Sasha DiGiulian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sasha DiGiulian
DiGiulian in 2019
Personal information
Born (1992-10-23) October 23, 1992 (age 31)
Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.
EducationColumbia University
Height5 ft 2 in (157 cm)[1]
Climbing career
Type of climber
Highest grade
Medal record
Women's competition climbing
Representing the  United States
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 2011 Arco Overall
Silver medal – second place 2011 Arco Bouldering
Pan-American Championships
Gold medal – first place 2012 Venezuela Combined
Gold medal – first place 2012 Venezuela Sport
Gold medal – first place 2012 Venezuela Bouldering
Gold medal – first place 2010 Ecuador Combined
Gold medal – first place 2010 Ecuador Sport
USA Climbing National Championships
Silver medal – second place 2014 Sport
Gold medal – first place 2012 Sport
Gold medal – first place 2011 Sport
Bronze medal – third place 2011 Bouldering
Gold medal – first place 2010 Sport
Bronze medal – third place 2009 Sport
Updated on 14:53, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
DiGiulian on the Chocolate Factory wall in Red River Gorge of Kentucky in 2011

Sasha DiGiulian (born October 23, 1992) is a professional rock climber who specializes in competition climbing, sport climbing and bouldering. She won the gold medal at the 2011 International Federation of Sport Climbing World Championships in Arco, Italy, for Female Overall, placed Silver in Bouldering and Bronze in Duel.[2] Sasha won multi-year PanAmerican championships and is a three-time US National Champion.

She has climbed over 30 First Female Ascents and over a dozen significant First Ascents, including "Rolihlahla" in South Africa, a Big Wall in Brazil in 2016, and The Misty Wall in Yosemite National Park in 2017. In 2011 she redpointed multiple 5.14c (8c+), onsighted two of 5.14a (8b+) and four of 5.13d (8b). In 2013, she was the first American woman to redpoint Era Vella 5.14d (9a), and established the First Female Ascent of Alpine Big Wall route, Bellavista, 5.14b (8c).[3] In 2015, she became the first woman to free climb Magic Mushroom (7c+), one of the most difficult routes on the north face of the Eiger.[4] In 2017 she did the first female ascent of Big Wall in Madagascar, Mora Mora (5.14b/8c), climbing it with Edu Marin in what was also the second free ascent of Mora Mora.[5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

DiGiulian attended the Potomac School, a K-12 near Washington, D.C. DiGiulian started climbing at the age of 6 and began competing at age 7. Prior to climbing, she competed as a figure skater.[6] At age 11 she climbed her first 5.13b (8a). In March 2011, just before graduating from high school, she redpointed Southern Smoke (5.14c) and Lucifer (5.14c) in the Red River Gorge in Kentucky.

Climbing career[edit]

After leaving high school, DiGiulian took a gap year to travel and rock climb, concentrating on international competition climbing and outdoor climbing. She won the silver medal in bouldering at the 2011 IFSC Climbing World Championships in Arco, Trentino, Italy. She returned to the Red River Gorge in October 2011, where she redpointed Pure Imagination a 5.14c (8c+) sport climbing route.[7] DiGiulian is a three-time US National Champion in Female Open and was the undefeated Female Open PanAmerican Champion from 2010 to 2018. From 2004 until the end of her junior career in 2010, she was the undefeated junior Pan American Champion.

In 2011, she redpointed 5.14c (8c+), onsighted two 5.14a (8b+) and four 5.13d (8b) routes. In 2012, DiGiulian earned three gold medals at the Panamerican Championships in bouldering and was the overall champion. In 2015, she became the first woman to free climb Magic Mushroom 7c+ (5.13a), one of the most difficult alpine climbing routes on the north face of the Eiger.[4] She has climbed over 30 first female free ascents (FFFAs) and eight significant first free ascents, including a big wall climbing route in Brazil in 2016, and The Misty Wall in Yosemite in 2017. In 2017, she did the first female free ascent of Mora Mora, climbing it with Edu Marín i Garcia in what was also the second free ascent of Mora Mora.[5][6]

Wider career[edit]

DiGiulian (center) with United States Congresswoman Brittany Pettersen of Colorado (left) and United States Vice President Kamala Harris in March 2023.

DiGiulian produced a film, The Trilogy, about how she became the first female and second person to climb three Canadian Rocky Mountain big wall in a single season. The Trilogy was the first film she produced. She has become a vocal spokesperson on climate change and has lobbied in Washington, D.C. for protections.[8]

She has also been a part of a delegation of professional climbers that included Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell at Climb the Hill, a lobbying effort that advocated for legislation relating to public land management, outdoor recreation, climate change, and conservation.[9]

In 2018, DiGiulian used her Instagram account to call out sexism and bias in her sport.[10] She said repeated offensive comments and harassment to her and towards fellow sportsmen are what led her to speak out.[11]

In 2019, DiGiulian established climbing routes in Southwestern Virginia near the Virginia-Kentucky border in the Breaks Interstate Park.[9]

In September 2023, DiGiulian published a memoir titled Take the Lead: Hanging On, Letting Go, and Conquering Life's Hardest Climbs.[12]

In November 2023, DiGiulian testified in front of the United States House Committee on Natural Resources in support of H.R.6492, also known as the EXPLORE Act.[13]

Personal life[edit]

In 2014, DiGiulian's father, reportedly in a healthy condition, had a stroke and was rushed to the hospital. According to interviews with DiGiulian, he was perfectly healthy up until that point. He was put in a medically induced coma and eventually passed away.

In 2016, DiGiulian graduated from Columbia University[14][15] She studied non-fiction creative writing and business, was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta[16] and an athlete representative on the board of the International Federation of Sport Climbing.[17]

As of January 2017, DiGiulian appears to be living in Boulder, Colorado.[18] In March 2017 a rock climber emoji was approved[19] and the sample image published by Emojipedia was based on DiGiulian's likeness.[20]

In September 2023, DiGiulian married filmmaker Erik Osterholm. The pair met when she was filmed climbing Mount Washington for a 2017 Red Bull documentary series directed and produced by Osterholm, and they began dating in August 2018.[12]

Awards and other honours[edit]

DiGiulian serves as a board member of the Women's Sports Foundation and as an Athlete Ambassador for Right to Play, Up2Us Sports, Access Fund, American Alpine Club, and was the recipient of multiple prestigious awards, including Glamour magazine's Top College Women of the Year, 2016, the Cutting Edge Athlete Award for 2014 performance, presented by the American Alpine Club, The Golden Pitons (2011), and the Arco Rock Legend Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Outdoors.[21]


  1. ^ "About @ Sasha DiGiulian". Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  2. ^ Tom Jackman (August 8, 2011). "Alexandria's Sasha DiGiulian is world champ rock climber". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. ISSN 0190-8286. OCLC 1330888409.
  3. ^ [bare URL]
  4. ^ a b "adidas Outdoor Athletes Sasha DiGiulian And Carlo Traversi Free Climb Magic Mushroom... - LOS ANGELES, Aug. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/" (Press release). Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "DiGiulian and Marin Send Big Wall Madagascar 5.14 - Gripped Magazine". 2017. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c "Sasha DiGiulian: Free ascent of Mora Mora ++video". Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  7. ^ "Two 5.14+ Onsights for Ondra". November 1, 2012. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  8. ^ "Women's Sport: Professional climber Sasha DiGiulian on her new film, climate change and the Olympics". GiveMeSport. February 5, 2020. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Southwest Virginia looks to rock climbing for revenue boost". Capital News Service. September 26, 2019. Retrieved January 4, 2024.
  10. ^ Siber, Kate (May 15, 2018). "What We Can Learn from Climbing's Bullying Saga". Outside Online. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  11. ^ "Sasha DiGiulian". Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  12. ^ a b Sheinbaum, Hillary (September 22, 2023). "They Climbed a Frigid Mountain to Meet Each Other". New York Times. Retrieved December 22, 2023.
  13. ^ Kim, Cailtyn (November 30, 2023). "Colorado priorities included in outdoor recreation bill". Colorado Public Radio. Retrieved December 22, 2023.
  14. ^ Erin Larson (December 3, 2013). "Sasha DiGiulian: Rock Climber Extraordinaire".
  15. ^ Boland, Whitney. "Sasha DiGiulian Always Climbs Toward Her Goals". Redbull.
  16. ^ "Notable Thetas - Heritage - Kappa Alpha Theta". January 7, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  17. ^ "Athletes Commission". February 25, 2013. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  18. ^ "VIDEO: Sasha DiGiulian Sends Keeper of the Flame (5.13a), Yosemite Valley". January 6, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  19. ^ "Final 2017 Emoji List". Emojipedia. March 27, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  20. ^ Scheinbaum, Chase. "Sasha DiGiulian Designed the World's First Rock Climbing Emoji". The Inertia. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  21. ^ "All About Sasha DiGiulian". Retrieved February 3, 2019.

External links[edit]