The 455m vertical line goes up the front side of El Toro mountain. It is one of the hardest big wall routes in the area with difficulties up to 7c. The route was established by Jeff Jackson, Kurt Smith, and Pete Peacock in 1994.
DiGiulian led every pitch. She managed to onsight them all except for one, during which her foot slipped. She sent it on her second try.
“What an amazing climb and experience with positive vibes and pure adventuring.
I am so proud of us and our experience! I lead every pitch and managed to onsight all of them except for one in which
my foot slipped, and I sent it my second try.
My favorite pitch was definitely the 5.12 on pitch 12- so wild how the rock geology changed amidst the route. I have a lot to reflect on about the experience — and I felt really proud of the decisions we made as we climbed, and the team work that went into making a spontaneous romp up a big wall so successful.” DiGiulian wrote on her social media.
It took them two days to complete the route. At the end of the first day, they made a bivy on the wall at pitch 10 before climbing the final five pitches of the route the following day.
Sasha DiGiulian: “I have been dealing with a
lot of anxiety lately before going on climbing trips because of all that I have
gone through over the last few years, and residual trauma from a tragic, fatal
event that really altered the way I think about safety and climbing. My fear
comes in waves for me, and I’m learning to respect it and to listen to it,
rather than just trying to supersede it and being ‘bold.’
With that, we chose to bivvy on the wall after pitch 10– when the night fell and we had 5 more very manageable pitches to go— I knew I had the fitness and energy to keep pushing it— but I also have a scar from the past that does make me nervous to climb on unknown terrain at night, for fear of rock fall and the safety of myself and my team. This isn’t to say I don’t climb at night at all— I just find that making the right decision in each given circumstance is important. Spending a bivvy night on a ledge on the wall, and then re-climbing through the 5 pitches I had done to reach back to my high point and finish the remaining 5 pitches of the route felt like the safest decision for us— and the best way to have an enjoyable experience with my friend. Plus some extra fitness and ‘type 2 fun’ I suppose!”
In 2020, DiGiulian lost a friend in a climbing accident. Nolan Smythe, a climber and BASE jumper, died on El Gigante in Parque Nacional Cascada de Basaseachi, Mexico.
But in 2021 Sasha Digiulian becomes first
female to free climb “logical progression” on El Gigante, Mexico. Not only did Sasha become the first woman to do the route with no falls, but the ascent signaled her return to the sport after being sidelined by hip surgeries.
“There were definitely some tenuous moments, sleep deprivation and sheer exhaustion. But we shared some goofy laughs and inspirational moments. There’s something motivating about climbing a challenging route with another woman”. Sasha Digiulian
На шестой день, включая один день отдыха, проведенный в платформе посреди стены, ДиДжулиан и Шарбонно достигли вершины.
«Определенно были некоторые неприятные моменты, минимум сна и полное изнеможение. Но также были смех, и несколько вдохновляющих запоминающихся мгновений. Есть нечто мотивирующее в прохождении сложного маршрута с другой женщиной», — поделилась Саша.
По ее словам, это восхождение стало важной вехой. Благодаря нему она смогла почтить память Смайта и доказать себе, что смогла пережить и преодолеть последствия кошмарного года, которого она не ожидала в своей жизни.
«Это восхождение принесло мне новую уверенность», — говорит Саша. «Позволило почувствовать, что я вернулась. И это стало для меня победой… Горе, неуверенность, слезы, страх, кровь — я все это смогла преодолеть».
Для написания статьи использованы материалы Майкла Леви (climbing.com), Kris Annapurna (explorersweb.com), а также веб-источники и соцсети.