Aries Rahayu breaks world climbing speed record
Aries Rahayu breaks world speed climbing record; photo credit: Eddie Fowke/IFSC

‘Spider-Woman’ Breaks 7 Seconds in Speed Climbing Record

Aries Susanti Rahayu, a climber from Indonesia, made history this week at the IFSC World Cup — a world climbing competition that will determine who will climb at the 2020 Olympics.

Rahayu may be small, but as soon as she hits the wall you can tell looks are deceiving. This week, Rahayu set a new women’s speed climbing record at 6.995 seconds. (The women hit the wall at about 1:10 in the video below.)

This feat means she is also the first woman to break the 7-second barrier. Oh, and she did it with an injured finger.

“My condition is not good,” she said, showing her hurt hand to the camera, “But wow, [this is] amazing for me.”

In 2018, Indonesian fans nicknamed Rahayu “Spider-Woman” due to her speed climbing prowess. In the record-breaking video, we get a glimpse at what that really looks like.

The speed climbing wall is 15 m — nearly 50 feet — tall. Rayahu climbs next to Chinese climber Yiling Song, who previously held the speed climbing record. Iranian climber Reza Alipour Shenazandifar holds the men’s speed climbing record at 5.48 seconds.

Speed climbing is one of the three disciplines (alongside bouldering and lead climbing) to debut at the Tokyo Olympics next summer. The IFSC posted on its Twitter congratulating Rahayu and announcing the new record.

Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.