The 15-year old Connor Kherson of Emerald Hills, California, manages a free ascent of one of the most famous climbing routes on the planet. Last weekend, Connor, supported by his father, Jim Herson, the youngster climbed the route of „The Nose“ (VI, 5. 14a) on El Capitan, Yosemite, California. The next youngest was Beth Rodden, which 25, as she free climbed the route with Tommy Caldwell in 2005. Connor has done only the sixth freed ascent of the route.

In autumn of 1958 the route was climbed by Warren Harding with Rich Calderwood, Wayne Merry and George Whitmore in 47 days with several attempts. Two years later Royal Robbins repeated the route as first in just 7 days along with Joe Flitchen, Chuck Pratt and Tom frost. In 1993, Lynn Hill, could climb together with Brooke Sandahl, the route on El Capitan as first climber free. She graded the route with 5.13b/ X-. A year later she eclipsed this performance even more, as she climbed as first climber the complete route in a day. After that, the route for five years unrepeated. On October 16, 2005, Tommy Caldwell the route climbed in less than twelve hours.

Connor means to his ascent: „The Nose is a very interesting route to me; it only has about 20 feet of really hard climbing in the changing corners pitch, as well as a few other pitches of still hard but slightly easier climbing. I’m definitely so psyched to have done it! In total, it was my sixteenth day working on freeing the route (10 days either rapping in to changing corners or climbing up to the great roof, as well as 2 three-day pushes), and those were mostly weekends or school holidays.

Last weekend, my dad and I went up to get our systems dialed and try the route (it was my first multi-day bigwall), and I surprised myself my sending the great roof and coming very close on changing corners. We decided to go up again this weekend when the weather forecast over Thanksgiving looked bad and school was cancelled due to poor air quality last Friday. I definitely wasn’t expecting to send, but I did everything up to changing corners without falling and, to my surprise, sent changing corners on my fourth try! I still can’t believe it!“