Jonathan Hörst is going into eighth grade. He plays football, likes science the most, and crushes grades bigger than his age.
The 12-year-old—in sending shape from a June trip to Germany's Frankenjura—returned to climb Dead Souls (5.14a) at American Fork Canyon, Utah and Rodeo Free Europe (5.14a) at Wild Iris, Wyoming. With these two climbs, Jonathan Hörst has logged four 8b+/5.14a redpoints.
“My brother [Cameron] had done both of these when he was my age (12) so I knew I could do them,” Hörst tells Rock and Ice, “but after putting all of that hard work into them, I was greatly excited to have sent them both.”
It took Hörst eight burns over two days to piece together Rodeo Free Europe and six tries, also over two days, for Dead Souls. Both routes are short, steep and powerful.
“Rodeo Free Europe is quite similar to the climbing in Frankenjura,” says Hörst, “whereas Dead Souls was kind of its own type of climbing."
The crux of Dead Souls was on “small edges and a mono pocket into five hard compression moves and a bit of a jump,” Hörst says. But the crux isn’t just physical, it’s a heady dynamic move with potential for “a scary fall...since you have to skip the fourth clip and this makes the fall concerning—only about 10 feet from the ground.” Hörst took the fall once, then sent the next go.
Jonathan Hörst is son of rock climbing training guru Eric Hörst. “My dad, of course, is a climbing coach—so we train as a family,” says Jonathan Hörst. “[He] has created a very specific youth training program that's appropriate for our age and abilities.
“Generally, he trains us to climb fast and powerfully, with precise feet and a focused, yet relaxed mindset.”
On the family Frankenjura trip this June, Jonathan Hörst climbed six (8b/5.13d) routes, “so he was ‘pocket strong’ and ready to go after Rodeo Free Europe,” says his father, Eric Hörst.
Now that it’s almost fall and football season is starting up, Jonathan Hörst will be taking a break from hard climbing and training.
“This is basically my climbing offseason. Then in winter we go into training mode again, [training] in our home gym four or five days a week for about two to three hours each session, to prepare for spring and summer.”
Jonathan Hörst Sending Rodeo Free Europe (8b+/5.14a):
Jonathan Hörst sending Rodeo Free Europe (5.14a/8b+) from Training4Climbing on Vimeo.
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