10-Year-Old Girl Becomes Youngest Person To Climb Yosemite's El Capitan

By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter

June 20, 2019

A 10-year-old girl may have become the youngest person ever to scale one of the most challenging peaks in the world that even gives experienced climbers pause - Yosemite National Park's El Capitan.

Selah Schneiter, her father and a family friend set out to climb the granite monolith dubbed El Capitan on June 7, using a well-known route called the Nose. The trio reached the summit on June 12, in a climb that generally takes more experienced climbers four or five days to complete.

Selah, who recently completed fourth grade, told the Today Show that reaching the top of the peak was, "really overwhelming and emotional."

"I was also kind of sad because it was over," she said.

The only thing Selah was afraid of was if bad weather came along, that would mean their group would have to turn around and go back down. Fortunately the weather held out and Selah and her father were able to progress up the sheer rock face one step at a time.

"Our big motto was ‘How do you eat an elephant?’ Small bites," said Selah. "One pitch at a time ... one move at a time ... one day at a time."

At only 10-years-old, Selah may be the youngest person yet to scale the Nose, something she may have been born to do. Selah's father and mother fell in love while they were climbing El Capitan 15 years ago and the family often takes vacations in areas where there is rock climbing.

11-year-old Scott Cory climbed the Nose twice in 2011 and 13-year-old Tori Allen climbed it in the same year.

El Capitan, or El Cap, is a vertical rock formation located on the north side of Yosemite National Park. The granite monolith is approximately 3,000 feet from base to summit, making it a popular destination for climbers all over the world.

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