Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August 15, 2017 - Two.

Two days in post and not much to mention.

Yesterday it was hot and I wanted to take a rest day to grow some skin back.
I was meeting a colleague from work at Canche aux Merciers in the morning and being early, I worked a bit in "Atome Crochu" and made a quick ascent of "Parabellum".

Fontainebleau - Canche aux Merciers - Parabellum 7A(6C+)

Late afternoon, my cousin, his wife and two kids arrived again, but this time they were spending the night on their way back home from Spain.
We had a nice BBQ and my cousin and I stayed up talking until (according to my standards) extremely late.
It was only half past midnight when I was in bed, but being very sensitive to going off my own rhythm, I felt tired all day today.

My cousin and family left at about eleven o'clock this morning and ten minutes later, when I was on my way to try "Taillé à Son Insu" on the boulder of "Le Cadeau" in Rocher du Télégraphe, it started raining.
I continued on for a while, but when the rain didn't stop and became harder, I had to return back home to wait it out.

By the time that I had cleaned the house an hour and a half later, it had dried up again and I took another chance and set off to Rocher du Télégraphe again.
This time I was more lucky and the skies even cleared up for a while.
The dyno of "Taillé à Son Insu" looks like miles away and somehow I never really wanted to try it until recently when I saw another video of it while browsing bleau.info.

I felt really tired and was exhausted from the walk that had felt as if it took ages.
Before setting up the camera, I first wanted to try a test jump to see if it would be possible or not.
To my big surprise, my fingers reached over the edge and I decided to give it some real attempts.
I cleaned off the top for the mantle after the dyno, set up the camera, started rolling and only needed two attempts to stick and hold the dyno and mantle up.

Even though it felt easy, it's one of the nicer dyno's in its kind.

Fontainebleau - Rocher du Télégraphe - Taillé à Son Insu 7B

I had barely finished cleaning up when I felt some drops again.
By the time I was driving again, it was raining cats and dogs, which it did for the rest of the afternoon.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

August 13, 2017 - Where? Oh there!

It was about 10h15 when I was walking in the Coquibus towards Montrouget Ouest.
After having had so many visitors at the same time, I needed some time completely alone, and with the long weekend for some neighbouring countries, the Coquibus is the place to be.

The forest was wet from the rain last night, but I had done my homework and had a lot of boulders on my mind that I wanted see, hopefully climb and ideally top out.
"Là-Bas", "Eldorado", "Colorado", "Coup de Pompe" and also "Yahtzee" and "Sinus-X (assis)" in the nearby Coquibus Arcades area, were all on the list.
More than enough for a late morning as I still had to some gardening in the afternoon.

The first problem that I passed on my way was "Là-Bas", a backwards dyno to a sharp medium hold that you can't see when doing the jump.
The jump on itself wasn't hard to do, but it took a while before I had the coordination just right and catch the hold good enough. It had to be precise.

Fontainebleau - Montrouget Ouest - Là-Bas 7B

The roof with "Eldorado" and "Colorado" was my next stop, but I couldn't try neither of them because the holds in the roof that barely sees the sun, were wet.
I didn't mind that much, because "Douceurs", on the boulder right next to it, was dry.
It wasn't on my list, but it could make up for the others that I couldn't try.
Slipped off the second hold on my flash attempt, but made it on my second.

Fontainebleau - Montrouget Ouest - Douceurs 7A(6C+)

"Coup de Pompe" was at only 20m from there and it was completely dry but felt sandy.
The first sloper on the left that you have to go to first is of the kind that you can't get clean. The kind that constantly feels sandy.
That didn't stop me, however, from flashing it. I'm quite sure though, that my long arms helped a lot in this problem.

Fontainebleau - Montrouget Ouest - Coup de Pompe 7B

So far for the problems on my list in Montrouget Ouest, so I walked to the nearby Coquibus Arcades area.
"Yahtzee" is somewhat isolated, hidden in a small valley, surrounded by dense vegetation.
I gave it a couple of tries, but the first big sloper was too humid and impossible to stick.
Anyway, I know where it is now.

Last on the list was "Sinus-X (assis)", in another isolated part of Coquibus Arcades.
I had done the standing start last year and had left the sitstart for a future visit. Like today.
Visually one of the nicest boulders in the forest and the standing start on itself is a four star problem.
With the sitstart it's a sloper feast from start to top, a beautiful problem!

Fontainebleau - Coquibus Arcades - Sinus-X (assis) 7B(7A+)

It was 12h45 when I was back at the car. Right on time to go home and work in the garden.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

August 12, 2017 - Lalaland.

A couple of days ago some new boulders, opened by David Evrard, had been published on bleau.info, all located in a new sector in the Eastern part of Coquibus Grandes Vallées.
Of course, I was eager to go and have a look and when the last of all family members left early afternoon, I set off for what I expected to be a long hike trying to find the boulders.
The small published topo didn't give away that much to go by, and knowing those hills out there, the boulders would probably be hard to see from a distance. Hidden in between small valleys and dense vegetation.

The topo with the location of the new spread out boulders.

I did find all the boulders, even though for some, especially "Lalaland", I had to search for quite some time.
I tried "Culbuto" briefly, but the mantle felt too exposed without a spotter.
"Shikantaza" looked really nice, but I didn't try it, because there was a small bat tucked away sleeping in a small pocket right in the middle of the problem and I didn't want to disturb it too much.

When I finally found the boulder with "Lalaland" and "Yin Yang", I immediately excluded the latter for being way too exposed.
"Lalaland" doesn't offer a very good landing neither, and even though I doubted for a moment, I decided to go for it anyway.
The boulder looked to nice to just skip it without even trying.

According to David's grading standards, I expected it to be too hard for the grade, but this time, it felt rather on the soft side.
But then again, being exposed to a bad landing in a sketchy position, mostly gives that extra boost that makes you hang on for dear life.
All in all, a great problem on a very nice boulder in a beautiful setting!
Remember that, if you go there, to be discreet and keep it peaceful as there are some dwellings nearby.

Fontainebleau - Coquibus Grandes Vallées - Lalaland 7A+

Friday, August 11, 2017

August 11, 2017 - Quick update, quick repeat.

I have some family staying over at my house and at the moment we are with eleven people all together!
A very cosy bunch, a lot of fun, but less time to for some harder climbing.

This evening however, I went with m sister Zoë and her boyfriend Wouter to Roche aux Oiseaux and while they were reading a book, I was able to repeat "Le Mandarin (sans convention)".
Did it differently than when I did it the first time back in 2012, but hey, it's unconventional after all.
Nice classic of the area!

Fontainebleau - Roche aux Oiseaux - Le Mandarin (sans convention) 7B

Sunday, August 6, 2017

August 06, 2017 - Full force!

I had to be in Belgium on Saturday afternoon to pick my oldest son, Anthony. He had spent a few weeks at his mom during the vacation and was finally coming back home.
We were able to leave early, around 7h45 in the morning so we would home around noon, allowing us to still enjoy the rest of the day there.
During the long drive I had enough time to think about where or what to climb and doubted between options. "Le Sacre du Printemps" in Justice de Chambergeot or "Abri Bouse" in Rocher du Télégraphe.
It became the latter.

"Abri Bouse" is a small roof right next to the boulder with "Le Cadeau" in a remote sector of Rocher du Télégraphe". It's actually so remote that it's at a couple of hundred meters to the West of the main area. It might as well be called "Rocher du Télégraphe Ouest", it would be more obvious.
Anyway, "Abri Bouse" is all about compression with full force.
I had tried a few times already, could do all the moves separately, but lacked the power or force to link them all together.

My previous visit was already quite some time ago and I started my warmup with practicing the moves separately again.
Soon after, I could link some of them and decided to give it some real goes from the start.
Luckily I made it on my second attempt from the start today, because I don't think I would have been able to give it another go.
Especially because when I wanted to mantle out, I realised that I had never done the mantle before and had to improvise the topout, which is not an easy one.
I made it just barely, but I did it and felt happy about it.
One of my top favourite climbs of the forest! Simply beautiful and loved every move of it!

Fontainebleau - Rocher du Télégraphe - Abri Bouse 7B+

I still found "Turbo" at about 100m from there, touched it briefly, but I had to give in.
The long drive and the compression at full force had taken the best of me today.

Friday, August 4, 2017

August 04, 2017 - Quick boom!

On my way back home after my last business trip, I was thinking of going back to Bois du Rocher soon to try "Bastata", which I couldn't really try on my previous visit due to humid conditions.
It was a funny coincidence when I saw that the Duval twins had done it earlier this week and had posted a video of it on their Youtube channel.
Not that I needed the beta, because it's basically one huge move to a bad sloper. If you stick that one, you have to match it with the other hand and keep calm for the mantle above.

So, this afternoon, after work, I stopped at Bois de Rocher and headed to "Bastata".
It only took me four attempts, but then again it is completely my style.

Fontainebleau - Bois du Rocher - Bastata 7C

I still had quite some time left after having done "Bastata" so fast, so I moved the crashpad and the camera to the nearby boulder with "Azurite".
It starts the same as the 7A, "Bord de Fuite", but exits more to the left on slopers and without using the arete.

I could say that I had a good day, but here, according to me, the proposed grade of 7B+(7C) could be easily adjusted to 7B and still be soft for the grade.
Made it on my second attempt, but I had done the start already when I did "Bord de Fuite" about a year ago.
Nevertheless, a very nice piece of climbing with some cool moves!

Fontainebleau - Bois du Rocher - Azurite 7B+(7C)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

August 03, 2017 - Lost footage.

I had been away traveling for work since Tuesday, but arrived back home shortly after noon.
Besides making a coffee, I had no time for a break as I had to continue working from home the rest of the day.
With the long drive in the morning and with some colleagues being on well deserved vacations it had felt like a stressy day and I was exhausted in the evening.
Yet, after diner, I went to the nearby Roche aux Oiseaux for a relaxing climb. No hard climbing, just channelizing away the stress of the day.

"Pigeon Voyageur" can be found on the same boulder as the classic "Action Directe (assis)" and has a couple variations, the hardest one being "Pigeon Voyageur assis sous les Toits", which starts almost lying under the roof with a flat hold for the left hand and a bidoigt for the right.
Even though the standing start is graded 6A, I had never managed to do it. The far move near the end felt too morpho.

I knew that I could get from the lying start under the roof into the standing start without real problems, so I first focussed on trying the move to the shallow bidoigt pocket far right.
Somehow, even though just barely, I could make the move this time and hang on without swinging out.
As soon as I knew that move was possible, I tried it from the start and made it on my third attempt.

Fontainebleau - Roche aux Oiseaux - Pigeon Voyageur assis sous les Toits 7A

Not really having a project in mind for the remainder of my time, I moved to "Satan m'Habite (raccourci)".
When I was helping out Neil (Hart) with his Bleau climbing movie "Out of Sight", we were filming Jacky (Godoffe) doing "Satan m'Habite (raccourci)" feet first to the jug.
Neil also filmed me doing it the same way Jacky did, but that footage is probably lost by now.

So, as it's such a beautiful boulder and a nice problem, I repeated it for the video.
I didn't try it feet first without a spotter, but made it on my first attempt using the most common method.
Visually, I think it's one of the most beautiful boulders in the forest.

Fontainebleau - Roche aux Oiseaux - Satan m'Habite (raccourci) 7A