What better way to celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday than to take your old man climbing? For those of us lucky enough to have fathers who rock climb, it would be a great way to spend some bonding time and hit the outdoors.
In honour of Father’s Day, we would like to celebrate the father’s that have inspired their children to follow their passions in life and become climbers.
Steve Findlay: Hazel began climbing at the age of seven with her father Steve, who nicknamed her “Hammy” for her chubby cheeks. Steve is a climber and mountaineer and developed several trad routes on the sea cliffs of South Wales where he took Hazel at a young age to climb.
From there, she jumped into junior competitions where she won the British junior championships six times. At 16, she focused her attention on climbing outdoors and on traditional routes.
Hazel became known for climbing scary, trad routes that few women have ever attempted and she was the first women to climb a British E9 with her ascent of Once Upon A Climb in the UK, belayed by Steve, and also the first British women to free climb El Cap. Hazel often refers to her father as her biggest supporter and he has accompanied her on many expeditions.
Mike Caldwell: Tommy Caldwell was introduced to climbing at the age of three by his father Mike. Mike was a mountain guide and an avid climber who first taught Tommy the ropes and took him on annual trips to Yosemite National Park. Caldwell claims that this is where his love of climbing flourished as he admired his father and also wanted to pursue his passion of climbing.
Tommy definitely made his father proud this year when he completed the first ever free climb of the Dawn Wall of El Capitan, in his father’s old stomping grounds. Tommy and his wife Rebecca gave birth to their first son in 2013 and named him Fitz after Mount Fitz Roy in Patagonia.
Like his father, Tommy has introduced Fitz to the world of adventure and has already taken Fitz on several climbing trips.
Eric Horst: Cameron and Jonathan Horst have earned the nickname the “Send Brothers” for their amazing climbing achievements at a young age. Cam, 14, recently climbed his first 5.14d in Frankenjura and has also sent many other 5.13’s while his brother Jon, 12, has sent two 5.13d’s and is quickly catching up to his brother.
The Horst brothers have their dad Eric to thank for their amazing climbing abilities as he is a climber known for establishing over 400 first ascents in the Eastern United States.
He is also a climbing training expert who has written several books related to training regimes specific for climbing. Eric states that the brothers began climbing at the age of three on their home wall and is very proud of their achievements.
Novato Marin: Edu Marin is one of Spain’s strongest sport climbers and he is most noted for climbing La Novena Enmienda, 5.15a in Santa Linya, Spain.
In the beginning of the year, Edu and his father Novato took on the best father-son project and decided to climb Pan Aroma, a face on one of the Tre cime di Lavaredo peaks in the Dolomites. Pan Aroma is a difficult 5.14b and is one of the hardest big wall routes in the world.