“You’ll catch more air than Michael Jordan.”

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 free ascents of the Nose (VI 5.14), and the Salathé Wall (VI 5.13b) on El Cap, to an all-gear ascent of Empath (5.14d).

Connor Herson: Running it Out on Air Swedin (5.13 R)
Video: Ben Neilson

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.


Our pinnacle trad climbing collection is built for the send.

Shop the Trad Kit
A rack of cams suitable for climbing in Indian Creek, UT.
Black Diamond athlete Connor Herson reads the "Creek Freak", Indian Creek climbing guidebook at camp using a black diamond headlamp.
Black Diamond athlete Connor Herson climbing Air Sweeden (5.14 R) in Indian Creek.
Black Diamond athlete Connor Herson climbing in Indian Creek.


Redesigned and redefined, our favorite insulation pieces just got better.

Shop New Insulation