Cameron Hörst

As the son of renowned climber, author, trainer and coach Eric Hörst it is little surprise that Cameron was to be a child phenomenon, reaching impressive milestones at a jaw-droppingly young age, including climbing his first 5.13a (7c+) at nine years old and then three 5.14a routes (8b+) when he was 11, including the athletic Proper Soul in the New River Gorge.

In 2011, during a trip to the Frankenjura when he was only 14, Cameron climbed Raubritter, his first 8c. This powerful Frankjura testpiece involves shallow finger pockets, tiny crimps, and a five-foot dyno. During that trip he also onsighted Hitch Hike the Plane (7c+), flashed Die Zwei Muskeltiere (8a) and sent Plan B (8b).

In recognition of his ascents in the Frankenjura, Cameron was awarded Climbing magazine’s Golden Piton in 2012. The following year he and his brother, Jonathan, were awarded the “New Kids on the Block” OLGA award by the European climbing magazine CLIMAX.

Cameron climbing in Céüse © Eric Hörst
Cameron climbing in Céüse © Eric Hörst

Throughout his teenage years Cameron continued to tick off hard sport lines in the US and further afield, amassing a tally of more than twenty routes in the 5.14 range. Recent successes include the mono-tastic Throwin’ the Houlihan (5.14a) in Wild Iris, Wyoming in July 2017, Pain Makes Me Stronger, Everyday (5.14c) in the Frankenjura in July 2018 and Lucifer (5.14c) in Red River Gorge in April, 2019.

“Climbing Lucifer has been a goal of mine the past two years,” says Cameron. “In late spring last year I worked the moves to see if I would be able to send it, but I did not feel totally ready nor did the conditions allow. However, this year on our first trip to the Red, in mid march, I worked the moves again and it felt well within my ability. I started focusing my attention on it. I worked on the climb for three weekends the third weekend being when I sent.”

To me climbing is not just a sport, it is a lifestyle,” explains Cameron. “It’s something I have based my life around and is what gives me a purpose and challenge. I love everything about climbing, from the traveling to camping and getting dirty in the mountains.

Cameron on Lucifer (5.14c) © Eric Hörst
Cameron on Lucifer (5.14c) © Eric Hörst

Outside of climbing Cameron enjoys maths and science, skiing, music, playing guitar, powerlifting and spending time with friends. He is also devoted to American football and throughout high-school Cameron played in the autumn, which required a five-month break from climbing.

I was happy to excel at this game, too,” explains Cameron, “and my senior year I was elected the team captain—I consider that one of my greatest achievements to date. However, that part of my life is now over. I will soon graduate high school, and then I begin a gap year (or two) to climb professionally fulltime!”

Cameron does have plans to go to college, but first wants to push himself as a full-time climber, hopefully breaking into the 5.15 grades. Given his track record we have little doubt this will come to pass!