The Swiss mountain guide and climber Jonas Schild starts the new year by repeating the difficult trad route Le Voyage (E10, 7a). His personal journey did not go as planned. But as the saying goes: the unexpected often happens.

As a Jonas shield the last section of The Journey (E10, 7a), his nervousness increases. The passage is no longer very difficult, but it is mentally demanding, as you have to climb a wide runout on loose rock. «With pumped arms and fear on the back of my neck, this part was also possible without a fall and I was able to clip the belay just before sunset. Source Voyage."

The trad route Le Voyage in Annot, which James Person first climbed, is one of the most difficult in the world and can hardly be surpassed in terms of aesthetics. Image: Carmen Gasser
The trad route Le Voyage in Annot, which James Person first climbed, is one of the most difficult in the world and can hardly be surpassed in terms of aesthetics. Picture: Carmen Gasser

Le Voyage: The Original Plan

Last autumn, just back from his expedition to India, Jonas Schild put his hand on the unique line for the first time during a short trip Annot. "To my surprise, it went quite well and I was able to top rope Le Voyage on the second day," he recalls.

This is how the plan came about to use the extraordinarily warm winter in Europe for the better and to check out the Trad route again in the first week of New Year and then to climb.

Difficult remains difficult: Depending on the rating scale, the Trad-Route Le Voyage checks in at E10, 7a or 8b+. Image: Daniel Bleuer
Difficult remains difficult: Depending on the rating scale, the Trad-Route Le Voyage checks in at E10, 7a or 8b+. Image: Daniel Bleuer

How it really came about

"I already noticed on the way to Annot that I was getting sick," says Jonas Schild. Thanks to a lot of ginger and vitamins, he managed to try the route for at least two days and was able to make a good attempt from the ground.

"I felt really bad on the first rest day, so on the morning of the third day of climbing I decided not to try it." When they went to the wall later in the afternoon to get the material deposited there, Jonas Schild couldn't let it go after all.

"Standing under the wall, I couldn't accept going home without trying anyway."

Jonas shield

So he warmed up on the fretboard and got in. Already in the easier lower part he felt that it was the right decision. «To my surprise, I was suddenly hooked on the slopers above the Crux. Now I was really nervous." But the mountain guide, alpinist and climber kept his nerve and reached the beach just before sunset.

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Credits: Cover photo Daniel Bleuer

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