Calum has known the hills and mountains of North Wales since his earliest days and they have shaped his love of the outdoors and of mountain sports in particular. Working as an IFMGA Mountain Guide, Calum splits his time between Wales and the French Alps.
After an apprenticeship on the mountain crags and sea cliffs of Wales, it was alpinism and big wall climbing that particularly appealed to Calum, with free ascents of El Capitan and notable alpine routes such as Divine Providence on Mont Blanc climbed whilst still a teenager. In more recent years Calum has enjoyed discovering new routes near his home in Wales as well as further afield with first ascents in Patagonia, Jordan and Norway.
Get to know Calum
Tell us about your successes so far?
Golden Gate 5.13a | El Capitan –Paciencia 8a | N Face Eiger – Gabarrou-Silvy M8+ | Aiguille Sans Nom – FA Yalla Shabab 8a | Wadi Rum – Macleod-Muskett grade VIII | Patagonia – Wall of Paine A3+ & 7b+ | S Tower of Paine – Indian Face E9 6c, Cloggy
What are you working on? What are your goals for the future?
I’ve got a short list of new route projects in Wales for the autumn and I’d like to complete the three big running rounds in Wales, Scotland and England. In 2022 I’d love to complete the list of eighty-two 4,000m summits in the Alps and I’ve still yet to climb the north face of the Grandes Jorasses.
Why do you climb? What do you love about climbing?
I love the places climbing can take you and the variety it brings with it. I’m certainly more of a “Jack of all trades, master of none” when it comes to climbing and that really helps to keep climbing fresh and exciting – I’m constantly improving in some aspect of my climbing whether it’s bouldering or cardio fitness for big mountain days.
Which Scarpa shoe is your favourite?
For rock climbing I’ve always found the Instinct VS to be an ultimate all rounder. Great for edging, toe hooks, toe jams and a comfortable fit. For mountaineering the latest Phantom Tech boots are just amazing. So small and light yet warm, precise and comfortable – great for spring, summer and autumn alpinism.
Tell us about your best day climbing?
I really can’t choose one! I’m probably most satisfied after climbing a multi pitch rock or winter route in the mountains though.
What do you do away from your sport?
We’ve recently had our first child, so it’s lovely spending time with the little fella. I work as a mountain guide but also do some research work for a local charity in the inter-season. I also really enjoying playing the piano and reading when I have the spare time.