Cameron Hörst, the son of climbing coach and author Eric Hörst, sent Bone Tomahawk (5.15a) on May 23rd. It's the first climb of this grade for the 20-year-old.
Having previously climbed three 5.14d routes, Hörst found Bone Tomahawk's cave roof climbing to be significantly harder—achieving the redpoint took him 15 days of work spread over six weeks. (Photo: JP Melville)
One of just ten routes in the United States to receive a grade of 5.15, Bone Tomahawk is a classic long-format, power-endurance route. After leaving a knee-bar at the first bolt, there's 35 feet of powerful climbing on mostly first-pad holds with your back to the ground. The complex sequence involves numerous toe-hooks and "bicycle" foot moves. Strong fingers and a steely core are mandatory.
Hörst estimates this first crux is ~V11 into a V10 before reaching a two-pad "finger bucket" which provides a brief "marginal" shakeout.
Leaving the finger-bucket, quickly brings the redpoint crux—a powerful cross-through sequence (V9ish) and desperate deadpoints to reach a much better rest. A few more big moves (5.12) lead to the finishing jug hold at the chains.
All totaled, Bone Tomahawk climbs about 70 feet out the massive Fynn Cave, in southwestern Utah. Established by the prolific and stoke-filled Joe Kinder (2016), Hörst's send is the fifth.
(Note: BT has a possible extension that would continue out the roof another 30+ feet to turn the lip....likely making for a 5.15b/c.)
The elder Hörst brother, Cameron, begin climbing at age 4, led his first route at age 6, and redpointed his first 5.13 and 5.14 at ages 9 and 11, respectively. Despite growing up in a climbing family, Cameron (and younger brother Jonathan) were multi-sport athletes throughout adolescence, including playing American (tackle) football for 10 years. As a high school player, Cameron led the team in tackles (junior), and he was voted team captain (senior). He was a "first-team" 6A league All-Star his senior season.
As multi-sport athletes both Hörst boys were deeply involved in climbing (and specific training) for six months each year, but then transitioned to an intense football-focus each year from late-July through December (with just one or two climbing-training sessions per week to maintain power and tendon strength).
Throughout the youth years, the Hörst boys' "climbing season" involved just 40 to 60 days of outdoor climbing per year (late February through mid-July), including one extended roadtrip (western US or Europe) early each summer.
While the goal each year was to achieve the next (letter) grade, the primary on-the-rock focus was having fun "building the pyramid" (see bar chart below). By sending a high volume of routes within one number grade of their current maximum grade, both Hörst boys were able to steadily build technical and mental skill fluency. This approach incrementally built a foundation from which the next grade could be best pursued.
Extensive home gym training was engaged in year-round. A personalized training program (designed by Father, coach Hörst) involved bouldering on a home woodie, interval circuits on a Treadwall, and various climbing-specific strength-training exercises. Intensive fingerboard training was implemented only when the boys growth plates became fused as they approached their adult height (age ~16).
Additionally, both Hörst boys performed select free-weight, plyometric/jump, and sprint training both in preparation for football season and to augment their climbing training. The training goal, as stated by coach Hörst, was to develop a complete athlete with a high physiological IQ.
In the end, achieving the 5.15 grade took Cameron 15+ years of gradually progressive and disciplined training, a never-ending quest to improve technique and the mental game, and much sacrifice coupled with will power and a belief in the end game. (Note: Younger brother Jonathan has already climbed 5.14c.)
Over the past two years as a pro climber, Cameron has engaged in mainly self-directed training between his climbing trips. After these two "gap years" (since high school), he is now beginning his college studies in Kinesiology (exercise science) at Penn State University. Furthermore, Cam maintains a growing YouTube channel filled with send and training videos, and he is the moderator of the new Hörst "Training for Climbing" Facebook group. Join the group, and engage Cameron on all things climbing performance!
As the son of PhysiVāntage founder, Cameron has been using each product since its prototyping stage. Therefore, he's been using Supercharged Collagen daily for the past three years to support tendon strength throughout his elite-level training and climbing. Cameron consumes a pre-workout (and pre-climb) stack of Endure X and Supercharged Collagen; and a CRUSH supplement capsule (or two) on training days when energy and focus need a lift.
A now grossly outdated documentary about the Hörst brothers, titled The Send Bros, was filmed in 2013 and released in 2014. This short-format film documents these "kid climbers" that, today, have grow into adult 5.14+/5.15- crushers! You can watch it here >>