Kids these days. They’ll do anything, like climb El Capitan. On June 12, 10-year-old Selah Schneiter became the youngest person to ascend the valley’s historic route. Following in the footsteps of Lynn Hill, the wee climber—who measures 4’2”—topped out on the route at 5:45 p.m. and was joined by her father Mike and his friend Mark. All in all, it took their group five days. At times she admitted to being scared but overall found the experience enjoyable. And when she found herself becoming wary, she found strength in her underlying motivation: celebratory pizza for reaching the top. Schneiter isn’t new to this big wall style, but the Nose’s 31 pitches of free and aid climbing definitely put her skills to the test. She confidently led the first pitch and the bolt traverse.
Schneiter comes from a family rooted in climbing, particularly with a special connection to the Yosemite Valley. It’s where Schneiter’s parents fell in love 15 years ago, and Schneiter has been visiting the area since she was eight weeks old. She has naturally taken to the sport, with lots of help from her parents. Her dad even owns a guiding business in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
In addition to scaling the most famous wall in climbing, Schneiter loves math and playing her guitar. However, she’s got some competition coming. Her seven-year-old brother Zeke is looking to do the Nose next year after watching his big sister crush it. With these two groms, the future is looking bright for the next generation of climbers.