In case you thought bagging climbing records was just for the guys, meet Libby Sauter and Mayan Smith-Gobat. Having first set the women’s speed climbing record on The Nose of El Capitan in 2013, the duo knew with a bit more training they could do it even faster.
I met Sauter in May for a few hot days of highlining in Moab, and her focus on setting a sub 5-hour record was obvious even then. She diligently rose early each morning to run and complete a sprint-climbing-specific arm workout. And while their success clearly shows that the physical training paid off, their tenacity, planning and dedication to trying again and again after setbacks are particularly inspirational.
Their record-setting ascent up The Nose of El Capitan in 4 hours 43 minutes is a remarkable accomplishment for anyone, man or woman.