10-year-old is youngest in history to climb Yosemite's El Capitan

A 10-year-old girl will have quite the answer when classmates ask her what she did over the summer.

She is the youngest person in history to climb the 3,000 feet "nose route" on Yosemite's El Capitan.

Selah Schneiter just might be the best 10-year old rock climber in the world.

"Overall there wasn't necessarily a hard part because in every part there was something that was easy and something that was hard and something that was in the middle," she says.

Her dad Mike and his friend Mark were there pitch by pitch, every step of the way, helping to complete the record-setting push in just five days on June 12.

"We got to hang out together, spend some time on ledges just relaxing, talking about the world, talking about life, talking about the river below and having a good time," says Mike Schneiter.

Climbing is in Selah's blood.

The Schneiter family lives in Colorado, but Mike and his wife Joy fell in love 15 years ago while scaling El Capitan.

Since then, the family makes yearly trips to Yosemite.

"Our big motto was 'How do you eat an elephant?' Small bites. One pitch at a time, one move at a time, one day at a time," Selah says.

Mike and his friend Mark called the experience of reaching the top of Yosemite's most famous wall with Selah an emotional one.

"It was just a huge undertaking and there was just a big emotional release for me at the end that we actually did it. And we got my best friend's daughter to the top of El Capitan. That's amazing," he says.

So how do you celebrate an accomplishment like climbing to the top of El Capitan?

"We went down to the pizza shack and got pizza," Selah says.

Selah is the oldest of Mike and Joy's four children and already has plans to show her 7-year old brother Zeke the ropes to climbing next summer in Yosemite.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.