Monday, June 18, 2018

June 18, 2018 - Good thing that it's Monday.

It was an extremely stressed out day at work today and the work load was almost unbearable.
Good thing that it's Monday though, because then my oldest son, Anthony, has climbing training in Buthiers.
When the weather is good like today, this gives me the occasion to drive to straight from work to Buthiers, giving me about an hour to climb outside while waiting for Anthony's training to finish.

It was hot, but "Dark Room", closely surrounded by huge boulders, is always in the shade.
The shade was welcome, but the surrounding boulders also prevented the wind from reaching me to cool me down and it didn't take long before I was covered with pearls of sweat.
Luckily it didn't me long either to send this very nice line.

Fontainebleau - Buthiers Tennis - Dark Room 7A+(7B)

No more sign of the stress from the day.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

June 17, 2018 - Welcome to the jungle.

Pieter and I had picked up the plan to go and discover the relatively unknown area of Recloses Chemin des Crêtes. A plan that we already since March, but we had never gotten the chance to realise.
We had some boulders in mind that we definitely wanted to see or try, but we didn't expect to be in for quite some in hike through a jungle of ferns, going up and down small valleys with an occasional chaos of boulders here and there.
We had to use several maps and mini topos online and combine them to be able to locate ourselves amidst the many paths that some maps showed and some not. Good thing we had 3G reception everywhere, because we needed it.

Despite the many times we had to reorientate ourselves, we managed to find as good as all boulders, all spread out over a very long stretch of several small hills.
It was nice to wander around in an part of the forest where I had never been before. Not knowing what to expect after a bend in the path or behind a boulder brought back the magic feeling that I sometimes miss since living here.

From all the boulders we found and tried, we only managed to top it out one though, but a beautiful one, "Insula", well hidden in the middle of another small chaos of boulders.
Visually, when suddenly seeing the boulder when coming around another boulder, this just begs to be climbed.

Fontainebleau - Recloses Chemin des Crêtes - Insula 7A(7A+)

Maybe we were tired from the day before and the hike through a jungle of ferns, but all the other problems we tried felt really, really hard.
A good area for a hot Summer day though. Lots of shade in that very dense part of the forest!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

June 16, 2016 - Mixed feelings.

It was nice to receive a message from Pieter yesterday, in which he wrote that he was coming to the Bleau for the weekend. After having spent some time in Japan and recovering from a finger injury, it was almost three months ago since his last visit.
We met this morning on the parking of Franchard Isatis, which was surprisingly empty apart from a handful of cars. The plan was to start in Franchard Hautes Plaines where I wanted to try "Deux Faux Plis en Plats Réels".
When we passed "Le Mur Lombard" on our way, Pieter mentioned that he hadn't been able to top it yet and after some hesitation, he decided to go for it and sent it not even fifteen minutes later.
Great start of the weekend for him!

We spent quite some time in "Deux Faux Plis ...", I finally managed to do all the moves separately except for the last one, but it shut us down, and with some frustration from my side, we gave up on it.
We moved to the nearby "Pulpfriction", which we found was way too morpho for the conventional method.
Somehow, we didn't even get through it using the unconventional method, so even more frustrated, we decided to walk up the hill to the isolated boulder of "Yodakov". One that was on my list.

With "Yodakov", even though I could barely move in it a few years ago, frustration made place for joy and relief when I topped it out.
Pieter again forgot about the sitstart, which barely adds anything to a standing start, and finished it too.
We quickly forgot about the failed attempts in the previous problems.

Fontainebleau - Franchard Hautes Plaines - Yodakov 7B

A short break later, we bumped into the Belgians Sandrine and her boyfriend Bart, who decided to join us to "L'O Minéral". It was no luxury, because the extra crashpads and spotters were necessary on this beautiful line with a very bad landing from quite high. Don't be fooled by the video, it's a very bad landing.
After some tries and some falls, we gained confidence and I was able to push through and top out.
Pieter had payed attention to my beta and sent it soon after.
Truly a beauty this one!

Fontainebleau - Franchard Hautes Plaines - L'O Minéral 7A(7A+)

We finished with another shut down, but this time in "Métromotrice".
The frustration didn't come back though. There were enough excuses this time and joy had taken over the upper hand.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

June 13, 2018 - A beauty.

Almost exactly two years ago, I had done "Sale Affaire" in Franchard Sablons, and had forgotten about its sitstart until last week when I did "Jokari (droite)" on the boulder next to it.
I didn't have enough time then to try it then, but I was determined to come back for it soon.

Finally today the rain stopped and hoping it would be dry already, I went back early this evening after work.
The boulder was dry, but the conditions needed some attempts before the friction got better.
What I expected to be short session turned out into an hour of attempts that sometimes were really close.
When I was running out of time, I decided to take a last longer rest and against my expectation, sent this beautiful problem soon after.
Truly a beauty this one!

Fontainebleau - Franchard Sablons - Sale Affaire (assis) 7B+(7B)

Friday, June 8, 2018

June 08, 2018 - I always won.

Maybe you have ever played the game Jokari as a kid ?
It's this sort of solo tennis game with a tennis ball attached to a weight with an elastic rubber string.
The idea is to hit the ball with a tennis racket as hard as you can and keep on hitting it away again every time it comes back thanks to the elastic string.
It's the kind of game where you can get to choose if you win or lose.
Of course, I always won! Except when the string broke right after hitting the ball.

This evening after work, I also won, with "Jokari (droite)" in Franchard Sablons.

Fontainebleau - Franchard Sablons - Jokari (droite) 7B(7B+)

I briefly tried "Modulor" too, but the heat soon became unbearable.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

June 03, 2018 - Pad decision.

Again, it was still early in the morning when I arrived at Restant du Long Rocher. I wanted to climb before the predicted heat would set in.
Already at 9h in the morning, it was already feeling to hot to stay in the direct sun, so I looked for some shade.
I felt tired after yesterday but still had set "U751" as my main goal for today.

"U751" was lying nicely in the shade, and soon after I figured out what to do, I sent the problem, which might be on the soft side for 7B, but still very nice.

Fontainebleau - Restant du Long Rocher - U751 7B

Meanwhile, the sun came peaking between the trees and had started to warm up the boulder.
Via a small detour, I walked back down the valley leading to "La Boullasse".
This boulder protected from the sun by dense trees and the problem itself is directed North, so it's perfect for a hot day like today.

The landing is quite exposed and I had to make a difficult choice where to put the crashpad.
For some reason, I decided at the moment to move the crashpad anyway, a decision that turned out to be one that saved me from a potentially bad injury.

A beautiful problem with a very hard, and special topout.

Fontainebleau - Restant du Long Rocher - La Boullasse 7A+

Saturday, June 2, 2018

June 02, 2018 - Like a hurricane.

I was the first to arrive at Rocher Fin this morning, but then again, it was only 9h30.
Yesterday evening while browsing for some inspiration, I was drawn to "Le Parfum des Couleurs" in Rocher Fin, and I definitely wanted to try it first thing in the morning.

The boulder felt damp at first, but after a couple of tries, the friction started to come back ... sort of.
I worked my way through the roof quite fast, but always got struck by the far crux move to a bad sloper. It's only still further that it becomes a kind of hold. Still slopey though!
I fell off it many times and lost quite a bit of skin on it, but then, after changing the position of my left heelhook, I pushed through and whirled up like a hurricane.

Fontainebleau - Rocher Fin - Le Parfum des Couleurs 7C

After a short rest, I spent over an hour in "Bull Dog (assis)", losing even more skin and a substantial amount of energy, but always fell off that last hard move.
I decided to come back for it another day ... again ... and walked to the area of Le 111, where I hoped to find the relatively new and nice looking boulder of "Aloha".
The description of where to find the isolated boulder is so vague, however, that I spent even more energy looking for it through a dense forest where I couldn't even see more than ten meters far.
Some more details about the exact location of this boulder are very welcome.

On my very long way back, I made a small detour to spend the last bit of energy I still had left, in "Hurrican". A 7A that I had tried already a few times, but never found my way through it.
After watching a video of Jean-Pierre (Roudneff), with terrible music by the way, I realised that I was doing it completely wrong.
I wasn't able to use Jean-Pierre's method completely, but he had given me some ideas and I topped it out. Not like a glove though. This felt hard for 7A in my opinion.

Fontainebleau - Grande Montagne - Hurrican 7A