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Pearl Johnson, 9, is Youngest to Climb El Capitan

She climbed Triple Direct with her mom and a family friend

Nine-year-old Pearl Johnson has become the youngest climber to ascent El Capitan’s steep face via Triple Direct. Pearl climbed with her mother, Janet, and friend of the family, Nick Sullens. Philip Johnsons, Pearl’s father, works in Yosemite National Park and joined them on the top of El Cap after the climb.

In June, 10-year-old Selah Schneiter climbed El Capitan with her father Mike and his friend Mark Regier via The Nose. It was a headline-making climb that got Selah on a number of television shows. Selah had lead a few pitches on The Nose, but Pearl only jummared a fixed rope.

At six years old, Pearl climbed Cathedral Peak, at seven she climbed Royal Arches and at eight, she climbed Snake Dike. “The top was scary,” Pearl said in a story on Outside Online here by regular Gripped contributor Chris van Leuven. “We were in a cloud, and my fingers were purple.”

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