Eric J. Hörst is an internationally renowned author, researcher, climbing coach, and accomplished climber of more than 30 years. A self-professed “climber for life,” Eric remains active at the cliffs, traveling widely with his wife, Lisa, and sons, Cameron and Jonathan. Driven by his passion for adventure and challenge, he has established over 400 first ascents, primarily on his home cliffs in the Eastern United States. Still pushing his personal climbing limits at age 50, Eric’s focus is now on R & D of new training techniques, traveling and sharing his knowledge with new climbers, and coaching the next generation of elite climbers. The third edition of Eric’s best-selling book, Training For Climbing, will be released in July 2016
What makes you a Kuhl Kid?
As a veteran climber and performance coach, I’m very picky about the clothes I wear. They must be both functional and stylish so I can wear them at the crags, gym, around home, and everywhere in between. Putting on my first pair of Renegade Pants a few years ago was one of those “wow!” moments. They were the pants I’ve been looking for all these years!
How do you live the Mountain Culture?
I spend quite a bit of time in the gym (training and coaching) year-round, but also about 75 days per year climbing outdoors. Whether I’m climbing in the Frankenjura (Germany) or hanging around a camp fire at Ten Sleep Canyon (Wyoming), I stay comfortable in my Kuhl clothes!
What’s your most memorable adventure?
After all these years climbing it’s hard to pick one, but I’d have to say climbing the 600-foot Devil’s Tower (Wyoming) with my wife and sons is the most memorable. My boys are now world-class teenage climbers, but when we climbed Devil’s Tower they were only ages 8 and 10. It was quite a family adventure!
If you could adventure anywhere in the world for a week or two, where would you go?
The Himalaya and Karakorum would be the ultimate trip! Someday!
Who inspires you?
I train a number of handicapped individuals who climb at a high level, and they are an inspiration to me! I also find inspiration in the many “regular folks” who work a full-time job, meet family commitments, and still find time to train hard and achieve greatly as outdoor athletes.
What song makes you most stoked to play hard?
I’m a 1990’s music fan, so anything by the bands U2 and LIVE!
What’s your favorite food and drink after an adventure?
A cold Sierra Nevada pale ale is my beer of choice, and pizza is my favorite post-climbing food. But it’s a good cup of coffee that gets me most psyched anytime of the day!
What’s hot/what’s not?
HOT: Challenging your fears (reasonably) and stretching your limits. NOT: Being a couch potato.
What’s the fastest speed you’ve ever gone under your own power, assisted by gravity?
Probably somewhere around 80 mph….as I was in the air during a really long climbing fall many years ago. The rope caught me, so all was well.
Genie gives you three wishes and you have five minutes to decide all three. What are they?
- Health and longevity for all of my family and friends.
- World Peace.
- The resources to travel without limit.
What’s your favorite thing about Kuhl?
Spandex! Seriously, the one thing all my favorite Kühl clothes have in common is that they have spandex as part of the material blend. It provides the light, stretchy feel I love.
What’s your favorite piece of Kuhl clothing? What do you use it for?
I love my Renegade pants and shorts, but I have a Kuhl merino wool pull-over and Kuhl down jacket that I basically live in when I climb outside—these pieces are several years old, but they are still serving me well!
If your best friend already had your favorite piece of Kuhl gear, what would you recommend to him/ her that functions just as well playing outside as it does in the bar at the end of the day?
Renegade shorts and Radikl pants!