Connor Herson closed the dog-eared Indian Creek guidebook he was reading from and gazed across the campfire with a grin. It was his first trip to Indian Creek—the mecca of single-pitch splitter cracks. At a mere 19 years of age, Connor had already amassed a lifetime ticklist of hard trad climbs, from a free ascent of the Nose (VI 5.14), an all-gear ascent of Empath (5.14d), to a recent summer sending spree of everything hard in Squamish (Cobra Crack, Crack of Destiny, the list goes on).
Yet Connor, the California crack aficionado, had never visited the windgate fissures of Canyonlands. Until this past spring. Now, sitting around a campfire under the desert stars, perusing the guidebook and soaking up the history, lore, and beta for future days spent plugging cams on endless sandstone splitters, Connor was finally feeling what you can only feel on a chilly evening in the Creek.
And with that epic route description read aloud—complete with visions of Jordan-esque whippers should you blow it at the crux—Connor was easily enticed to rack up and go for the send on Air Swedin (5.13 R), one of Indian Creek’s finest outings.