Potentially World's Hardest Trad Route - Bon Voyage E12 (9a)

Created by: Adam Ondra
2024/04/08

Trad climbing is a kind of climbing I always hesitated to immerse myself in. Influenced by the film Hard Grit, the idea of a bold and dangerous route where you can seriously hurt yourself was not very tempting to me, even though I climbed many bold routes on Czech sandstone. When I first heard of James Pearson's Bon Voyage route, I knew I had to go there immediately. It simply looked too good. Relatively safe, but runout climbing with seriously difficult boulder problems on immaculate sandstone in the idyllic countryside of southern France.

Petr Chodura, Bon Voyage, Annot, Francie, 240214150438

As icing on the cake- potentially the world's hardest trad route (in terms of physical difficulties) - I found it too tempting. James Pearson himself came along the way, showed me the moves and I admitted that the route was hard. I had to dig deep, take some rest and execute. Still, it was not enough to do it straight away. I had to take some big falls from the end of the crux sequence, eventually even testing the worst possible fall before I could link all the moves of this brutal masterpiece.

Petr Chodura, Bon Voyage, Annot, Francie, 240214175538

Take a look at the new great film by Laco Korbel on my YouTube channel. It doesn't feature only the send of Bon Voyage, but the whole process, doubts and great words from James himself. It is really worth watching.

And then don't forget to check the bonus section for the final ascent with my commentary for all climbing fanatics, lovers and enthusiasts. See you there

Photos in gallery by Petr Chodura

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