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Outdoors, Sasha is the first North American woman to climb the grade 9a, 5.14d, recognized as one of the hardest sport climbs achieved by a female. She has done two. Sasha was the third woman in the world to accomplish this grade. Additionally, she has onsighted multiple 8b+’s, 5.14a’s, ascended groundbreaking multipitch routes of up to 1000 feet of 8c climbing, and has accomplished multiple First Ascents and over 30 First Female Ascents around the world, including a First Female Ascent on the North Face of the Eiger.
Outdoors, Sasha is the first North American woman to climb the grade 9a, 5.14d, recognized as one of the hardest sport climbs achieved by a female. She has done two. Sasha was the third woman in the world to accomplish this grade. Additionally, she has onsighted multiple 8b+’s, 5.14a’s, ascended groundbreaking multipitch routes of up to 1000 feet of 8c climbing, and has accomplished multiple First Ascents and over 30 First Female Ascents around the world, including a First Female Ascent on the North Face of the Eiger.
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What / who inspired you to start rock climbing?
I started climbing after my brother’s birthday party in 1998 at a local climbing gym in the DC Area, where I grew up. I joined the local junior team program, and then, about a year later, when I was 7, I walked in to the gym and they were hosting a Junior Regional Championship. That was how I found out that it was a sport practiced at a competitive level. I registered to compete that day, and it was my first ever competition. I entered the 11 and under category and won my division.
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What drives you to continue progressing and pushing yourself?
I am inspired to push my potential and to find out what I am capable of. I am driven by this curiosity to travel and I really enjoy getting to know remote corners of the world through this immersive experience that climbing creates. I really want to push myself physically and mentally because that feeling when I do achieve my goal that I am training for is such a magical sensation of just total personal satisfaction.
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What part does fitness, health, and wellness play in your life?
Nutrition and fitness are pillars to my overall well being. I function best when I am the most healthy, and I feel the best - mentally and physically, when I focus on my holistic wellness.
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What has rock climbing taught you about yourself?
Climbing has taught me that unless I try, I will never know. In putting yourself on the line, challenging yourself beyond your comfort zone, that is where growth happens.
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What would you hope to inspire in the people that look up to you?
Listen to your heart and commit yourself to what you feel most passionately about. There’s no one size fits all. Focus on being the best version of yourself, not in sizing up to others. We are all on different paths and want different things out of life; so be kind, be focused, and be you.
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Any words of encouragement for other females looking to get into climbing?
Just give it a try. Push yourself and be kind to yourself through the struggle. Sustainable success only happens when you are enjoying what you’re doing.
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