Meet the Woman Who Is Conquering the World's Toughest Climbs—Photos

Sasha DiGiulian just became the second person ever to climb Mora Mora in Madagascar.

The Winter Olympics have kicked off in frigid Pyeongchang, but, in a much warmer part of the world, a woman has already made herself a world champion in an extremely difficult, male-dominated sport.

Sasha DiGiulian, 25, has become the first woman to ever climb Mora Mora, a 2,300-foot granite dome in Madagascar that is ranked as one of the most difficult routes in the entire world. So treacherous is it that only one other person—a man—has made it to the top since it was first established in 1999.

Like pro golfer, Paige Spiranac, DiGiulian has gotten flack from the rock-climbing community for being a conventionally attractive and feminine women in a sport that caters to a more nomadic, less polished lifestyle. Like one has anything to do with the other.

"I've certainly grown thicker skin through being a woman in climbing," DiGiulian told Shape. "I like to paint my nails pink, I love high heels, dressing up, and sleeping in luxury. I also love sleeping 1,500 feet up on a little ledge in the middle of Madagascar, waking up, and climbing. The dirtbag lifestyle—that is not me. I am comfortable with who I am and what I am passionate about; this doesn't mean I'm any less of a climber than the guy who lives in a van."

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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