Connor Herson, 16, has repeated Ron Kauk’s test-piece Yosemite route Peace 5.13d in Tuolumne Meadows. Herson made headlines last year when he became the youngest climber to free The Nose 5.14 on El Capitan.
On The Nose and Peace, Connor was belayed by his father, Jim Herson. Both of Connor’s parents, Jim and Anne Smith, are seasoned climbers with a number of impressive accomplishments. Connor’s sister, Kara, also climbs. Both Connor and Kara are comp climbers. Connor’s most difficult sport sends are Southern Smoke 5.14c and Lucifer 5.14c at Red River Gorge.
Peace climbs a black streak on Medlicott Dome. It was originally being climbed ground-up by John Bachar, who had climbed the first pitch and some of the second and had named his project Die Hard. Kauk rap-bolted the remaining route and sent it with Chris Falkenstein in 1995.
Peace is considered one of the best face climbs in Yosemite with the second pitch following gold and black knobs with a bolt every few metres. It’s technical and sustained.
Watch Connor on the Changing Corners and Great Roof pitches of The Nose below. The first and second free ascents of The Nose were by Lynn Hill, followed by Beth Rodden and Tommy Caldwell, Tommy Caldwell, Jorg Verhoeven, Keita Kurakami and then Connor Herson. The fastest time up was by Caldwell and Alex Honnold in 2018 at one-hour and 58 minutes.