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10-Year-Old Girl Climbs Iconic 3,000-Foot Yosemite Peak

Selah Schneiter celebrated with some pizza after the five-day mount.
El Capitan.
El Capitan.

Climbing “The Nose” of Yosemite’s El Capitan ― 3,000 vertical feet of sheer granite once thought to be insurmountable ― is a demanding and admirable feat even for experienced climbers.

Selah Schneiter did it at age 10. 

“I was scared just sometimes,” Selah told Outside magazine’s Chris Van Leuven at the top. “I thought it was really fun.” 

The Colorado girl became the youngest known person to summit the California peak, according to Outside magazine, upon reaching the top late Wednesday afternoon with her father, Mike Schneiter, and a close family friend, Mark Regier. 

Selah’s achievement was a long time coming. She first touched a boulder at 3 days old and started learning to climb years ago, according to her parents, who are, as you may guess, climbing aficionados. Mike Schneiter runs a climbing guide company in Colorado, and Selah’s mother, Joy Schneiter, is a registered nurse. The pair fell in love on an El Capitan climb back in 2001, The Denver Post reported

While Joy Schneiter stayed home with her three youngest children, Selah, Mike and Mark took five days to complete the journey at a leisurely pace, stopping for long lunch breaks with a view, Mike Schneiter told Alpinist

“We did this climb for us; it was her energy and her idea,” he said.

He described the climb on Instagram, where he posted a couple of photos of Selah against the massive cliff, a goal that she’d “worked hard towards.”

Back on solid ground, Selah celebrated by eating some pizza. 

“I don’t think there was necessarily a hardest time,” she told The Fresno Bee. “It was all hard. There were a few times where I would be sore and tired and sunburned, and that would kind of get me going a little bonkers. But overall, it was just great to be up there away from the world.”

El Capitan was first summited in 1958. Prior to Selah’s achievement, the youngest person to climb it was Scott Cory in 2001, at age 11, according to Outside. 

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