First 5.14 By 10-Year-Old Jonathan Hörst

First 5.14 By 10-Year-Old Jonathan Hörst

At the tender young age of 10 years and 7 months, Jonathan Hörst has ticked his first (and very likely not last) 5.14 with a repeat of God’s Own Stone (5.14a) in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge.  Leveraging beta from his brother Cameron who sent the route last year at age 11, Jonathan managed to repeat the route after a mere four tries spread across two days.

World records in climbing don’t really exist in this scenario because grades are such a subjective factor in our sport, but it seems likely that Jonathan is the youngest person to climb a route of this difficulty. For the sake of comparison you had Brooke Raboutou and Tito Traversa climbing their first routes graded 5.14a around 10 years and 11 months, and Adam Ondra didn’t do his first until he turned 11123.

While writing this I realized I’ve been climbing longer than Jonathan has been alive and I haven’t even sniffed 5.14a, but then again my dad had model airplanes and a ping pong table in our basement and not the dream home climbing gym that Jonathan’s father Eric has working in their basement.

  1.  Slacker
  2.  He’s since climbed almost 400 5.14s
  3.  Ok, not a slacker

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15 Responses to First 5.14 By 10-Year-Old Jonathan Hörst

  1. dustonian March 12, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    Do we really need to count the months of age of the kids who have sent this 5.13? Honestly, it seems a bit craven for attention.

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  2. J March 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    Good for your dad . . .I’d rather have a ping pong table in the basement . . . much more fun than “training”!

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    • ian March 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      I’d take my fingerboard and some good tunes over a ping pong table “any day.”

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  3. Adventure Strong (@AdventureStrong) March 12, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    That’s pretty cool, it’s better the climb than waste time on video games. I would have been stoked to have a climbing wall…or a ping pong table.

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  4. Tom March 14, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    All I have to say is; “what is this next generation do to the sport of climbing?” Wow! Good job kid!

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  5. Jamie Emerson March 15, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    Is there a trend happening that many of the young climbers (or their parents reporting the news) consistently take high grades? In this instance, if Daniel Woods, Adam Ondra, Jimmy Webb, Mike Doyle, etc all call this one 5.13d, it probably is. It’s also happened with many boulders in Hueco.

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    • Aaron Schneider March 16, 2013 at 9:14 am #

      I saw that. Might suck when the kids come to realize Fern Roof (or whatever else) was not their first V10. I feel like your first double digit or 5.14 is special on a personal level, even if it doesn’t matter in the long run. If the parents aren’t engrossed in the system it’s one thing, but Team ABC (for example) should know better.

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      • Narc March 16, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

        Some adults could also come to realize that Fern Roof and 10-10 are not V10 just because the guide book says they once were

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    • Dan March 16, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      I have definitely noticed this.

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  6. douglashunter March 16, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    The truth is that for a growing number of people promoting youth achievements is advertising for something else. Grade inflation is going to happen when promotion is the main purpose for creating a news item. The same thing occurs when not-quite-elite-climbers-yet make up their climbing resumes and head off to the trade show. Aaron is right, one’s first V10 or 5.14 (at any age) is a meaningful personal achievement, but its way better if its accurately graded.

    In the end, its very impressive to be climbing 5.13d at the age of ten, too bad that the grade inflation distracts from that achievement.

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  7. Mbsst26 March 16, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Not sure which Horst kid I watched have a temper tantrum last summer (maybe two summers ago) at a local crag falling on a 13. Neither dad’s reaction nor kid’s behavior was inspirational.

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  8. Art Cork March 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    His dad’s book “Training for Climbing” is fanfreakin’tastic. It doesn’t surprise me that his sons are pulling down giants at such a young age. I can’t wait to see what they can do in 2020.

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  9. John Beaumont March 30, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    Man…there seems to be some climb envy in these comments!!! Sounds like a good effort by the kid! JB

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  10. Meh. March 31, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    I don’t think anyone is saying it wasn’t a good effort. The route is hard. It’s just not 14a. Anyway, 13d at ten years old is pretty damn impressive. I think it is safe to say this kid is going to climb quite a few 14′s and relatively soon. GOS just isn’t one of them.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How to train hard and not get injured? | Robin O'Leary - April 10, 2014

    […] aspect of our sport. Today, we see the likes of Ashima Shiraishi, Mirko Caballero, Cameron and Jonathan Horst as well as Shawn and Brooke Raboutou climbing at an exceptional level at such a young age. They are […]

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