Growing up in Bethesda, at the foot of the Ogwen Valley in Snowdonia, Calum was introduced to climbing by his parents when he was 13. Taking full advantage of the mountains on his doorstep, he quickly developed a well rounded set of mountain skills. He quickly showed a natural ability and cool head on the sharp-end by leading his first E5 (Waves of Inspiration) only two-and-a-half months after starting out. At 14, he led The Cad (E6 6a) at Gogarth, not fazed by the route’s reputation for boldness on less than perfect rock.
Within a week of getting his first taste of ice climbing at 15 years-old he led theDevil’s Appendix (V) in Cwm Idwal with only a couple of ice-screws and a pair of straight-shafted ice axes, he also made an early repeat of the neo-classic Devil’s Appendage (VII, 6). Now Calum shares his passion leading others climbing, walking and fell running around Snowdonia. When he is not on trips that is. In a short amount of time Calum has been on a mind-boggling number of climbing trips: from European Alps to Patagonia via Yosemite and Norway.
"My first experience of Alpine and winter climbing came when I was 15 and I was fortunate enough to have good weather and good partners. I found ice climbing fairly straightforward- one big hold and exciting positions, I thought it was amazing though and leading the Devil’s Appendix on a minimal rack with old school tools a week after my first winter route is an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life! Likewise alpinism is amazing and I’m probably most enthusiastic about big alpine rock routes in the sun.
From there I guess it’s mainly been more of the same but at different venues and with different people. I also started new routing which I really enjoy: from finding new lines, preparing them and leading them; it can be a trial at times but is a very rewarding experience."
- Rare Lichen (E9 6c), Clogwyn y Tarw - 3rd ascent
- The Great Escape (E8 6c), Cwm Idwal - first ascent and currently unrepeated
- Hope, Faith and Charity (E8 6c), Idwall Quarry - first ascent and currently unrepeated
- Forsinain Motspur Super Direct (F8a), Bus Stop Quarry - first ascent
- Travesty (VIII, 8), Clogwyn Du Ymhen Y Glyder
- Gabarrou-Silvy (ED2/3, WI 6 M8+, 950m), Aiguille Verte - fully free ascent
- Golden Gate (5.13a), El Capitan - free ascent
- Divine Providence (ED4, 900m), Grand Pilier d'Angle
- The Fish (F7b+, 850m), the Marmolada
- Pichenibule (F7c), Verdon Gorge