Connor Herson

A real all round climber

While best known for free climbing “The Nose” at age 15, Connor Herson enjoys all types of climbing, from bigwalls to competitions to outdoor sport climbing to bouldering. He is one of very few “all around” climbers his age, and has many future dreams and ambitions in every discipline.

Birthday: Birthday: July 8, 2003
Home town: Redwood City, California
Current home: Redwood City, California
Favorite MAXIM rope: Airliner, 70m

“The best way to guarantee that I’ll do a climb is by telling me that I can’t do it, or telling me that I can do it.”

“It’s always reassuring to know you’re tied into a rope that isn’t frayed or core shot, even if you’ve been whipping on it for a while.”

“I love how the Airliner is so durable despite its thinner structure and lighter weight.”

Connor Herson

Get to know Connor ...

Tell us how and when you got into climbing?
Both my parents have been climbing for over 30 years, so I was pretty much climbing as soon as I could walk.

What do you think was the highlight of your climbing career (so far)?
So far, freeing “The Nose” is my proudest ascent.

What are you doing when you are not climbing? 
When I am not climbing, I am either going to school, doing homework, running cross country, or planning a climbing trip.

What is the soundtrack of your life (favorite song)? 
I don’t really have one.

Do you have any peculiar eating habits? 
Even though I am from the Bay Area, I don’t like avocado or fish.

What stokes you the most? 
Climbing and being with friends.

If you could choose a super power, what would it be? 
To have infinite time and energy. It’s always frustrating when it gets dark or I run out of gas.

What was your favorite climbing adventure?
It’s hard to pick one, but I always enjoy going on long backcountry routes with my dad.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a pro climber? 
I would probably be running marathons or doing something else masochistic.

Career Highlights

The Nose

Country/City: El Capitan, Yosemite Valley, California, USA
Grade: 5.14a/8b+ trad
Length: 3,000 feet- 31 pitches

I’ve always wanted to free climb El Cap; I never imagined that “The Nose” would be my first (and only, to date) free route, but here we are. Changing Corners (the crux pitch) felt impossible at first, but I was surprised at how quickly it came together.


Southern Smoke

Country/City: Red River Gorge, Kentucky, USA
Grade: 5.14c/8c+ sport 
Length: 100 feet

The previous day I had done my first 5.14c, Lucifer, and that day I just wanted to check out Southern Smoke to see if it was doable for the rest of the trip. On my second attempt, I tried the hardest I ever had on a sport pitch, and surprised myself by sticking the technical crux move; I kept fighting, barely got through the redpoint crux, and to my utter astonishment I was clipping the chains.

14 various routes

Country/City: All in the USA. CA, UT, KY, WY.
Grade: 5.14a - 5.14c (8b+ - 8c+), all sport
Lenght: All single pitch sport. Range 50-200 feet.

This was my major goal for the year: 14 5.14’s at age 14. It was not going very well, and by my half birthday I had abandoned it all together, but then I had an improvement curve and did 9 in the last 3 months, finishing the dream.

Up to the top!