May 22, 2010 George Foster

Dark Horses No. 2

As if on cue, and to what roughly may look like some kind of planned schedule, i have received the answers to the questions of both my second and third installments of the ‘Dark Horse’ articles.

By way of the ‘close-my-eyes-and-see-where-my-finger-lands’ method i have chosen this weeks mare, someone a little closer to home……..Callum Coldwell-Storry (yes, him from The Great Coldwell-Storry [wish i’d thought of that!!]), one of the darkest of dark horses quietly crushing his way through some pretty impressive numbers both in the Lakes (how does a super quick E8 headpoint and a few E7 flashes sound hmmm playa?!?), the UKs crucible of climbing (cough), and further afield as far as Yosemite (hammerless on The Shield bitches) and El Chorro. What’s his secret? Bourbon and a brew lad!? We’ll find out shall we…….

1. What style are you most psyched on at the minute?
Mostly bouldering, sport and trad, however i’m always psyched for trad.

2. What kind of routes do you prefer?
I hate routes that involve jamming your hand into a crack. I love the movement on slate, and I love routes with crimps.

3. Biggest strengths/weaknesses?
Core strengh I would say is my biggest weakness, and technique. Also I could do with crushing V15, that would help.

4. How do you see yourself progressing in the future?
Get stronger. Climb cooler, harder routes.

5. What are you goals for the next few years? 

More El Cap action (love that piece of rock) More bouldering, climb on the grit more. Would love to get to Baffin and Africa as well. Dammm it I need money!!

6. These past few months you’ve been crushing the trad – how much has the bouldering strength that you’ve picked up on recent overseas trips helped with this?
Over the last year I started to read about climbing and began to recognise my weaknesses, and came to the conclusion that to improve my performance on trad I needed to get stronger fingers and become more powerful.

After Yosemite (moving up the Shield headwall above) I decided to just boulder for a few months and this has without a doubt improved my climbing. Endurance comes quickly, but it takes years to get really strong tendons.

7. What do you think of the UK attitude that trad is the ‘be all and end all’ discipline?
I don’t think that at all. Trad is great, it’s what I love, but there is so much more out there and I really enjoy different styles of climbing. I also think it a bit to ‘over hyped’ if you can climb 8b then there really isnt that much you cant climb trad wise in the UK. If you can crush 8c then an 8a E9 really isnt going to feel that hard, so its all relative.

That’s why trad climbing is so great because everyone can have that wild experience no matter what the grade.

8. How much/at all do you train and how?
I wouldn’t call it training, not structured anyway. I just climb around 5 days a week ranging from steep bouldering to evening trad (George – like a quick nab of ‘Dawes Rides A Shovelhead’ for example….).

9. How do you manage to keep motivated and how do you deal with periods of low motivation?
I never really have problems with low motivation, sometimes I might just not be arsed to go bouldering so i’ll climb some trad or vice versa. Climbing is what keeps me motivated.

10. Best and worst things about being based in the Lakes/UK?
Worst: weather.

Best: the trad is pretty cool here, like N.Wales. It’s really involved climbing and onsighting is a real art on long mountain crag routes.

Thanks again Cal. Standard. Typically no-nonsense. To the point. Simple as that folks! 

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