Sunday, 27 March 2016

Five days climbing in Fontainebleau forest

Five days climbing in Fontainebleau forest is a pretty good way to relax, I'd say. Our sixth day was a washout, which preceded a week of stormy weather, so we were very lucky to get sunshine for the majority of our time camping, hauling, hiking and climbing around the forest. I feel for those who travelled out for Easter week.

Climbing La Gaule (7C) at Bas Cuvier, Fontainebleau

A week is a short trip by many standards. Not long enough to warrant taking rest days and not too quick as to leave you feeling short changed. With five days of non-stop climbing, I ended up feeling pretty drained. The campsite lifestyle and tent living probably played a part - hardly a restful existence. But it all adds to the experience. I do love my annual short breaks to Font - long may they continue.

Leigh-Anne working Surplomb de la Coquille stand (6C) at Franchard Hautes-Plaines

If you're after a few amazing boulders to add to your Font list, here are my highlights from the trip:

  • L'Angle Ben's (7A+) - the improbable looking, blank, glassy aréte of Isatis. A classic that had shut me down before.
  • Salathé Wall (7A+) - jump, campus, mantle. Simple but brilliant.
  • Onde de Choc (7B) - superb aréte climbing. Took me a while to figure out the moves but it made victory all the sweeter.
  • Crazy Horse (7B) - A low start leads into powerful moves across the bulge. I climbed it quickly but had zero interest in starting lower still for an extra grade.
  • Holey Moley (7A/+) - Good moves on great pinchy slopers followed by a throw to the top if you choose the right hand exit.
  • La Gaule (7C) - One of the forest's finest fridge hugging classics. One of my favourite styles of climbing.

Here's a short video of four of those problems: