We are brothers Coulter (19) and Cedar (16) Holden. We have been climbing for 10 years, 7 of which we have devoted to competitive climbing. We have climbed all over the country both outside and for indoor competitions. Being home-schooled gives us a more flexible schedule, which we adapt to our climbing and training. We live on the South Shore of Lake Superior, thirty minutes east of Duluth, MN. On our small homestead, we have chickens, ducks, guinea hens, peacocks, and an alpaca. We also have many gardens where we grow an abundant variety of things, including the herbs we use in our HoldOn Climbing Salve.
We are fortunate enough to live near some excellent outdoor climbing. Our whole family is very outdoor-oriented and we are all committed to exploring new places to climb. In the summer we get out to our local crags quite a bit. One of our favorites is Palisade Head, which is a 200 ft. cliff of some of the world's oldest rock, towering over Lake Superior. THe range of route difficulty makes it an accessible crag for our whole family. We also travel around the country to climb at places like The Red River Gorge, Joshua Tree, and Red Rocks. We aim to travel longer distances at least a few times per season to climb at other crags. When we age out of the youth competition circuit, we plan on focusing the majority of our time and energy on outdoor climbing.
Coulter on "A Mind Forever Voyaging" (5.13b) at Palisade Head on the North Shore of Lake Superior
At the moment comps are the main focus of our climbing. We compete in the USA Climbing Youth circuit, as well as in other smaller local comps. We compete in Youth Nationals every year. Cedar has made finals eight times, his best placement being third. Coulter has only made finals once, but when he did he made the US Team and competed at the Youth World Championship in Innsbruck, Austria and at the Youth Pan American Championship in Montreal, Canada, where he placed fourth. He also competed in the 2019 USA Open Sport & Speed Nationals.
Coulter on his way to a 4th place finish at the 2017 Youth Pan American Championships
Photo: Jennie Jariel
We train really hard. We do hard workouts every other day with cross training and active rest activities on rest days. We don't live by a very good gym so we drive three hours at least once a week so we can climb on better walls and routes. We also do a lot of our workouts at home. We have a small home wall, a campus board, and a HIIT strip wall. When we can, we use outdoor climbing as part of our training.
Coulter training on a hangboard in our living room