Without a local wall, Calum and his brothers would go out searching for boulders after school, wandering their local hills and enjoying the landscape.
“I enjoy just walking in the hills as well,” says Calum. “I like being out in cool places, climbing just adds to that."
The boys would use the rainy days to scout for potential boulders and then go back on dry days to clean and work them. As such, Calum has dozens of bouldering first ascents to his name and is well versed in navigating unexplored rock.
This experience has served Calum well and in recent years he’s been pushing into more adventurous territory, capped in 2018 by Blood Moon, a technically demanding, 13-pitch 8a+ big wall climb he established with Robbie Phillips and Alan Carne in the remote Tsaranoro Valley in Madagascar. The team took six days to bolt the route on lead and then Calum and Robbie made the first ascents over three days, running out of food and water along the way.
“It's hard to summarise the trip in a few words,” Calum said shortly after returning from the trip, “but this expedition has definitely been the most epic and rewarding so far.”
You can read about Calum’s experience on Blood Moon in his DMM article.
Calum is currently studying a three-year course in Forestry Management at Inverness University of the Highlands and Islands and finding time to climb around his studies.