The 37-year-old James Pearson, one of the best trad climbers in the world, was able to climb „Le Voyage“ (8c), probably the most difficult trad route in France, in the Chambre du Roi-Annot climbing area in 2017. He was not entirely „satisfied“ with it. The new route with the same start as „Le Voyage“ then leads over a first boulder problem to a few good holes (the last protection of the route) and a small rest position. From here it’s another 20 hard moves, almost exclusively on shallow holes and tiny ledges, to an edge. The route has long run-outs, but the risk of injury is relatively low, provided the protection is well placed. James has named his new route „Bon Voyage“ and grades it harder than „Tribe“ and his 9a sport climbing routes. It would thus be a hot candidate for the most difficult trad route in the world. He needed about 20 days spread over 2 years and 10 redpoint attempts in total for the route.

For the time being, James does not give a grading, but wants to try out some difficult sport climbing routes to better assess his level.

Photo: (c) Raphaël Fourau