The AT50: Climber Sasha DiGiulian (#25)

This teen queen climbs higher on crags and in school
Staff Writer

Keith Ladzinski

Sasha, after her October 2011 climb of Pure Imagination in Kentucky's Red River Gorge.

Age: 20
Sports: Rock Climbing
Highlights: Undefeated female Junior Continental Champion 2004-2010; first American woman to climb 9a (5.14d); overall female winner at 2011 Climbing World Championships; winner of the 2012 Arco Rock Legend Award
Quote: "Improving at this sport is an input-output system—the amount of effort you put into it directly correlates to the amount of success you get out of it."
Fact: She loves cupcakes (vanilla with extra pink frosting).
AT Point Total: 40.5

From the time Sasha DiGiulian began climbing at the age of 7, it was obvious she had a knack for the sport. When her local climbing gym held a competition, she entered on a whim…and won. From there, it didn’t take long for her climbing career to take off. Since 2004, she’s been racking up titles and prizes across the world at an absurd rate, including three straight national championships, the 2011 world championship and the 2012 Arco Rock Legend Award—more or less the Oscar of the climbing world—for sending 5.14d (9a) on Kentucky's Pure Imagination and Spain's Era Vella.

Just as impressive as her climbing skill is DiGiulian's brain. She's currently living in New York City, trying hard to balance climbing with an Ivy League education in business and marketing at Columbia University. Last year, she gave a TED talk in Montreal and partnered with HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation to put on her “Boulder Like a Girl” climbing clinic.

With a vision as sharp as her rock-crawling skills, DiGiulian is nowhere close to topping out, both on and off the crag.
—Brian Berkovitz

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