Climbing ‘Perfect Sandstone’ in France With Black Diamond’s Babsi Zangerl

In this Black Diamond short, follow along with climber Babsi Zangerl as she attempts one of the hardest trad routes in France.

First climbed by James Person in 2017, “Le Voyage” (E10, 7a) is a 38m line at the La Chambre du Roi sector in Annot, France. This new route is definitely one of the best trad climbs France has to offer.

“When we heard about an apparent sandstone climbing paradise in the south of France, we were curious. At the time, besides some long granite routes in Chamonix, I didn’t know about a single place to trad climb on sandstone in France. Well, apparently such a place existed, and it was just above the village of Annot in the southwest,” Zangerl said.

“After the first days, we cast an eye on this mega line called ‘Le Voyage’: a new hard test piece featuring face climbing with pockets, cracks, crimps, tricky gear placements.”

She continued, “It was quite a mental game to climb the traverse at one-third height of the wall — [the] part of the climb before entering the real crux of the route. The crux is really powerful, and it requires a lot of body tension.

“On my first try of the day, I messed up, spending too much time placing the gear and getting pumped before I even reached the crux. On the send, it was a real battle. But I was finally able to climb those 38 meters of perfect sandstone.”

(If you look closely, you may spot Zangerl wearing the Solution Harness with a new look — what Black Diamond calls its Babsi Edition — in case you want to channel her latest French Alps send.)

Runtime: 11 minutes

a female climber with bright pink hair hanging off a rope with her arms outstretched
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Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.

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