a+ (5.15a) route.

  • Birthdate and place: Feb 11, 1998, in Colorado, United States of America
  • Height: 1.67m (5 ft 5in).
  • Weight: Not revealed
  • Highest grade: Redpoint: 9a+(5.15a)
  • Specialty: Lead Climbing, Bouldering
  • Standout climbs: The first female to climb a 9a+ route.
  • Biography: Margo Hayes Net Worth and Bio

Best Professional Male Rock Climbers in the World

This is a list of the 10 best professional male rock climbers in the world.

  1. Adam Ondra
  2. Chris Sharma
  3. Alexander Megos
  4. Alex Honnold
  5. Alain Robert
  6. Daniel Woods
  7. Tommy Caldwell
  8. Tomoa Narasaki
  9. Sebastien Bouin
  10. Jakob Schubert

1. Adam Ondra

Adam Ondra
Adam Ondra

Adam Ondra is one of the best male rock climbers globally and has unique rock climbing abilities. One of the most interesting aspects is his tactics and skills when climbing the rocks, which are at the center of his uniqueness. Notably, he manages to effectively save his energy and control his breathing, achieving this by making occasional shouts from the face of the rocks.

  • Birthdate and place: Feb 5, 1993, in Brno, Czech Republic
  • Height: 1.86m (6 ft 1in).
  • Weight: 70kg
  • Highest grade: Redpoint: 9c(5.15d), Onsight: 9a/5.14d, Bouldering: 8C+/V16
  • Specialty: Bouldering/Sport Climbing
  • Standout climbs: Climbing Silence in Flatanger, Norway, which is the hardest-ever free climb route (Grade 9c) in 2017.
  • Biography: Adam Ondra Net Worth and Bio

2. Chris Sharma

Chris Sharma
Chris Sharma

Chris Sharma climbs in a manner that is intended at achieving an absolute limit. He achieves this by climbing as much as possible and consistently raising the bar. Apart from Adam Ondra, he is the only other person who has ever climbed the most challenging route globally, La Dura Dura.

Unlike numerous others, he is a hands-on person and prefers learning on the route. He is fearless, something that helps him to achieve his climbing goals.

  • Birthdate and place: Apr 23, 1981, in Santa Cruz, California, United States.
  • Height: 1.83m (6 ft).
  • Weight: 75kg
  • Highest grade: Redpoint: 9b+(5.15c), Onsight: 5.14b (8c), Bouldering: 8C+/V15
  • Specialty: Sport Climbing/Deep Water Solo
  • Standout climbs: Es Pontas/Alash in Mallorca, Spain, which are the hardest ever deep-water solo ascents (2007/2017); La Dura Dura in Oliana, Spain, which is the toughest climb confirmed so far (2013).
  • Biography: Chris Sharma Net Worth and Bio

3. Alexander Megos

Alex Megos
Alex Megos

Alexander Megos is without question one of the greatest rock climbers in the world. He has started beginning climbing at a relatively younger life, six years. He is also thoroughly involved in climbing competitions. Several notable instances have given him a name amongst the top climbers in the world.

To begin with, he is the first person that ever climbed a 5.14d route, something he affirmed by repeating the route for two more victorious times. Notably, he has several boulder ascents in the ranges of V14 and V16. His name became a household name when he won three medals within three years. 

  • Birthdate and place: Aug 12th, 1993 in Germany
  • Height: 1.73m (5 ft 8in)
  • Weight: 57kg
  • Highest grade: Redpoint: 9b+(5.15c), Onsight: 5.14d (9a), Bouldering: 8C+/V15
  • Specialty: Bouldering/Lead Climbing
  • Standout climbs The 1st climber to onsight 9a (5.14d). Also, the 3rd person to redpoint 9b+ (5.15c).
  • Biography: Alex Megos Net Worth and Bio

4. Alex Honnold

Alex Honnold
Alex Honnold

Alex Honnold achieves his rock-climbing prowess by maintaining a discipline of continuous training. His preparation also includes being focused, consistent, and having a single mind on his climbing objective. These have been at the center of his rock climbing success.

Alex Honnold has developed techniques that help him take off and rise to the top without stopping while utilizing great speeds. 

  • Birthdate and place: Aug 17, 1985, in Sacramento, California, United States
  • Height: 1.8m (5 ft 11in)
  • Weight: 73kg
  • Highest grade: Redpoint: 9a(5.14d), Bouldering: 8a+/V12
  • Specialty: Free solo/Trad Climbing
  • Standout climbs: Freerider in Yosemite, the United States of America, which was the first free solo ascent on El Capitan (2017).
  • Biography: Alex Honnold Net Worth and Bio

5. Alain Robert

Alain Robert
Alain Robert

Alan Robert is also often termed the “Spiderman” and is famous for climbing tall skyscrapers rope-free. He is unique in that he climbs on urban ascents, unlike most other climbers listed herein. He follows the techniques that most natural rock climbers employ to achieve this.

In the present day, he is famous for having climbed over a hundred skyscrapers, including The Eiffel Tower, Petronas Towers, Sydney Opera House, and Burj Khalifa. Alain practices buildering, a climbing style where climbers climb buildings.

  • Birthdate and place: Aug 7, 1962, in Digoin, France
  • Height: 1.65m (5 ft 5in)
  • Weight: 50kg
  • Highest grade: Burj Khalifa in Dubai
  • Specialty: Urban Free Solo
  • Standout climbs: Burj Khalifa in Dubai – first ascent of the world’s tallest building (2011).
  • Biography: Alain Robers Net Worth and Bio

6. Daniel Woods

Daniel Woods
Daniel Woods

Daniel Woods is among the best rock climbers globally, he has additionally outlined his obsession for rock climbing as one of his strengths. As a result, he has had more competitions in V15 (second-toughest grade) than any other climber in the entire globe. Some of the qualities that make him successful include confidence, humility, and commitment.

Furthermore, his success results from continuously studying rock climbing by studying every material related to rock climbing, including watching videos. 

  • Birthdate and place: Aug 1, 1989, in Richardson, Texas, United States
  • Height: 1.7m (5 ft 7in)
  • Weight: 61kg
  • Highest grade: Redpoint: 9b (5.15b), Bouldering: 9A/V17
  • Specialty: Bouldering/Sport Climbing
  • Standout climbs: Creature of the Black Lagoon in Rocky Mountain NP, USA – a first climb of the world’s hardest consensus boulder problem (2016).
  • Biography: Daniel Woods Net Worth and Bio

7. Tommy Caldwell

Tommy Caldwell
Tommy Caldwell

Tommy Caldwell is one rock climber with a long history of victoriously climbing rocks. Much as he has been in the field for a long time, he performs excellently in rock climbing. Just as rock climbing involves encountering various challenges, his life has also had obstacles. He has had to undergo a divorce, experience an accident, and get kidnapped at some point in his life.

However, he has conquered all the outlined obstacles in conquering climbing challenges. During the accident, he lost one of his fingers, which only enhanced his climbing tactics. In recent days, Tommy and Alex Honnold have set a record speed climb on The Nose of El Capitan of 2 hours, 10 minutes, and 15 seconds. 

  • Birthdate and place: Aug 11, 1978, in Estes Park, Colorado, United States of America
  • Height: 1.75m (5 ft 9in)
  • Weight: 75kg
  • Highest grade: Redpoint: 9b(5.15b), Bouldering: V13
  • Specialty: Big Wall Climbing
  • Standout climbs: First-ever known climber to complete a 5.15b (9b) route.
  • Biography: Tommy Caldwell Net Worth and Bio

8. Tomoa Narasaki

Tomoa Narasaki
Tomoa Narasaki

Tomoa Narasaki is a famous rock climber characteristically known for indoor climbing. In indoor climbing, Tomoa is simple the best amongst all the climbers that ever existed. He utilizes a style that is explosive to exhibit his climbing prowess. This technique has been imperative in enabling him to emerge as a winner of 17 world cup boulder medals in four years successively. 

Moreover, he has had three bouldering world championships within the same period. His popularity heightened during his Olympic qualifier, during which he dominated significantly. It is noted that some of the best climbers have not attempted some of the routes he succeeded in. It is precise to mention that his prowess is top-notch. He has been a star to watch for numerous years. 

  • Birthdate and place: Jun 22 1996 in Utsunomiya, Japan
  • Height: 1.7m (5 ft 7in)
  • Weight: 58kg
  • Highest grade: 8b+/14
  • Specialty: Bouldering
  • Standout climbs: World cup winners 2016, 2017, and 2019.
  • Biography: Tomoa Narasaki Net Worth and Bio

9. Sebastien Bouin

Sebastien Bouin
Sebastien Bouin

Sebastien Bouin is a rock climber who can achieve his objectives. As such, he misses in the competition scenes since he focuses on conquering the most challenging routes for a single pitch sport than the competitions. He has realized all his objectives in the last few years by conquering every climb he set a target on. He currently sits as the third person to ascend Chlam Balam 5.14b.

Some of the reasons that make him stand out include his bravery, tenacity, and strength. Notably, he is the only climber in the world that has ever gone to the Flatlanger cave and reached Ondra’s sandbox. At only 26 years, he is one of the best sports climbers in the world, much as he doesn’t have an accolade for indoor climbing. 

  • Birthdate and place: Apr 7, 993 in Draguignan, France
  • Height: 1.8m (5 ft 11in)
  • Weight: 49kg
  • Highest grade: Redpoint: 9b (5.15c)
  • Specialty: Sport Climbing
  • Standout climbs: Flatlanger cave reaching the Ondra’s sandbox.
  • Biography: Sebastien Bouin Net Worth and Bio

10. Jakob Schubert

Jakob Schubert
Jakob Schubert

Jack Schubert is one of the famous rock climbers who is said to have been highly successful for a wide period. It is noteworthy that he won the World Cup and also went ahead to break the record of winning seven consecutive Lead World Cup competitions within a season in 2011. Interestingly, the world had presumed that his climbing career would have turned to a downward trend by the time he turned 29, which has not been the case.

In fact, after the said age, he seems to be priming. At the moment, he is the fifth climber that has conquered climb 5.15 successively. 

  • Birthdate and place: 31st Dec, 1990 in Innsbruck, Austria
  • Height: 1.76m (5 ft 9in)
  • Weight: 63kg
  • Highest grade: Redpoint: 9b+ (5.15c), Onsight: 8c (5.14b)
  • Speciality: Sport Climbing
  • Standout climbs: Three-time world cup winner (2011, 2014, and 2018). Three times lead climbing world champion (2012, 2018, and 2021).
  • Biography: Jakob Schubert Net Worth and Bio

Bonus: Jimmy Chin

Jimmy Chin
Jakob Schubert

Jimmy Chin is an American professional climber, photographer, Academy Award-winner for film directing, and one of the top-selling authors in the New York Times. Chin’s achievements include skiing and climbing Mount Everest from the summit. He’s also made the first ascents on big walls and alpine towers of the Karakoram and Garhwali Himalaya mountains.

  • Birthdate and place: October 12, 1973, in Mankato, Minnesota, United States
  • Height: 1.70m (5 ft 7in)
  • Weight: 75kg
  • Highest grade: Meru-Sharks Fin, first ascent of East Face VI 5.10 A4 M7, India, Chiru Mustagh, first ascent Southeast Ridge, 21,000 ft., Xinjiang, China
  • Speciality: Alpine Climbing/Mixed Climbing
  • Standout climbs: Jimmy Chin made the first ascents on big walls and alpine towers of the Karakoram and Garhwali Himalaya mountains.
  • Biography: Jimmy Chin Net Worth and Bio

Best Rock Climbers: FAQ

Who is the best rock climber in the world?

Adam Ondra is the best rock climber in male sport climbing, having climbed more 9b+ than any other climber. When it comes to women, the position has a couple of contenders, with Laura Rogora having recently become the second woman to climb 9b. 

Who is the most famous rock climber in the world? 

Without a question, the most famous rock climber is Alex Honnold. It is noteworthy that most magazines and media rely on him for questions and comments related to climbing events. It is factual that he is famous and a household name in rock climbing

Who is the best mountain climber/mountaineer in the world?

The best mountain climber in the world is Nirmal Purja who climbed 14 of the highest mountain peaks in the world in six months.

Final Thoughts about the Best Rock Climbers in the World

The recent past has seen an explosion in the sport of climbing, gaining a guaranteed position in the Olympics. Numerous young and talented climbers are emerging every other day, which may soon lead to the conquering of 5.16 and V8.

Even with the new trend, it is vital to remember the role played by the climbers that set the pace for rock climbing since they have been quite instrumental in the realization of the achievements realized so far. 

Moreover, it is also imperative that society keep a close watch on talents across ages and genders since, as notable, this sport has amazing dynamics.

The list outlined in the article is just but a small excerpt of the world’s many gifted and talented rock climbers. We believe that the list will continue to grow as the competition for the top spot heightens.

All photos used in this article are under the creative commons license.

The rankings on rappellingequipment.com are curated to save you time by aggregating the best reviewed products from the most reputable companies. We may receive a commission if you buy something using a link on this page.

About the author 

Kevin

Kevin loves bouldering. Mainly because he can practice it alone without considering other people. Although he rediscovered this hobby in the last three years, the boulders turned out to be his most visited landmarks.

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