Friday, October 13, 2017

October 13, 2017 - Quick jump style.

I didn't have a lot of time after work, but I stopped at Franchard Isatis to try "Kangaroo City".
One huge dyno, so no losing time working out many moves. Just one big one.
I had never tried it before, because it simply looked too hard.
After watching some videos, I noticed the high foot placement and it suddenly looked possible.

It was crowded for a Friday evening at Isatis, which didn't make me feel completely at ease, but after a few tries, I started to get focussed.
Soon after, barely ten minutes later, I got the edge, took the swing and topped out.

Huge dyno with a big swing, very nice, but not as hard as I thought it would be.

Fontainebleau - Franchard Isatis - Kangaroo City 7B+(7B)

Having done "Kangaroo City" much faster than I expected and as I seemingly was in a good shape for dyno's, I walked on to use the remaining time trying "Une Explosion de Bonheur".
Also a big dyno, but this time from an undercling that is mostly humid.
Only once before I had been able to grab the edge, but fell off the swing. But that was long ago.

Now, the undercling was quite dry, it took me only a handful of tries to finish it off.

Fontainebleau - Franchard Isatis - Une Explosion de Bonheur 7B

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October 11, 2017 - Got the treasure!

On Wednesdays, my oldest son, Anthony, has music class in Milly-la-Forêt from 17h until 19h15, and as I eat later with him on these days, I have some time for climbing before it gets dark. Even though that will not be possible anymore soon when the days are shortest.

As I had already mentioned before a couple of times, I had spent some short half hour sessions in "Rubis sur l'Ongle" and now that I had some more time, I wanted to take an easier and slower approach and rest in between tries.

It seemed that the approach had helped or I must have been in good shape, because merely twenty minutes later I was able to top it out.
My knees were a bit shaky, but hey, I made it.

Very glad to finally tick this beautiful classic off!

Fontainebleau - Gorge aux Châts - Rubis sur l'Ongle 7B+

Sunday, October 8, 2017

October 08, 2017 - A good choice.

It rained quite a lot during the night and in the morning everything was still soaking wet.
The sky looked grey and there wasn't much wind, so the expectations of drying quickly were very low.
I used the time to clean the house and by the time I was done, Pieter sent me a message that he was awake.
We met at the Hippodrome de la Solle, where he spent the night, and took some time to decide where to go given that everything still looked wet.
One of the quickest drying areas that I know is Coquibus Grandes Vallées, which I suggested to Pieter who liked the idea.

It turned out that we weren't the only ones that came up with that idea, because we ended up with a small crowd that consisted of me, Pieter, our good Suisse friend Markus (Neher) and his wife Kathy (sorry if I misspelled it), the owner of the well known gite "The House" in Tousson (I know how to pronounce his name, but have no idea how to write it, sorry) and later another friend whose name I didn't get joined too.
That quickly makes a crowd in the small area on top of the hill, but it was a nice bunch and we had some fun.

Pieter and I warmed up in "Moonira", which I did pretty fast.
Pieter did it too, but needed some more time.

Fontainebleau - Coquibus Grandes Vallées - Moonira 7A

Now, there seems to be some confusion around "Moonira" and "Terrain Miné", so we did what seemed most logical for all of us.
It all felt correct for the grade in any case.

Fontainebleau - Coquibus Grandes Vallées - Terrain Miné 7A

Markus still finished "L'Étroit Mousse, plus Bas que Terre", followed by me immediately after.
Just before I had also repeated "En Dessous de Tout" in which Pieter hurt his finger pretty bad.

We said goodbye to the nice bunch and lowered 10m down the hill to the boulder of "Le Boy Cote des Nains".
A lot of nice lines on that boulder, but most of them are too exposed to safely try alone, so it was nice that Pieter was there.

We started with "Jeu de Mot Laid".
It took us a while to find a good method, but the mantle into the wall felt so scary that I wanted to give up after a couple of times jumping off because of fear of falling on that small square boulder almost directly below me. (Go look at it, you will understand what I mean)
After a small break, I gathered my courage and gave it an ultimate try.
I pulled through, being scared as hell, I got the humid edge just when my left hand slipped off the small crimp.
It was one of the scariest things that I ever did in the forest. Especially the top part of the boulder being covered with green, humid, slippery moss.

Fontainebleau - Coquibus Grandes Vallées - Jeu de Mot Laid 7B

After some thinking and trying, I also found the method for "Le Boy Cote des Nains", that stays left of the arete.
Some very nice climbing with again a scary moment standing up on the slopey ledge, pulling only on a bad slopey arete, trying to reach for the edge high up. Again directly above that small square boulder.
Pieter tried a lot in both, found his method too, but the energy was gone.

Fontainebleau - Coquibus Grandes Vallées - Le Boy Cote des Nains 7A+

It was a good weekend and we made the good choice going to Coquibus Grandes Vallées.
When we arrived at the car, a climber asked if it was dry where we came from, because apparently, even in Gorge aux Châts it was still mostly wet and not possible to climb.
Thanks again to Pieter for the good spotting!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

October 07, 2017 - Loosening up.

After all that stress from work lately, I was really glad to finally have a complete day available for climbing again and on top that, the weather was going to be beautiful!
I knew that Pieter was around and just when I arrived at the isolated boulder of "Mickey Mousse" in Les Béorlots he sent me a message that he just woke up and would join me there soon.

While waiting, I took my time as I was on a perfect isolated spot in a beautiful part of the forest, and was able to do "Jour de Pluie", which felt more like 7B to me.
I had tried it on previous visits, but never found enough courage to really go for it as the landing is quite scary and the boulder is relatively high.
Somehow, now I felt more confident and worked my way through.

Fontainebleau - Les Béorlots - Jour de Pluie 7A+(7B)

Pieter arrived too and together we started trying "Mickey Mousse" of which the first moves are easy, but as soon a you need to pass over the big bowl it becomes really hard until the end.
It took us a while before we figured out a working method, but even when I was able to top it out, it had felt like I could have fallen off with each move.
Really glad having done "Mickey Mousse", which took me several sessions and feels really hard for the grade.

Fontainebleau - Les Béorlots - Mickey Mousse 7B

It didn't really work out well for Pieter, who hurt his foot with a bad fall while warming in "Don't take the Bonsaï", but before moving on to another boulder, we still tried "Little People" next to "Jour de Pluie".
It was a hard struggle, but in the end I made it to the top. Not an easy one!

Fontainebleau - Les Béorlots - Little People 7A+

Arriving in the main area, I wanted to try "Dunk!" while Pieter took a small break and ate some bread with ham.
"Dunk!" doesn't look that hard and the dynamic move is not very far, but the compressing position just before makes it a sketchy hard move.
I was glad to finish it on time, because that compression took a lot of energy.

Fontainebleau - Les Béorlots - Dunk! 7B

We still had some desperate tries in the 7B "Dérivation (assis)", afterwards Pieter beautifully flashed "74% de Cacao", which I was also able to repeat on my first attempt, and we ended with having some fun in "Purée de Noisettes" which I was almost able to repeat again, but had to give up due to lack of energy.
I was down and out, but felt all loosened up and there was no stress anymore.
Exactly what I needed!

Friday, October 6, 2017

October 16, 2017 - Terror alert!

Almost two weeks have gone by since my last post. Not that I didn't climb at all, but due to travel, a hectic and very stressful period at work, less and less daylight, I had only been able to climb a few quick but good sessions in mainly "Rubis sur l'Ongle" in Gorge aux Châts and one short session in "Global Terrorist" last Friday.
Also the weather hasn't always been very cooperative the last weeks which made the chances of climbing even more scarce.

I felt exhausted and a bit shaky due to stress when I parked at Cuvier after work today, but as soon as I started walking with crashpad on my back, smelling the forest in the last hours of sunlight, I started to disconnect from work and began to relax slowly.

It's a bit strange to see that "Global Terrorist" only has 13 registered ascents on, given that it's located in the heart of Cuvier on the very popular boulder with "Le Biceps Mou".
It is on a very shady part of the boulder though and the line dries slowly, so that's probably one of the reasons.

It took me two short sessions to finish it even though today it didn't feel that hard. It must have been the stress that got canalised to find it's way out.
Only 15 minutes of climbing today, but I felt relaxed again.

Fontainebleau - Cuvier - Global Terrorist 7B

Sunday, September 24, 2017

September 24, 2017 - Lady of the Lake.

I had planned to do some work at home, but also to profit from the cooler temperature in the morning to try "Lady of the Lake" in Cuisinière Crête Sud again.
It was the last problem that I had tried yesterday afternoon, but the big undercling to start with under the roof was very humid and each time I arrived right hand on a very bad sloper with humid fingertips, making it greasy after some time until it became impossible to pull on it for the far move left hand.

This morning, the boulder still felt cold from the night before and the friction on the key sloper was nearly perfect.
I had been able to do all the moves yesterday, and being fresh and ready for it, I felt confident.
Besides, as the undercling under the roof was big enough, I decided to use my towel between my hands and the still wet hold. Bummer that I didn't think of that yesterday.
At least now I could arrive with dry fingers on the crux sloper.
My only concern was camera placement.

En route to Cuisinière in the morning.

Due to the still quite low sun and the tight spot, I couldn't find a decent place to put the camera where it could capture the whole boulder without being blinded by the low sunlight.
I don't like to use my phone as a second camera, because it's always a fuss getting it onto my computer and the quality is different, but here I had no other option.
It's not the kind of problem that I would be able to do twice in a row. It felt too physical for that.
But hey, that was a problem for later, which is now actually already done, and it wasn't that bad after all.

"Lady of the Lake" was originally opened as a 7C, but has been downgraded to 7B in the meantime.
I do agree that it's not 7C, but it definitely felt like 7B+.
I'm surprised though that it only has 10 registered repeats, including mine.
It lies at only 3m from the oh so popular "Excalibur" and "Beatle Juice", that have 203 and 309 repeats respectively.
Maybe it's because of the starting hold being mostly wet? I don't know.
It definitely deserves more than the mere two stars it received on I really liked doing "Lady of the Lake"!

Fontainebleau - Cuisinière Crête Sud - Lady of the Lake 7B

Saturday, September 23, 2017

September 23, 2017 - Out of focus.

I felt a little tired after yesterday and I didn't feel like trying a particular project, so I went for a stroll in Cuisinière Crête Sud.
There was no pressure, but I definitely wanted to see "Hale Bopp".
When I was still living in Belgium, a big poster of someone doing "Hale Bopp", hung in the entrance of my regular bouldering gym 'Bleau' in Gent.
Every time that I looked at it, I just stood in awe.
What was once such a mythical dyno has now almost been forgotten, being in the shadow of the more popular and not so far away "Rainbow Rocket".

I was too tired to jump too much, so quickly I turned my attention to "Orion", on the arete just right of "Hale Bopp".
It barely seemed possible at first, but soon I figured it out and sent it.
Always nice to climb such an unknown barely repeated beauty!

Fontainebleau - Cuisinière Crête Sud - Orion 7B

On my way to "Lady of the Lake", I still was able to send "La Récréation" and "La Débonnaire" on my second and first attempt respectively.
I have no idea what happened with the focus, but for some reason, the camera decided to go out of it.

Fontainebleau - Cuisinière Crête Sud - La Récréation 7A

No 'out of focus' when flashing "La Débonnaire".

Fontainebleau - Cuisinière Crête Sud - La Débonnaire 7A(7A+)

I still had some really good attempts in "Lady of the Lake", next to "Excalibur" at the start of the area, but the sweating fingertips said 'no'.
I will go back for that one soon!