10-year-old Girl Becomes Youngest Person to Climb Yosemite’s El Capitan
A 10-year-old girl has become the youngest person on record to climb to the top of Yosemite’s 3,000-foot El Capitan summit.
Selah Schneiter is 10 years old and from Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Last week, she and her father Mike Schneiter, along with family friend Mark Regier, spent five days climbing to the top of Yosemite’s vertiginous peak.
“Our big motto was ‘How do you eat an elephant?’ Small bites,” Selah told local ABC News 30. “One pitch at a time...one move at a time...one day at a time.”
The trio went up the 3,000-foot route called “The Nose,” which is famous for its steep and challenging ascent.
This is not the Schneiter family’s first ascent up El Cap. Mike, a climbing instructor, and his wife Joy fell in love while climbing the mountain 15 years ago and they’ve made it an annual tradition to visit.
Selah has been on mountains since she was three days old. Shortly after her birth, Mike posted a photo of his newborn daughter at Hanging Lake Boulder in Colorado, writing, “getting her first taste of the rock, crimping down hard on the crux moves.” Selah is the oldest of their children — and she already plans to bring her seven-year-old brother to the mountain next year.
“Once she topped out, she was the first one to go up to this tree, that is a symbolic thing for climbers, and she just broke down in tears,” Mike told ABC News. “She said it was her first happy tears she's ever had.”
Selah spent about one year before the climb researching and training. “It was her energy and her idea," Mike told Alpinist. Selah said she wanted to inspire other kids, particularly other girls, to get out and be active.
In 2001, an 11-year-old named Scott Cory became the youngest person to climb the mountain and held the record up until Schneiter’s ascent.