Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 25, 2016 - Some shape!

Last Saturday I was in a really bad shape.
It took me all my efforts to do "74% de Cacao", I had some good tries in "Purée de Noisettes" but I couldn't get my ass off the ground in "Fat Cat". It was almost frustrating.

Sunday and Monday it rained all day, Tuesday (yesterday), it was dry but I had to work and only had a short session after dinner. So, all in all, giving me some time to rest and grow some skin.
I needed it because I took the day off from work today, knowing that the only good days to climb this week would be today and maybe tomorrow.
I'm truly glad it was today, because it was one of those days where it all got together in a positive way.
I had the energy, was extremely motivated and it turned out I was in a really good shape!

My main goal for today was "Purée de Noisettes" as I was able to do the problem in two parts last time and it is completely my style.
I arrived at about 10am at the boulder but most holds were still a little damp. I knew that with the sun out like today, it would dry very quickly and went to "Mort Sur" to warm up.
"Mort Sur" is a short problem, also totally my style of climbing. I had it on my third try.

Fontainebleau - Les Béorlots - Mort Sur 7A

It went quicker than I expected and I didn't want to go back to "Purée de Noisettes" yet to give it more time to dry.
Two boulders further, near the entrance of the labyrinth of Les Béorlots', you can find "Salathé".
An unusual problem for Fontainebleau. Apparently the crack is a 'Dülfer-style' crack, whatever that may be. All I noticed was that it was indeed unusual style for the region.
Nice problem, with a really nice kneebar in the crack. Not hard, but technically it felt weird in the beginning.
No idea how many, but here it were more than three tries.

Fontainebleau - Les Béorlots - Salathé 7A

Having done that too, I went back to "Purée de Noisettes" and felt a little nervous as it was the one that I had set my goal towards.
I took my time to prepare the crashpad, setup the camera and to prepare myself mentally. That calmed me down and I felt more than ready.
I was immediately able to do the first dynamic move on my first try, but the edge of the roof for the left hand felt a bit sandy. It wasn't like that on Saturday.
I didn't let it get to me and carefully brushed off the hold which was still not completely dry, just like Saturday.
Anyway, I knew that when applying enough compression, it would stick again, as long as those grains of sand didn't come back.
My tries after that were much better as the hold didn't feel sandy anymore. I did make the mistake to try a different beta for reaching the upper left sloper. I tried to avoid using the crimp right hand, but that was bad idea.
Back to the original beta, and there it went.
I almost fell off the last move, but I stayed calm and corrected myself. I didn't want to try it all again from the start after getting that far.
It was a good idea to put my left foot really high, slapped for the far sloper right hand, got it and balanced all my weight as fast I could on my left foot, hoping it wouldn't slip away in the process.
My joy was great when I stood on top. I had it and I was content!!

Fontainebleau - Les Béorlots - Purée de Noisettes 7B+(7B)

From now on, everything else that I would climb was going to be a bonus as my main goal had been achieved.
"Fat Cat" came into my mind.
If only I would be able to do the first two move which are, in my opinion, the hardest. The rest of the problem is more about technique and especially confidence.
When I sat down at the start today, it felt so possible right away.
I setup my camera and my cellphone because I wasn't keen on having to do the problem twice if it would have been necessary.
Thanks to technology I only had to it once. Big bonus!

Fontainebleau - Les Béorlots - Fat Cat 7B(7A+)

It was only noon when I packed the crashpad again, so there I still had plenty of time left to gather some more bonuses.
I came up with the thought of finally checking out and trying the problems on the boulder of "Complainte de Vallée" in an even more isolated part of Vallée Chaude. You know, the beautiful valley where princesses wander about, singing songs with tsjirping birds on their heads and caressing deers.
I had found the boulder once by coincidence when I was doing a long walk with my mom. I had noticed a nice boulder featuring a superbe roof. It was only when I got back home from that walk that I discovered it was the boulder with "Complainte de Vallée".
So I parked the car and felt lucky that I knew where to go because the description on doesn't reveal much information.
The problem itself felt really hard, and I gave up on it quickly. Sometimes you just know that you have to stop and come back another time.
Before I left, I did think of it to note down the coordinates so I could send them to Jean-Pierre to add them to the description on the boulderpage of
The coordinates are N48°22'29" E2°33'8".

Below a picture of the beautiful Vallée Chaude.

I left slowly again while thinking about where to go next.

Coquibus Grandes Vallées, to stick with the 'valley' part, is close to home and a new small and low roof has been opened about a week or two ago, and I decided to check it out even though I wasn't looking forward to the short but steep climb up the hill.
I found the roof quickly and it was even lower and smaller than I expected.
Even though it didn't go down without a small fight, it did feel quite soft for the grade.

Fontainebleau - Coquibus Grandes Vallées - Réunion sans BG 7A

I still had energy left to try one more short problem and although I never tried "Délit de Sale Nom" before due to the small boulder lying right under it, I went for it.
I was bit afraid at first to do the move towards the left arete, but after two or three tries I had built up enough confidence to give it a real try.
The arete on the left offered enough hold to cling on to, but it wasn't over yet. I had to stay calm and set the little fear I had aside to look for some positive holds on the top.
Not a top of the bill problem but I was glad enough I did it.

On the way back to the car I thought about today's climbing and felt relieved with all I did.
I was tired and it was a good moment to call it a day. I had been in a good shape!!

Fontainebleau - Coquibus Grandes Vallées - Délit de Sale Nom 7A

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 24, 2016 - Misfits (direct debout).

Short after diner session to disconnect from all the stress.
After having done "Misfits" a couple of days ago, I felt like trying the other version, "Misfits (direct)".
The first move from the sitstart is really hard and I didn't warm up or stretch, so I started trying the direct version with a standing start.
This turned out to be a really nice problem on itself and I asked Jean-Pierre to create a separate page for it as it's well worth it.
When you start with the same holds as in the video, it will be a hard 7A or even a soft 7A+.
It are less moves in the beginning than for the classical version of "Misfits", but they are a bit harder.
It took me a while to finish it off.

Fontainebleau - Roche au Four - Misfits (direct debout) 7A(7A+)

I was warmed up, lost some energy on it but still tried the sitstart a couple of times. 
Now I was able to stick the first deadpoint move but was too spooked that I had it to continue.
Some other time soon, it was fine for me, I like that quiet spot there. Again I saw nobody.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

May 22, 2016 - No reception.

Yesterday, Saturday, I woke up with a bad back pain.
I had slept in a bad position and it felt bad getting up.

Even though it still hurt after stretching a bit, I tried it ignore it and went to Les Béorlots with a small list of problems I wanted to try.
I ended up doing only one, "74% de Cacao", the first problem I tried that morning.
It can be found at the end of the area and consists of a beautiful small roof with really nice holds and features.
When looking at, it looked like a problem you would flash within the blink of an eye, but my back thought differently.
The moves to reach the far undercling under the roof and the right sloper at the lower edge of the roof hurt so bad that I feared even having to walk away leaving it undone.
After trying the hurtful moves for a while, I found a beta that didn't hurt my back that much anymore and then it went, but still not like a charm.

Fontainebleau - Les Béorlots - 74% de Cacao 7A(6C+)

I still met up with Igor and his German gang.
I watched Igor flash "74% de Cacao", splitting his hand open in the process and the youth was showing me how it was done, even though I did give some advice.
Steven showed up too, so at least I wasn't the oldest anymore.

Beyond my expectation, I still did some really good tries in "Purée de Noisettes", the 7B+(7B) next to "74% de Cacao". I can do all the moves and even the problem in two parts but missed on energy linking it all together.
I'm sure that this will go down when I'm feeling fresh with extra skin.
Just this problem is reason enough to go back soon, and I will ...

I like "Les Béorlots".
It's not a really small area, but it's silent and the best of all, I nearly have no reception out there!

Today, Sunday, we woke up with rain that started during the night and it hasn't stopped raining since.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 19, 2016 - Misfits on a mosquitofarm.

When I left for a quick climb after diner to disconnect from the stress of work, I more or less improvised to go try "Misfits" in Roche au Four again.
I didn't have high hopes, I wasn't even sure if the boulder was going to be dry after the bad weather from yesterday en last night. After all, the boulder is isolated in a quite dense part of the forest, but I went for it anyway.
Roche au Four is close to the parking and to many other areas, so I would have the chance climb something at least.

I had already spent many sessions on "Misfits" and I honestly don't know how many times I already changed my method slightly, but it must have been a lot. Each time thinking that I now found the right method.
Over time, the crux seemed to move more and more towards the end as after so many tries, the first couple of moves had become a routine.
I could do all the moves easily, except for the two last. I had even done the very last one only once while working out the problem.

Like I wrote before, my hopes weren't high when I left, but on my first try on "Misfits" today, I fell out of the last move. Even matching both hands on top of the boulder and going for the far right vertical sloper went pretty smooth.
It was then that my hope started rising and I got a little nervous. This could be the day today to finally send "Misfits", I thought by myself while I tried to stay calm, being attacked my mosquitos all the time.

Half an hour later, I was still falling out the last move or two and I almost called it a day, but decided to take a short rest first before giving it one more go.
It turned out to be a good decision because finally I was able send it! I shouted out my relief when I had the last hold, a jug, just like I remembered it from the only other time I did that move.

I always enjoyed going to that particular boulder as it's such a lonely and isolated one. Not once in all the times and hours I have spent there have I seen another person passing by. Peace and quietness assured!
Luckily I still can go back as there are still two problems left to do on it, "Pleine Mesure" and "Misfits (direct)".
Too bad about all the mosquitos around the boulder, especially them probably being happy to finally have a human around to feed on. It's a spot of give and take and they're welcome.

"Misfits" is opened by David Evrard and Stéphan Denys and I think their problems are always hard for the proposed grade. Probably they realised that too because they proposed 7A(7B).
For me this felt like a 7B, even hard 7B.

Fontainebleau - Roche au Four - Misfits 7A+(7B)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016 - The Peanut Factor.

Quick post about having revisited Cuvier Nord in dry conditions today, and what a difference!
I had about an hour time, but did four small ascents and had the honour to meet and talk to Jean-Claude Valluet.

Jean-Claude Valluet is responsible for opening tons of problems up to 6C, but more important, also responsible for cleaning even more boulders and letting others open the problems that were freed on them.
He for instance cleaned most of the boulders of the area L'Anarchodrome next to Canche aux Merciers.
His name doesn't sound that familiar, but it is thanks to people like him why we are able to climb on so many boulders in all areas.
Now, at the age of 72, he was cleaning some more boulders in Cuvier Nord, opening the easiest ones himself, or letting others open the harder ones.
When I think of, it seems weird, but he was already opening problems before I was even born.
It was nice talking to him, he's an adorable man with a high peanut factor.

The term 'Peanut Factor' comes from an episode of The Simpsons, where Homer Simpson meets a very old man that he likes a lot and when he kisses the old man on his head he says "Hmmm he tastes like peanuts" and kisses him even more.
Since then, Sandra and I always use the term 'Peanut Factor' when we see cute older people.

Anyway, my back feels already better after doing the exercises Sandra told me me to do. Thanks again sweetheart!!

Here's a quick list of what I was able to get on video in less than an hour in Cuvier Nord with dry conditions ...

"Le Bactriane" is nice, not that difficult once you know what to do. 6C+ will do for the grade.
Tried the left exit too a couple of times, but it seems morpho. Will try again some other time.

Fontainebleau - Cuvier Nord - Le Bactriane 6C+(7A)

"Le Dos Fin" is right next to the boulder of "Le Bactriane". It will never be a popular problem.
The hardest part was not touching the boulder in the back. You really need a 'dos fin' (a not too big back) for this one.

Fontainebleau - Cuvier Nord - Le Dos Fin 7A(6C+)

A repeat of "Viper", but this time without crashpad as Tony said that's the convention.
I don't call the 3cm thin mat a crashpad. Just protecting my ass from the sharper stones on the ground there. Grade stays at 7A for me, even though the first move was now slightly harder.

Fontainebleau - Cuvier Nord - Viper 6C+(7A+)

I tried "Abominaffreux (assis)" on my first visit a couple of days ago, but it was impossible due to the bad conditions. My foot just kept on slipping away.
Now, in dry conditions, it went like a charm.

Fontainebleau - Cuvier Nord - Abominaffreux (assis) 7A(6C+)

Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016 - A good excuse.

About 2 weeks ago I had started doing some sit-ups to see if it would help a bit with my climbing.
After a couple of days however, I started getting a bad pain in my lower back but I didn't give it much attention and continued with the sit-ups.
It turned out to be bad decision because the pain in my lower back was getting worse and certain moves stained me with pain, limiting me in proper flow of movement.
It turned out that the way I was doing my sit-ups were wrong and all I did was to tension up my lower back muscles, stiffening me up.
My dear wife gave me some stretching exercises today and explained what to do instead of sit-ups.
Thanks sweetheart!!

Anyway, this back pain of course serves as a good excuse for not being able to climb to my best abilities, so I didn't set the limit too high today.
I left early this morning so I would be before the crowds. All in all, it is a public holiday in many European countries and lots of people took the advantage of the longer weekend to come to the forest.

My first stop was exactly at 9 AM in Grande Montagne. I wanted to try "Tokamak" again.
The first time I tried it was not long after my operation, more than a year ago, and I wanted to see if I would be able to do it now.
I did it, but apparently with a non conventional start. It seems that the real start is with a crimp right hand in the right face of the boulder.
Either way, it still is a benchmark 7A if you ask me! Besides, I had a good excuse for not doing the conventional start.

Fontainebleau - Grande Montagne - Tokamak 7A

Rocher du Potala is at about 100m from there and as it was still early, I went over to quickly do something before the crowds would arrive.
I have a couple of projects there, but didn't want to try them so I wouldn't force my back, so I tried some easier stuff, but totally worth it. I had a good excuse!

"Vie Sauvage" is not that easy to start, or maybe it was just because of the condition of the starting crimp. It felt a bit damp.
From the crimp you reach for a far mono or bidoigt and once you have that it's over.

Fontainebleau - Rocher du Potala - Vie Sauvage 6C

I don't know why, but I had never tried, not even seen "Printemps d'Automne" before. Maybe because it's situated at the edge of the area, a little bit out of sight.
It was a good idea now, because it started getting crowded and the boulder was at a good spot, away from people.
Hard start with the bad sloper for the right hand, going for a far big hold and making an even further move to the top.
It took me a couple of tries before I was able to do the first move, but once I made that, I had it, or at least, I thought I had it. I still fell off the last move because I didn't slap far enough to get over the edge. Little bummer, but I did do it the go after that.
Nice, but really soft for the grade.

Fontainebleau - Rocher du Potala - Printemps d'Automne 6C+(7A)

Having done "Printemps d'Automne", I of course had to do "L'Eté Indien (assis)".
It has the same start as  "Printemps d'Automne" but exits more to the left.
As I was already familiar with the start, that wasn't a problem anymore, but I was a bit surprised with the move to come around the angle to the left. It required much more balance and subtle movements than I had expected. I actually had to that move for a couple of times before I was able to do a successful ascent.
I honestly found this slightly more difficult, or at least subtle, than "Printemps d'Automne".

Fontainebleau - Rocher du Potala - L'Eté Indien 6C+

To escape from the crowds, I left and went to Boissy Château Renard.
"Double Trouble" has been opened about 5 years ago by our good friends Ivan Moreels and Steven Demets, and even though it was already mentioned in the 'Black Bible' topo, it was only published on just recently.
It's an instant classic!!
I had tried it in August or September 2015, but it was in humid conditions.
Now it was all dry but still hard. I really had to go deep to finish this one off.
Once you reach the slopey top, it is in no way over yet and that was bit beyond my expectation. 
I almost chickened out again but I hung on for my dear life and went to the end. I was properly relieved standing on top. Scary last couple of moves without a spotter and a crashpad that wasn't directly below me anymore.
Great boulder, superbe problem!!

Fontainebleau - Boissy Château Renard - Double Trouble 7A+

It was a shame to discover that the other boulder with "Chapeau Renard", further up the hill was too mossy again to climb. On a rainy day one day, I will come back with some brushes to rebrush it.
Besides, I had a good excuse anyway.

Given that I was already in Boissy-aux-Cailles, I parked at the graveyard and crossed the football field towards "Water Roof" to find the new boulder further above. The boulder with for instance "Blind Spot".
I found it easily but was disappointed by the size of it. It is a big boulder but not high enough.
To do the traverse of "Blind Spot", you almost have to squeeze yourself between the boulder and some big stones on the ground, trying not to touch them.
I immediately gave up on the traverse due to the fact above and contented myself by doing "Blind Spot (direct)". 
Besides, I had a good excuse anyway for not doing "Fin de Siècle". It hurt my back way too much doing the moves in it.

Fontainebleau - Boissy aux Cailles - Blind Spot (direct) 6B+(6C)

I was getting tired but still wanted to do one more thing before going home.
The parkings of the Trois Pignons were not as full as one would expect on such a long weekend, so I risked driving to the parking of Le Croix Saint-Jerôme, and to my surprise I found a spot with ease.

About a year ago, I had done "P'tite Mousse" and maybe I would be able to do the sitstart this time.
OK, it's in 95.2 which is always crowded in the weekends, but the boulder is somewhat isolated just outside the main area. Chances were high that it would be free to climb.

The boulder was indeed deserted, besides the sound of some kids playing in the small valley below.
After one try of the sitstart, I immediately felt that it wasn't going to work anymore today. My fingers felt exhausted and I couldn't hold on anymore to the crimp of the second move.
I then decided to repeat the stand start again for the video as I hadn't recorded my ascent last time.
Besides, I had a good excuse anyway.
I repeated the stand on my first go.
Soft for the grade I think now, even though last year it did give me some trouble.

Fontainebleau - 95.2 - P'tite Mousse 7A(7A+)

My plan still was to do "L'Alchemiste", the famous 8B+(8C) in Apremont, but I didn't feel like it anymore.
Besides, I had a good excuse anyway!

Friday, May 13, 2016

May 13, 2016 - Insects, snakes and the God of Thunder.

Last time I climbed was very briefly on Monday evening.
I had just arrived back from my grandmother's cremation ceremony in Belgium and had time to do two attempts on "Misfits" in Roche au Four before it started raining.
It kept on raining for 4 days until finally today it stopped for a while. Long enough to allow me to have a short climbing session.

It wasn't a good decision to go check out the new openings in Cuvier Nord, because indeed, the boulders on the North side don't dry quickly. My curiosity had taken over.
The sun was shining and dried some parts of boulders but as the forest was still humid, it resulted in damp, bad conditions.
The humidity in the air was really high and the sun called out the insects too. It was as if I was a giant attraction for all the flies, mosquitos and bugs out there. All seemed to want a part of me.

After strolling about for a while, I did find "Viper" dry enough to climb. At least the hand holds were dry, the feet a bit less.
I was a bit cautious in the beginning because a boulder with such a name probably means that the openers did see a viper near the boulder. After all, it did look like an ideal viper home underneath it.
"Viper" has been proposed the grade 6C+(7A+), probably depending on your height or length of armspan. I will keep it in the middle and would say soft 7A will do.

Fontainebleau - Cuvier Nord - Viper 6C+(7A+)

I then scouted around a bit more, but conditions were so bad that I wasn't able to try anything else, so I decided to try something else, somewhere else on my way home.
Ironically, on my way back to he car I nearly stepped on a viper when I was in the back of Bas Cuvier.
It surprised me because there were quite some people in the area. 
Let this be a little warning to be cautious to all of you, especially to those with children.
A bite will not get you killed, but a trip to the hospital will be needed and you will feel very sick the least.

On my way back home, I made a quick stop at Franchard Isatis while clouds were gathering and I could hear the distant rumbling slowly coming closer.
Most of the few people out there were already rushing back to their cars when I arrived there.
I had one quick goal, "Nezzundorma" near the middle of the area and I didn't have much time left before the storm would reach me.
The first time I tried "Nezzundorma", I barely had skin left on my fingertips and it was impossible to hold on to the small crimp with the right hand.
After 5 days of no climbing, however, a thick layer of skin had grown on my fingertips now and I really could pull hard on that crimp now. 
I topped it fairly fast, and just in time, the God of Thunder was as good as above me now and he sounded angry, I had to pack fast.
I arrived at the car just in time, because the drops started falling and soon after a short monsoon followed and lasted for a few hours.

Fontainebleau - Franchard Isatis - Nezzundorma 7A

Saturday, May 7, 2016

May 07, 2016 - Minecraft.

It promised to be a hot crowded day again and Bruno, Maarten, Svenneke and I had decided the evening before to go to Le Calvaire to at least be away from the crowds.
It turned out to be a good decision because apart from 2 other climbers and some hikers we were alone out there.

I had looked up some possibilities to do there this morning, and "Mauvaise Mine" was going to be my main project for the day.
It starts with good holds in the back of the roof, uses good holds to go for good holds on the edge of the roof and then some less good holds to pull yourself onto the boulder.

I have no idea why it has the proposed grade of 7A+(7B).
I flashed with ease.
Even though I had seen a short video of it in the morning, and knew what to do in the end, it's no more than soft 7A according to me.

Fontainebleau - Le Calvaire - Mauvaise Mine 7A+(7B)

Immediately after that I did "Meilleure Mine", a 6C next to it.
In my opinion the topout of this one is slightly more difficult.

This gave me the idea of creating a variation by starting in "Mauvaise Mine", climbing it up to the edge of the roof and continue going to the right to exit in "Meilleure Mine".

I couldn't find any reference for the variation having been done before, so I called it "Quelle Mine" and propose about 7A(7A+) as a grade.

Fontainebleau - Le Calvaire - Quelle Mine 7A(7A+) FA

Thursday, May 5, 2016

May 05, 2016 - Hot and crowded.

Two words that can best describe the forest today, are 'heat' and 'crowds'.
The parkings around Trois Pignons were saturated. Cars were parked until deep into the streets of Noisy around the parking of 95.2 to name just one parking.
It's a long weekend so a lot of foreigners, but also one day tourists who of course take advantage of the free day and the beautiful hot sunny weather. You can't blame them of course, its a magnificent forest!

I went back to Rocher du Guetteur, and besides regular hikers along the '25 Bosses' path, I was the only climber there.
I wandered around a bit to explore the area a little more trying some new problems here and there.
It was hot though and besides "L'Ère des Géants" I didn't topout any other harder problems. Some more projects though ... again!

"L'Ère des Géants" is a pure compression boulder but a really morpho one.
At a certain point it was barely possible to move out of my position but the good hold in the end compensated for the move.

Fontainebleau - Rocher du Guetteur - L'Ère des Géants 7A+(7A)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May 04, 2016 - Nosepoking.

Rocher du Guetteur is a nice recently developed area near the '25 Bosses' path somewhere between Rocher des Souris and Mont Pivot.

It was pretty hot, but the sticky not frequently climbed sandstone was still sticky enough. Even though, the skin on my fingertips is really thin again and burned when I was warming up.
It's a pity I didn't have more time, because I still only saw a small part of the area.
On the other hand, it leaves the possibility of discovering more boulders, more projects to come.

"L'Attaque Massive" looks easy, but the first move is much more difficult than it looks.
The lowest pedestal may not be used for the feet and I had to pull mostly on my left heelhook, hurting my knee and I feared for injuring my left hamstring.

Maybe with some more skin on my fingers the right sloper will stick more and hurt less, making the problem 7A, now it felt like a 7A+.

Fontainebleau - Rocher du Guetteur - L'Attaque Massive 7A(7A+)

Then I really wanted to see and try "Le Pif de Cyrano".

'Cyrano de Bergerac' is a play where the main character has a huge nose. Despite his poetical talents, he is convinced that not even an ugly woman will fall in love with him because of his nose.

"Pif" is a French slang word for nose. When you see the boulder, its name becomes obvious!

I tried the original start in many ways, but it is simply way too morpho for me. How much I tried, it was simply not possible.
Then again, the opener was Tony Fouchereau, and he is huge.

I looked for and found a slightly different start, but still hard enough to keep it a 7A according to me.
I will show Tony the video over time and ask for his opinion about this alternative start.

Fontainebleau - Rocher du Guetteur - Le Pif de Cyrano 7A

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May 03, 2016 - Keep on smiling.

Despite the sadness of Moemoe having passed away, I try to keep on smiling.
What helps me is going for a short climb after work, especially when the problem is called "Le Sourire du Gritche".

"Le Sourire du Gritche" is one of the 3 seventh grade problems on one of only 2 boulders in the micro-area of Rocher des Mariniers.
I call it a 'micro-area', because it only has 2 boulders, being about 100m apart from each other.
Those who want to look for the boulders, my advice is to not wait too long anymore because the ferns are growing.
I remember 2 times I wandered around looking for them and wasn't able to find them, mainly due to the almost 2m high ferns.

The video is a bit a trial of me discovering and playing around with some minor effects.
The 'fade to black & white' function apparently has a kind of side effect to it, but I like it anyway.

More to the left are still "La Cuvette" and "Pinchy Way", respectively 7A and 7B.
I tried "La Cuvette" but it has a really hard first move. Need to grow some skin again first!

Fontainebleau - Rocher des Mariniers - Le Sourire du Gritche 7A+

Monday, May 2, 2016

May 02, 2016 - One for Moemoe.

Yesterday evening I received from my dad the sad news that his mother, my beloved grandma "Moemoe", had passed away some moments earlier.
She was already old, had had a long life, but the news came unexpected, it was hard to believe.
I felt sad, but I tried to think of the fact that she had seen her children and grandchildren grow up, and had already lots of grand-grandchildren seen born.
It would have been nice for her to have seen them grow up too, but time, faith, had decided differently.
Today was a busy day at work and it was a good distraction but on the way back home, I had time to think. I felt like I had to do something for Moemoe.

Roche au Four is a small, relatively unknown area between Justice de Chambergeot and 95.2.
There are only a handful of boulders and they are spread out.
One of them is a completely isolated boulder with 4 seventh grade problems on it. 
Four beautiful problems.

I had been trying two of them for a couple of days now, and I determined that at least one of them had to go down, I wanted to do that for Moemoe, my kind of tribute to her.

I tried both of them and managed to do only one of them, but it was one for Moemoe. 
That moment I felt connected to her and was able to say farewell.

Beautiful movements on a perfect boulder. Opened as a 7A(7B), I think 7A+ is spot on.
It didn't go down without a fight, but I did it.

Moemoe, this one is for you! Rest in Peace!!

Fontainebleau - Roche au Four - Demi-Mesure 7A+

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 01, 2016 - Where was the sun?

It has been a while since my last post.
Not because I didn't climb, but mainly because Maarten stayed over for a week and there were other things to do than sitting behind the computer writing an update.

Anyway, there is not that much to mention because unfortunately, the last week was one with a lot of rain, especially short showers making everything too wet to climb.

Tuesday, we went to Cul de Chien.
Frequent short rain showers made the boulders wet, but at least in Cul de Chien, they dry quickly in between.
Normally you wouldn't see me going there quickly, but as it was a weekday, it wasn't crowded.
The humid conditions didn't allow me to try anything hard, but I did do an ascent of "Le Surplomb Inconnu!", a relatively unknown boulder between 91.1 and Cul de Chien.

Fontainebleau - Cul de Chien - Le Surplomb Inconnu! 6C(6C+)

Wednesday, a normal weekday we risked going to Franchard Isatis.
The first part of the area, was pretty crowded, even for a Wednesday, so we went to the far part of Isatis.
I quickly repeated "Abdolobotomy" for the video as a warmup, we had some fun on the orange and blue boulders, did some tries in "La Memel" until it started raining again in the early afternoon.
It was a short but fun session.

Fontainebleau - Franchard Isatis - Abdolobotomy 7A

Thursday was finally a day that was announced to be one without rain.
Apremont Désert, and especially the part where most new boulders have been opened the last couple of years, seemed like a good idea.

I went for the quick(er) wins and kept most harder problems as a project.
As I was with Maarten as a visitor, I didn't want to spend too much time on too hard problems. I didn't want to let him wait too long, and either way, I know I will go back soon again.

The hardest part of "Dévers et des pas Durs (droite debout)" is probably remembering its name.
Different problems on this small boulder. All with stand, low and sitstart.
The lower you start, the harder it gets, obviously.

Fontainebleau - Apremont Désert - Dévers et des Pas Durs (droite debout) 7A

"Longévité" was for me the easiest one. I missed the last move on the flash attempt, but then did it second GO.

Fontainebleau - Aprémont Désert - Longévité 7A

"Le Teletebbies" is one of the older problems of the area.
Even though it shares a lot with a yellow problem, the slopers and mantle make its grade.

Fontainebleau - Apremont Désert - Le Teletebbies 7A

Finally, "Le Dolmen des Jeunes (debout)" comes in my category 'been there, done that'.
Nothing special. Weird start trying to not touch the boulder in your back, which was the hardest part.

Fontainebleau - Apremont Désert - Le Dolmen des Jeunes (debout) 7A

Next week the weather will be better with temperatures around and over 20°C.
Conditions will probably be a bit less then, but at least we will see some sun again.