Picture of MAXIM athlete Eric Hörst


Self-professed climber for life and climbing coach

Eric is a self-professed “climber for life”. Driven by his passion for adventure and challenge he has established over 400 first accents and is still pushing his personal climbing limits at age 50+. In addition, Eric is one of the most knowledge climbing coaches having written eight books and hundreds of articles about his climbing training techniques that help the next generation to perform better in the vertical world. 

Birthday: February 14, 1964
Home town: Lancaster, PA
Current home: Lancaster, PA

"A man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?"

Robert Browning

”I trust my life to Maxim ropes—but more importantly, I trust the life of my rope-gun kids on Maxim ropes!” 

Eric Hörst

Get to know Ernst...

Tell us how and when you got into climbing?
My older brother introduced me to climbing in 1977—I was 13 years old…so I’ve now been climbing 41 years. Yikes!

What do you think was the highlight of your climbing career (so far)?
Establishing the first 5.13 route at the New River Gorge (Diamond Life 5.13a) in October 1987—this was one of the first 5.13 routes in the Eastern US at the time.

What are you doing when you are not climbing?
Family first. Work second. I’m a climbing coach, researcher, and author…so my “climbing world” is broad and extends far beyond the cliffs.

What stokes you the most?
Climbing with my family…but also pushing myself at the crags in my 50s (like I’m still in my 20s)!

If you could choose a super power, what would it be?
Stop the aging process!

What was your favorite climbing adventure?
Camping and climbing with my family in the mountains of Wyoming.

Career Highlights

White Line Fever

Country/City: Bellefonte, PA
Grade: 55.12a
Length: 350 ft

Achieving the 3rd ascent of this difficult, scantly protected tips crack in the early 1980s--it was a breakthrough ascent for me as a young and upcoming climber way back when.

Diamond Life

Country/City: New River Gorge, WV
Grade: 5.13a
Length: 60ft

This is one of my proudest first ascents, as it was the New River Gorge’s first 5.13a route…and one of the early climbs of this grade in the Eastern United States.

Climbing 5.13s in my 50s

Country/City: n.a.
Grade: 5.13s
Lenght: various

As a climbing researcher and coach, I’m proud to be able to practice what I preach…and show other climbers by example that rock climbing is a life sport! 

© Eric Hörst

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