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James Pearson’s New Trad Route Features Desperate Moves and a Huge Runout

New footage has been released of the crux of the ungraded Bon Voyage, which Pearson sent earlier this month

Photo by: Raphaël Fourau

In early February, James Pearson sent his long-term trad project in Annot, France. He named the route Bon Voyage and left it ungraded. The route shares the same start as his 2017 first ascent Le Voyage E10. It then traverses leftward across a runout blank face via a series of shallow pockets to finish up a technical arete. New video footage of Pearson working the route’s crux moves was just released.

Pearson is one of the world’s most experienced trad climbers. In 2011, he climbed the dangerous Muy Caliente E10 in a ground-up style. In 2014, he repeated one of the hardest trad climbs ever, Dave MacLeod’s Rhapsody E11 (approximately 5.14c R/X) in Dumbarton Rock, Scotland. In 2020, he made the second ascent of Jacopo Larcher’s Tribe in Cadarese, Italy. Although the route is ungraded, it likely goes around 5.14d. And in 2022, he repeated Lexicon E11 7a at Pavey Park, Langdale, U.K.

For more on Pearson’s thoughts on Bon Voyage, its difficulty, and why he left it without a grade, check out our previous article here.


Lead photo: Raphaël Fourau