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When Stella Noble, then age 9, peered over the edge of Chasm View Wall and looked way, way down, it didn’t bother her one bit.

In fact, when asked about being scared of heights during her rappel in or her climb of the Casual Route on the Diamond — the sharply cut vertical face on Longs Peak — she jumped up and down and declared: “It looks cool, you can see everything!”

Forrest Noble, Stella’s father, confessed he gets a touch of vertigo right there.

“I look over that edge, and whoa, you feel like you’re going to throw up your oatmeal, you know?”

But no one got too scared or threw up their oatmeal on Aug. 31 when the Nobles believe Stella became the youngest person to climb the Diamond.

Actually, she calls it the Triangle. “See, it’s a triangle,” she says, drawing three sides with a finger.

Stella asked her dad to take her up her Triangle earlier this year.

“I’d seen the picture in his office, and he does it every year and talks about it a lot,” she said.

Forrest has climbed the Diamond twentysomething times, in all seasons and conditions. He has a photo in his office, in their Boulder home, of him and his wife, Paige, with the Diamond in the background.

“I love to climb,” Stella said, “so I thought it would be cool if I camped there overnight and got to climb in the morning.”

“And, it’s a big wall,” she added, with a grin.

Stella has been climbing since she was old enough to pull on the holds in her family’s basement home climbing gym. She’s been climbing with the ABC climbing program for kids since age 5 and competing on their team for two years. This year, she won the Sport Climbing Series National Championship for her age group (at age 9 — she turned 10 on Sept. 12). She has followed her dad up Eldorado Canyon’s The Naked Edge, desert towers in Utah and several fourteeners.

Her parents knew the climbing on the Casual Route was well within her abilities. But they thought hard about whether it was appropriate to take her onto a big wall high above treeline.

In a story Forrest penned for Stella’s scrapbook, he wrote:

“I wrestled long and hard with myself and had long discussions with my wife about bringing Stella up into such a harsh and unforgiving environment… When I consider her abilities against many partners I have been up there with I think she is actually more qualified than most who attempt this climb.”

But he still had reservations.

Finally, Forrest told Stella, “we may go up just to check things out, and we might need to come back in a few years if it doesn’t feel right.”

Stella replied, “Daddy, we are going up there to check it off, not check it out.”

That’s when he realized what a burning desire she had to climb and decided he wanted to help her achieve her goal — in the safest way possible.

“It can be dangerous up there,” said Paige Noble. “But they were going the safest way they could.” Plus, she said, she trusted her husband, saying “he’s very, very safe with the kids.”

Forrest said he waited until the end of the climbing season on the Diamond, when Longs usually has the least amount of snow and ice melting off the top.

Recruiting his friend Fred Marmsater to belay, Forrest, Stella and Marmsater hiked up to the Boulderfield campsite on Longs on Aug. 30.

The wind howled and the rain poured that night.

“We hiked up there, and she’s all psyched,” Marmsater said. “We’re camping, and the weather’s awful, but she’s cheerful.”

They started out for the climb at 4 a.m. and met five or six other parties rappelling in to get on the route that day. Marmsater said they all melted when Stella showed up.

“Stella’s this cute little 9-year-old, and we roll up on all these guys,” he said. “She starts chatting, ‘Oh, what grades are you guys climbing?'”

It was chilly on the wall. Stella’s hands and feet got cold, so Marmsater warmed her up while belaying Forrest by piling clothes on her and sticking her feet into his jacket.

Though the wall was wet, Stella’s climbing was solid, he said, as was her attitude.

“She’s super enthusiastic,” Marmsater said. “She was super psyched when we summited.”

The weather held just long enough for the team of three to complete the climb and descend Longs’ north face — then the skies opened. But despite the weather and the long day, Stella was step-in-step with the much taller guys all the way down the trail, Marmsater said.

There’s no official record of people who have climbed the Diamond. But the Nobles are pretty confident that Stella is the youngest because they received a phone call from the previous record holder.

Tommy Caldwell, of Estes Park, called to congratulate her on the new record, saying he’d held it for 21 years.

Mike Caldwell, of Estes Park, took his son, Tommy, age 12 at the time, up the Casual Route on the Diamond.

“I climbed it with him this week, so it’s something we continue to do,” he said.

Mike Caldwell said when he talked to Forrest, their preparation for the climb seemed perfect. He added that he and Tommy Caldwell were both happy for Stella.

Twenty-one years ago, Mike Caldwell was a mountain guide who spent a lot of time on the Diamond, and Tommy Caldwell had already been climbing for years. He said he thought there might be naysayers, but he felt he knew what was right for his son.

“He was starting to shine by then,” Caldwell recalls. “He really showed the ability, and a really cool head, nothing upsets him. He’s got a good temperament for this type of thing.”

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