On June 12, Selah Schneiter set the record as the youngest person to successfully complete the famous climb up “The Nose” of El Capitan. Selah is just 10 years old.
Selah has had a love of climbing since she was young. Her father, Mike Schneiter, is a climbing guide in Colorado. Her father and mother fell in love on El Capitan. That story is part of what made her want to climb it.
El Capitan is a famous mountain-sized rock in Yosemite National Park in Colorado. There are hiking trails that lead up to the top of the rock, but it is the two wrinkled 3,000-foot (914-meter) cliff faces that get most of the attention.
People once thought it was impossible to climb El Capitan, but it was finally done in 1958. Since then, people have discovered many ways to climb it. None of them are easy. The most famous is climbing “The Nose” of El Capitan.
Selah, who says she’s thought about climbing El Capitan since she was six or seven, tackled the climb with her father and a friend of his, Mark Regier.
Climbing El Capitan is not the sort of thing to take on if you’re in a rush. Though some people have managed to climb El Capitan in a day, most people take four or five. That means sleeping on the side of the cliff on something called a “portaledge”.
Selah’s group took their time, enjoying their mornings and their lunchtimes. It was hard at times. Selah got tired, and sore, and felt burned by the sun. But she kept going.
Selah was roped in and wore safety gear to make sure she was always protected. Selah admits that she was scared sometimes. But overall, she says, “I thought it was really fun.”
10-year-old Selah Schneiter becomes the youngest climber on record to make it to the top of "The Nose" route on El Capitan—one of the most challenging and infamous vertical rock formations in Yosemite. https://t.co/AxWs9rdw4z pic.twitter.com/AjDdLUdn68
— ABC News (@ABC) June 17, 2019
Her father was very impressed. “She was just so upbeat, positive, strong, helpful – being awesome,” he told the newspaper The Fresno Bee. “She just kept plugging away.”
At 5:45 in the afternoon on the fifth day, they finally arrived at the top.
For anyone thinking about a similar challenge, Selah says, “It doesn’t take necessarily a super special person to do something like that. You have to put your mind to it. You have to think about it.”
Shout-out to Selah Schneiter, Glenwood Springs athlete and idol! It took her five days for to reach the top of El Capitan. She is youngest documented climber ever to scale the 3,000-foot vertical rock formation! @climbglenwood #coloradolivehttps://t.co/mm9OvpheBg pic.twitter.com/RHAjyvZZ4E
— Visit Glenwood (@VisitGlenwood) June 21, 2019
Outside of climbing, Selah feels like she is a normal kid. She has a lot of other interests. She loves math and plays guitar.
She didn’t make the climb in order to set a record. “We did this climb for us,” said her father. “It was her energy and her idea.”
— Paris Match (@ParisMatch) June 21, 2019
Still, as a 10-year-old, Selah is now the youngest person to have climbed The Nose of El Capitan. Scott Cory held the record before, climbing it as an 11-year-old in 2001.
But Selah may not hold the record for long. Her mother says that Selah’s younger brother, who is seven, wants to climb it next year.
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