Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Font Photo Dump: Classics

While there are thousands of climbs in Fontainebleau some gain a bit more notoriety due to quality, history or something else.  These are the "classics" that draw crowds and become the sought after ticks.  Here are a few pictures of some of Fonts well known problems.

 Lars on El Poussah in Franchard Isatis

Lina on ego-crusher L'Angle à Jean-Luc (red 25) in Roche aux Sabot

 Emil on La Baleine in Petit Bois

 Luke on Sale Gosse in Roche aux Sabot

 Daniel working Big Boss in Cuvier Rempart

Luke wishing it was colder on Fourmis Rouges, Cuvier Rempart

Chris on Lady Big Claques, Buthiers

Égoïste, Apremont

Melissa on Science Friction in Apremont

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Font Wrap-up

I'm back in Sweden just in time for the perfect Spring temps but I thought I wound do a proper Fontainebleau wrap-up before the Sweden posts begin.

So it really is hard to grasp how much climbing there is around Fontainebleau.  If you were to visit just one area a day from the 7s and 8s guide it would take close to three months of climbing everyday before you'd see them all.  That's how much Font has to offer and it is far from tapped out for those willing to explore.  I like to keep that in mind when I go to Font, leaving project lists and  heightened expectations of crushing V-blahblahblah at home.

I feel there are too many great boulder problems in Font to spend days projecting just one when you would be missing out on so many equally amazing climbs.  I prefer to roll on Font time, which means I climb everyday possible, trying to see as much as I can and scrape up problems with difficulty corresponding to number of days on.  I find this schedule only works in a place with abundant 3 star problems of all difficulties and enough areas to make your head spin.

I pretty much count on Font's notoriously bad weather to force me to rest but this trip the weather was almost too good as it allowed me to climb 13 of 14 days.  Everyday we went to a new area and it was only on the last day that I even ventured to the extremely popular Bas Cuvier just because it seems odd not to go there at some point (it is far from my favorite area and the reason, I believe, some visiting climbers can come away with a less than ideal opinion of Font).  The amazing thing about this trip is that my tips didn't bleed (lots of tape was the key), my elbows didn't totally explode (just kind of) and I somehow managed to pull off some good sends nearly everyday.

It was nice to have spent a good amount of time in Font before (around two months) so I could be a little selective and save some skin but my gite mates (Luke, Chris and Oscar) were not so lucky.  For a little taste of how it is going for them check out Lukes blog, koanbouldering.com.

To sum-up, Font was great.  There was lot and lots of climbing but is it was the company that made the trip what it was.  My friends were huge, from booking the gite and making room in the car to following me aimlessly through the woods and baby sitting Hammie.  My friends are heroes.  Seriously,  thanks to everyone for hanging with Hammie and putting up with my need to climb all day everyday.  What would a neglegent father do without you guys.  Actually, I'm surprised Luke, Chris and Oscar didn't keep Hammie and kick me out of the gite, but I'm sure my willingness to change diapers had something to do with it.

Here are a few more pictures from the trip

 Hammie making tick-marks on her project.  I'm sure the Bleausards love this.

 Luke hopes that whispering sweet nothing will make the rock more forgiving 

 The super classic Égoïste in Apremont

 Justin fires Onde de Choc in Apremont

 Chis roof climbing on Retour aux Sources at 95.2

Oscar pulling on slopers

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Here are a handful of reasons I love Font

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Team Sweden

There has been so many friends in Font it is difficult to keep track. Nearly everyday I run into someone new that I know out at the crag and I estimate I have over 20 friends from North American and slightly fewer from Sweden.  One group of friends we climbed with quite a bit  are the four Swedes Lars, Jonas, Olle, and Peter.  
They have now returned to Sweden after two weeks of marauding through the forest laying siege to projects.  

Jones gets aggrivatingly close to doing La Rampe

Olle savagely crimping

Lars shows his French side on Deliverance 

Peter fires Jet Set

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Nemesis is just one of many exceptional problems done this trip.  Located in Buthiers it helps to be taller on this one but even then it's no cake-walk.  It took us a bit to fine tune some beta but in the end we prevailed.

 Peter on Nemesis

 Lars trying to find beta for those with shorter stature 

Chris reaching the sweet hold on the face

Luke eyeballing the final jug

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Down in the Dumps

I feel for Lars.  A few days ago while trying one of his projects he felt one of those infamous sensations shoot down his finger and forearm.  While Lars did the prudent thing and stopped climbing for the day it was safe to say he wouldn't be ready to crank in the morning.  Now a few days later Lars is feeling out the finger and climbing easy things but nothing is more frustrating then being surrounded by thousands or great rock climbs and unable to try most of them.  It is heartbreaking to see him stare dejectedly into space while stroking his finger.  I'm hoping for a miraculously recovery.  

Lars stabs the pocket on Sale Gosse that did the damage

I guess it's time to bring alcohol to the crag

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

One Less Swede in Font

Lina is now back in Sweden after her one week in Font.  She left too soon and will be missed.  Our gite certainly wont be the same without her as there is no one to maintain my hygiene and keep Hammie from picking up all our bad habits.  I've still got one more week to climb every boulder in Font and teach Hammie how to open a bottle of wine.  I don't hold out much hope.

Lina did manage to get some climbing done while here and left plenty of things for next time. 

Chris, Luke, Oscar, Lina and Hammie at the dinner table

Lina on one of problems that will have to wait until next time

Another shot.  She was so close


Another project

I think Lina will miss Hammie the most.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

No Rest-days for the Weary

With so many different areas and amazing problems of all difficulties it is hard to take an off day in Fontainebleau.  It is odd to look forward to rainy weather but the forced rest is often just what the doctor ordered as I lack the will power to not climb every day possible.  Fortunately, the quality of life when you're not climbing is exceptional as staying in a gite (small vacation homes you can rent all over France) with good friends and drinking an abundance of wine always makes for a good time.

Today will be only the second day in a row of climbing but 5 of 6 days on in total and it doesn't look like we'll be resting anytime soon as the forecast is fantastic.  I'm sure in a couple days I'll be hoping for rain.

Here's a few non-climbing pictures.

Luke and Chris hoping for an off-day

Maybe you can love Font too much

Hammie helps gather firewood for an evening around the fire

Chris gets a sausage lesson from the two French sausage girls


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Slab Dyno

Here is a sequence of Chris firing the classic slab dyno Medalille en Chocolat in Apremont.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Some Pictures from Font

It's hard to overstate how good Font is.  I find it hard to describe without using superlatives so I'll just go ahead and say it....Font is the best.  Quality, quantity, variety, setting, style and history rival anywhere else in the world making this place second to none.  I find it hard to believe there are boulderers that don't like the place but they do exist.  I guess the weather can be tricky and number-chasers can only fall off 6a slabs so many times before they write of the whole area.  So it goes.  For those who have never been climbing in Fontainebleau I suggest you do yourself a favor and book a trip.

Here are a few more pictures from our first day.

Luke trying Alta

Peter looking dreamily at his next hold 

Lina finding balance

Lars on the tricky el Poussah

Lina getting used to slopers