Ten-year-old US girl conquers Yosemite’s El Capitan

Published June 19, 2019, 7:27 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Agence France-Presse

A 10-year-old US girl has made rock climbing history by becoming the youngest person to ever scale Yosemite’s iconic El Capitan.


Selah Schneiter, of Colorado, scaled the nearly 3,000-foot (900-meter) “The Nose” route with her father, an experienced climber, and a family friend, over five days — and celebrated her feat on June 12 with a pizza.

“I just can’t believe I just did that,” an elated Schneiter said in a video that captured the moment she reached the top of the granite monolith in central California.

“Our big motto was ‘How do you eat an elephant?’ Small bites,” she told KFSN, an ABC affiliate. “One pitch at a time, one move at a time, one day at a time.”

Her father said Selah was in shock on reaching the top of the peak and broke down in tears.

“She said it was her first happy tears she’s ever had,” he said.

“We were tired after a long five days and camped out that night, but she was like a little kid again and wanted to check everything out, exploring almost like it was nothing.”

He said the pair spent time during the difficult climb on ledges “just relaxing … talking about the world… talking about life.”

Schneiter said rock climbing has been a big part of the family’s life — he met his wife while scaling El Capitan — and Selah now plans to encourage her seven-year-old brother to follow in her footsteps.

In 2017, renowned climber Alex Honnold became the first person to climb the granite monolith without ropes or safety equipment.

His historic climb took just under four hours and was immortalized by a team of filmmakers in the Oscar-winning documentary “Free Solo.”