Nina Williams
Rock Climber

Nina Williams

Boulder, Colorado


Nina Williams, one of the few female boulderers to climb V13, has a knack for highball bouldering. Boulder problems 20 feet or higher, “highballs” combine the physicality of bouldering with the mental discipline of free soloing. In 2016, Nina made the first female ascent of Ambrosia, a 50ft-tall V11 in the Buttermilks outside Bishop, California in what Climbing magazine called "one of the hardest free solos ever done by a woman”. That was after climbing two other difficult routes on the same boulder: the north facing Footprints (V9) in 2014 and the south facing Evilution Direct (V11) in 2015, completing the "Grandpa Peabody Trifecta." You guessed it - she was the first woman to do so.  

At 5’3”, Nina climbs with a necessary dynamic style and an ethos to match. She enjoys facing her fears and managing risk. Nina discovered climbing at 12 years old and joined a Rhode Island-based youth climbing team the following year. After moving to Boulder in 2010, her career accelerated. She learned the basics of structured training and establishing goals, and utilized her new regiment to send Ray of Light, her first V13 (8B) in Rocklands, South Africa. In 2016, she expanded her climbing skill set with a send of the 900-foot Final Frontier, (V 5.13b) trad route in Yosemite. Then in 2018, Nina led all the crux pitches in a six-day free ascent of the 2,000-foot Father Time (VI 5.13b) on Yosemite’s Middle Cathedral after becoming the first woman, and only the fourth person ever at the time, to send the Flagstaff crimping test piece Window Shopper (V12) in Boulder.

At home, the 28-year-year-old attends the University of Colorado Boulder as a full-time student. Nina is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) in Leadership and Development, working with women and people of color to build confident, intentional lives. She has worked with Color the Crag, Flash Foxy, and the London Women's Climbing Symposium in addition to leading clinics at climbing gyms across the country. When she's not coaching or studying, Nina hangs out with her pet hedgehog Frankie Von Quillsbury.

See Nina's Pledge to Reset here.