The October Fontainebleau trip can be summed up quite easily - 7 days away, 5 of which were wet. If your maths is up to scratch, you will have deduced that we had 2 full dry days, when climbing could take place. We had one or two afternoons as well, so it wasn't a total washout, thankfully. However, it was a great trip all the same, with some memorable ascents (photos below).
The highlight must be the team ascent of La Marie Rose at Bas Cuvier. One of the classics of the forest, it is seemingly loathed by many, but I love it. The guide book says of the style: "In two words, delicacy and precision". What it fails to mention, and I think this is crucial to sending this problem, is body position. Finding a sequence that works for you. I think, in our group, we all had a slightly different way of climbing it - whether an alternative foot placement, hand sequence or body position. I've climbed the problem on every trip to Cuvier, but this was the first trip where I sent it first try, which was nice. Another of our team screamed his way up because of injured elbows. Another looked like she was going to give up at the top, before the yelling crowd below (me included) forced her to reevaluate and finish it. And another must have tried it a hundred times before sending. I've never seen someone persevere so much with one problem and then send it in a single session.
As an individual highlight, my best climb of the trip must be Hueco Depart at Apremont. The sun was quickly descending below the horizon and a bat kept flying back and forth overhead, but I just managed to nip the ascent on the last try, before it got too dark to walk out. The top of the problem, though easy, was extremely dirty. It gets pretty high too, with a poor landing if you were to slip. I yelled when I pulled over the lip and onto solid ground (well, it was green and slippy after all the rain, but solid enough) and my spotters below also looked pretty relieved.
A few other problems were tried on the trip as well, some of which I need to go back for. The main one being Fleur de Rhum. Unfortunately, the rain put a stop to finishing Fleur, among a few others. Hopefully back to the Forest of Fontainebleau soon though.
A big thanks must go to Neil for providing us with fantastic accommodation at Maisonbleau. If you're staying in Font, I'd recommend staying in one of those cosy gites.
Enough words. Here's a few snaps...