Brilliant names for brilliant routes…’Bada Bing’ and ‘Bada Boom’ take soaring lines up the magnificent grey and red walls on the South Face of the Perrons. A wonderful spot where Vultures also soar up these crags and over the Lac d’Emosson on the Swiss French border, just to the north of the Mont Blanc Massif….
Both climbs are courtesy of the prolific new routers in this area, Jon de Montjoye and Hilary Sharp, in 2008 for Bada Bing and 2010 for Bada Boom and there are some photos of this team in action on the first ascents on the UKClimbing.com website.
Bada Boom is a significantly harder route as it has a tough 7b pitch and the famous 7a+ crack up the grey wall, described as the best pitch on the Perrons. But Bada Bing is no pushover and, after the easier first few pitches, has an impressively sustained 5 pitch headwall up to around F6c.
The Red Pillar on pitch 5 of Bada Bing is a real classic and a striking feature of the crag, both from a distance and when stood at the base of it! It’s nearly a full 50m from belay to belay and the climbing, on excellent rough rock, is both high quality and sustained but does have plenty of good rests along the way.
The grey wall pitch above the red pillar is nearly as good and possibly slightly harder with a short section low down on thin sharp crimps and brilliant sustained but steadier climbing up the long grey wall above.
The 6b+ pitch above that marks the only slight chink in the difficulty of the upper 4 pitches but still has plenty of steep good quality climbing on it:
Although this wall faces South and can be a lovely warm place to climb sun rock, it is in the middle mountains with the summit not far shy of 2700m and with even a little cloud, wind…or lateness! it can rapidly turn cold. There are great views down the Chamonix Valley and on to most of the big north faces of the Mont Blanc Massif, which were looking quite snowy with plenty more fresh snow forecast for tomorrow.
Staying in character with the theme that characterises the upper half of this route, the last pitch is also 6c, also long, and also very good! It has a more technical start with a stiff pull above the belay and steep climbing above but will generally good holds and even a slight easing in angle and difficulty to reach the summit belay, just below the ridge line of the Perrons traverse.
The anchors on the route are equipped for an efficient abseil descent and, as the topo says, it’s worth stopping on the additional anchor slightly above the red pillar pitch to avoid the ropes disappearing in to the rock crevasse below the flakes here. One other technical point to note is the absence of a hanger on one of the last bolts on this red pillar pitch. We took a small nut which could be cinched over the bolts and clipped with a quick draw.
Whilst there was a bit of a shower for us on the last pitch and the walk out, we escaped the worst of the foehn winds brewing in the Mont Blanc Massif and it was a pleasure to share, with 3 huge soaring vultures, the grand early autumn ambiance on this fine wall. We will be back for Grevolle direct, Squatters de Lune…and, with a lot more training, maybe one day….Bada Boom!