Yuji Hirayama

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Yuji Hirayama
Yuji Hirayama at TEDxTokyo 2009
Personal information
Born (1969-02-23) February 23, 1969 (age 55)
Height173 cm (5 ft 8 in)
Weight65 kg (143 lb)
Climbing career
Type of climberSport climbing
Highest grade
Known forFirst man to onsight 8c (5.14b)
Medal record
IFSC World Championships
Silver medal – second place 1991 Frankfurt Lead
Silver medal – second place 1999 Birmingham Lead
Bronze medal – third place 1993 Innsbruck Lead
IFSC Climbing World Cup
Bronze medal – third place 1991 Lead
Bronze medal – third place 1993 Lead
Winner 1998 Lead
Winner 2000 Lead
Rock Master
Winner 1991 Lead
Updated on 13 May 2013.

Yuji Hirayama (平山ユージ; born February 23, 1969) is a Japanese rock climber specializing in lead climbing competitions. He won two Lead World Cups, in 1998 (becoming the first Asian climber to win the title)[1] and in 2000.[2] He is notable for being the first-ever climber to onsight an 8c (5.14b) route, and for his various speed records on El Capitan.

Climbing career[edit]

On November 25, 1999, Hirayama onsighted Mortal Kombat (Castillon, FRA), which gained some historical relevance because it was initially believed to be the world's first onsight of an 8c (5.14b); however, a few days later, Hirayama himself downgraded it to 8b+,[3] which has become the consensus grading.[4]

On September 29, 2002, Hirayama and Hans Florine climbed The Nose in 2:48:55, setting a new speed record.[5]

In 2003, he made the first ascent of a proposed 9a+ (5.15a) called Flat Mountain.[6]

On October 6, 2004, he onsighted the 8c (5.14b) graded White Zombie in Baltzola Cave, ESP. This was the world's first-ever onsight of an 8c in history.[4][7]). On 2005 Aug 10, Tomas Mrazek had the 2nd 8c onsight, Pata Negra at Rodellar in eastern Spain.[8]

In 2007, his El Capitan Nose record was broken by the German brothers Alexander Huber and Thomas Huber. The Hubers climbed The Nose on October 8, 2007 in 2 hours, 45 minutes and 45 seconds.[9] On July 2, 2008, Hirayama and Florine retook the record in a time of 2:43:33.[10] Then on October 12, 2008, they lowered the record to 2:37:05.[11]

In 2008, he made the third ascent of boulder problem, Uma V14 (8B+) at Shiobara, and the first ascent of Ginga V14 (8B+) at Kanoto.[12] In 2009, he made the 6th ascent of Cobra Crack in Squamish, British Columbia.

In 2012, he freed a multi-pitch route called Pogulian Do Koduduo in the Mount Kinabalu National Park in Borneo with one pitch at 9a.[13]

Business career[edit]

In 2010, Hirayama opened "Climb Park Base Camp", a climbing gym in Saitama prefecture, Japan.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rankings - UIAA Climbing Worldcup 1998 - MEN lead". ifsc-climbing.org. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Rankings - UIAA Climbing Worldcup 2000 - MEN lead". ifsc-climbing.org. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Yuji Hirayama first to onsight 8c!". planetmountain.com. Note: The title of this article is misleading, as the article contains an interview in which Hirayama downgraded the route to 8b+
  4. ^ a b "Yuji Hirayama world's first 8c on-sight!". planetmountain.com.
  5. ^ "Hirayama and Florine set new Nose record". planetmountain.com. 2 October 2002. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  6. ^ Jeff Achey (15 June 2012). "Flat Mountain". climbing.com. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Yuji Hirayama White Zombie Onsight". Youtube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-12.
  8. ^ "Mrazek onsights Pata negra 8c!". planetmountain.com. 13 September 2005. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  9. ^ Luke Bauer (9 October 2007). "Huber brothers break speed record on the Nose, twice". alpinist.com. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  10. ^ Eric Perlman (4 September 2008). "The Nose goes quicker". climbing.com. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  11. ^ Larry Arthur (30 May 2012). "Yuji and Hans Speed Up The Nose – An El Capitan Dispatch from Yosemite, CA". climbing.com. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Yuji Hirayama Still Has the Power". climbing.com. 24 April 2008. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  13. ^ "Borneo, new extreme rock climbs by Yuji Hirayama, Daniel Woods and James Pearson on Mount Kinabalu".
  14. ^ "Home". b-camp.jp.

External links[edit]