The North Face of the Eiger in Switzerland had not been conquered by an American — or a woman — until Saturday.
Americans Sasha DiGiulian, 22, and Carlo Traversi, 27, free climbed Magic Mushroom, one of the more difficult routes on the trail, in four days and three nights, battling snow and ice to leave their marks on the 13,020-foot mountain.
The Eiger’s North Face is a steep 5,900-foot ascent, the largest north face in the Alps.
“This has been a long journey, made longer by Mother Nature, and we have had to stay strong, positive and open minded,” DiGiulian said in a news release. “Free climbing on the Eiger, and standing atop one of the most recognized routes on this iconic peak is an incredible feeling, and one I am grateful to have achieved. Carlo was the perfect partner. I could not have done this without him and his optimistic outlook and steady reinforcement.”
DiGiulian is the first North American woman to climb grade 9a, which is known as the hardest-rated climb achieved by a woman. Including her climb at Red Point in Kentucky, she has done it twice.
As if her resume couldn’t be more impressive, she’s also a third-year student at Columbia and is a three-time national champion.
And she’s still only 22.