Herson: 9a+ trad! - Up-Climbing

Herson: 9a+ trad!

ConnorHerson climbs Empathy, 9a+ in trad style.

Connor Herson‘s could easily be the hardest trad climb to date. There are a handful of 8c+ and only a probable 9a (Tribe, for which Jacopo Larcher preferred not to suggest a grade), while no one has ever ventured successfully on something harder. But let’s go in order…

Not long ago, Carlo Traversi freed a line in the Tahoe area and brought to light one of the most aesthetic pitches known to date, as well as one of the hardest granite routes in the world. The grade proposed by Carlo, who then also found numerous confirmations, is 9a+, climbing however with sports protections. Shortly thereafter, Ethan Pringle repeated the line with the crack gloves and proposed a slight downgrade, because obviously jamming limits the possibility of a hold slipping, if you have excellent technique. In a short time, Empath became one of the most famous lines in the world, but that was only the beginning of the legend.

After climbing it in a sporty style last year, Connor Herson dedicated himself to work on the traditional style line, climbing in redpoint (placing the protections from the bottom). With several 9a’s to its credit and numerous reference multipitches such as the Nose ascent, this pitch could be Connor’s best achievement to date, regardless of Pringle’s downgrade. If we add the fact that Connor is just 18, the games get really interesting…

From Connor Herson’s IG page

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Alessandro Palma