Press "Enter" to skip to content

Girl, Age 10, Is Youngest to Climb El Capitan’s Nose

Yosemite National Park, California —(Map)

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 — in Yosemite Valley.
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.
(Source: Almonroth [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)

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.

The 2800 foot 'Nose Route' of El Capitan ascends a line meandering for roughly 30 rope lengths in the vicinity of where the sun meets the shade.
Since 1958, people have discovered several ways to climb El Capitan. None of them are easy. The most famous is climbing “The Nose” of El Capitan. The Nose is shown in this picture where the light meets the shadow.
(Source: Meros Felsenmaus [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)

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”.

A woman lying on a portaledge.
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”. The picture shows someone (not Selah) using a portaledge.
(Source: mariachily [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)

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.”

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.” ABC News posted this picture online.

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.”

Selah took this selfie once she reached the top of El Capitan. The picture was posted online by the city where Selah lives.

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.”

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.” The news of Selah’s climb is being covered all over the world. This picture of Selah and her father was posted online by a French magazine.

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.

Yosemite National Park, California


View Larger Map
Share:

Settings

Most news on NewsForKids.net is appropriate for all ages. When there is news that may not be suitable for all ages, we try to tag it. You can use the setting below to control whether content tagged in this manner is shown.