The AT50: Climber Mayan Smith-Gobat (#26)

She's taking women's climbing to new heights in Yosemite and beyond
Staff Writer

Five Ten

Age: 33
Sport: Rock Climbing
Highlights: Women’s team speed record of The Nose, Yosemite (4:29, 2012); women's solo speed record of The Nose (7:26, 2012); first female linkup of The Nose and Half Dome in a day (2012); free ascent of The Salathe Wall (5.13b) on El Capitan (2011); fastest female free ascent of El Cap (2011)
Quote: "I love just being out there, on the rock, outside, moving over stone, and that’s what it really relates down to in the end. I love climbing, I want to know that I’m working at my utmost limit."
Fact: Smith-Gobat is also a glider pilot.
AT Point Total: 40

New Zealander Mayan Smith-Gobat began her athletic career at age 7 with competitive horseback riding. At 16, she began alpine climbing and competed in skiing. An extreme skiing accident at 21 pushed her to delve into rock climbing, and she’s been pushing the boundaries of female climbing ever since. In October of 2012, she achieved the first female ascent of Australia's Punks in the Gym (the first 8b+/5.14a ever established), but that impressive feat came on the heels of a truly record-breaking season in Yosemite. In the valley, she shattered the women's solo and team speed records on The Nose of El Capitan, in addition to completing the first female linkup of The Nose and Half Dome. Smith-Gobat has a laundry list of first ascents under her harness, including New Zealand routes The Giving Tree (5.14a), Kiapo Wall (5.12b), and the first free ascent of Shadowland (5.12d) in the Darren Mountains. She sustains her climbing through sponsorships, selling her oil paintings, route-setting, guiding, and co-owning a café in Omarama, New Zealand, with her mother.
—Brian Berkovitz

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