Sharing Personal Stories with Sasha DiGiulian

On April 15, Sasha DiGiulian joined us in Seattle as part of the BeWild Speaker Series to share stories of her climbing career.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
April 22, 2016
Sharing Personal Stories with Sasha DiGiulian
Courtesy of Sasha DiGiulian.

The BeWild Speaker Series, presented by adidas outdoor, started with a bang on April 15, 2016. We welcomed Sasha DiGiulian, a world champion climber, who shared personal stories of passion and adventure. She's an impressive young lady.

Sasha Digiulian Heart

Sasha grew up in Baltimore, and at an early age her parents wanted her to be involved in sports. Her brother was in hockey, so they enrolled Sasha in ice skating lessons. She enjoyed them - but she liked spending time climbing the walls at the ice rink more.

Sasha Ice Rink

Soon she found herself at the climbing gym. Sasha was a natural. By the time she was 8, she enrolled in her first climbing competition.

Sasha DiGiulian Climbing Comp

When she was 11, the age most of us were just trying to survive middle school, Sasha climbed her first 5.13. 

Sasha and Rienhold

At a climbing competition when she was in high school, Sasha met mountaineering legend Reinhold Messner. Reinhold was taken by her natural talent, and over a diner napkin started drawing images of mountains he thought she should climb. They were the Dolomites.

Sasha Dolomites

Inspired, Sasha set out to expand her knowledge of climbing in the outdoors. Just like indoor climbing, she was a natural and excelled on the rock. Before graduating from high school, she redpointed two 5.14c’s in Red River Gorge. 

Sasha DiGiulian Ice Climb

Sasha followed her drive and ambition to push herself further and harder, completing impressive climbs on the Eiger and first ascents in South Africa. She continues to push herself, recently learning to ice climb and finding satisfaction in the new challenge. 

Sasha in Cuba.

Last month, Sasha went on two scouting trips to Cuba, where she loved the climbing, but loved the unique culture even more. National Geographic Published an article about her trip, written by Sasha. Read it here.

Beyond the Rock

But Sasha is also a lot more than a rock climber. She’s a full-time student at Columbia University in New York, where she’s studying nonfiction writing and business. She’s an athlete representative on the board of the International Federation of Sport Climbing. You’ve seen her name in the news recently because she stood up for gender equality and women’s empowerment in the context of broader society, including climbing. She’s someone who knows how to set goals for herself and chase after her dreams.

At The Mountaineers, we love dream chasers. We were founded in 1906 by 151 charter members, 77 of whom were women. That’s more than half. In 1906! We pioneered outdoor exploration for women and are continuing to get people outside today. We are grateful and delighted to be able to bring people like Sasha to The Mountaineers to share their stories.

BeWild with Brendan Leonard - May 19

Seattle Program Center | 7pm

Join us for the second speaker in our BeWild Series on May 19.

When Brendan Leonard moved to the West at age 23, he was a mess. He had a tenuous grip on sobriety, only six months after his last drink had landed him in yet another jail cell. It was the final mistake in a long list that included multiple arrests, wrecked cars, broken bones, fistfights, and ruined relationships. In Montana, he took his first steps into the Rocky Mountains, unwittingly beginning a decade-long obsession with climbing and a journey that would take him all over the West and Europe. Written with unflinching honesty and vulnerability, his new memoir Sixty Meters to Anywhere comes from a barstool storyteller who left the bar and found adventure, redemption, and a life that almost never happened.

Brendan is the founder of Brendan is also contributing editor at Climbing, Adventure Journal, and The Dirtbag Diaries. His stories have appeared in Backpacker, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Men’s Journal, Sierra, Adventure Cyclist, and other publications.


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