Sunday, July 31, 2016

July 31, 2016 - I'm back!

Yesterday morning, we left at 5h30 in the morning for an 800 km long drive back home from the South of France.
7 hours later (we had a good drive) we arrived back home, and about an hour and a half later, I was already in Rocher du Télégraphe.
The last problem I climbed before leaving on holiday was "Coup d'Epaule", and now I immediately wanted to do the sitstart.

I needed some time to adapt to the rock again and my feet even hurt in my shoes. I had to get used to them again, or was it the other way around?
Either way, I still remembered the moves from the stand and as the sit doesn't add that much to it, it was done pretty quickly.

Fontainebleau - Rocher du Télégraphe - Coup d'Epaule (assis) 7A(7A+)

I also did the newly opened "Burpees", a little bit down the hill, but as I'm not sure that I did everything correctly, I will not post the video yet. I will first ask the opener, Tony (Fouchereau), his opinion.
I did take a picture of the boulder though ...

The "Burpees" boulder.

Today, around noon, I went to Jean des Vignes to check the low 'tooth' hold of "La Faim du Tigre".

When I tried it a couple of weeks ago for the first time, it was wet, despite the weather being sunny and hot since a couple of days. I guess that the rain that's trapped inside the soft sandstone is being evacuated via the lowest point of the 'tooth'.
No matter what I tried, I just couldn't hold on to that slippery humid hold long enough.

Now, however, it was dry!
It didn't take long to finish it off, but I did hurt myself a couple of times by hitting the small boulder under it with my back.
The first 2 moves and taking the swing are hard, but from then on, it becomes quite soft for the grade.
The total package however, gets 5 stars from me on! I really enjoyed climbing this!

Fontainebleau - Jean des Vignes - La Faim du Tigre 7B

Back in 2011, I did "La Volte-Face (direct)", a problem at about 10m from "La Faim du Tigre", and as I was there and wanted to have it on video, I moved the crashpad and my stuff over there.

I remember that back then, I really had a lot of trouble with the mantle topout.
Today, however, the dyno took me some more tries, but once I made the jump and held on to the slopey hold on the top, I mantled it out with much ease.
The grade probably will be correct, but now it felt easy. The long rest on my holiday has done me good after all.

Fontainebleau - Jean des Vignes - La Volte-Face (direct) 7B

For my short after diner evening session, I set off to an isolated boulder in Roche au Four.
The steep overhang with "Nuit Debout" is visually one of the nicest boulders around, according to me.

It is strange that it took so long to be discovered as it it can be found at about 50m left of the path when walking towards the 95.2 area, right across "Symbiose".
Fact is that when seeing the boulder from the path, the overhang is not that visible.

I tried "Nuit Debout (gauche)" some weeks ago, but I gave up on it quickly, deeming it too morpho.
This evening was no different, except for my approach. I used an intermediate sloper low left and slowly worked my way up.
The undercling under the roof for the right hand however, cut deep into my skin and hurt more and more as I got my left hand higher up the arete. It becomes morpho after the second move, putting the right hand under more and more pressure as you go.

All in all, it took me about an hour to do it. This felt really hard for the grade, and deserves to my humble opinion an upgrade to 7A+. It felt much harder than "La Faim du Tigre", but I think that the morpho part makes a big difference.

I am scratched, bruised and hurt, but I'm loving it! I'm back!

Fontainebleau - Roche au Four - Nuit Debout (gauche) 7A

Thursday, July 28, 2016

July 28, 2016 - No Bleau.

I'm on holiday in Le Thoronet, in the Var, South of France, between Aix-en-Provence and Nice, so unfortunately no Bleau climbing for a week.

There is, however, a small bouldering area in Vidauban, at about 20 minutes driving from here.
The area is about the size of Franchard Isatis and Cuisinière combined and is located on top of a hill next to the A8 highway, right above the Aire de Vidauban, hence the noise on the video.
The short video shows 3 red problems in the sector Face Nord, the sector closest to the parking.

It must have been about 6 years ago when I went climbing there for the first time.
There had been a forest fire the year before, so back then the boulders were easily visible and reachable.
Now that the vegetation has grown back, however, the boulders are barely visible anymore and very hard to reach sometimes.
The first time was years ago in May, so the heat was still bearable and you have to take the strong mistral wind into account too. Especially high up on the hill.
The noise of the A8 highway is something you have to cope with too.

We went for a short climb a couple of days ago, on the second day of the holiday because it was a bit clouded, but heavily hot.
My son was there too and didn't want to climb so I had to limit myself to only a few problems.
The topo is not available anymore on, so no 7's but some red problems.
My guess would be from 6A to 6C.

The video only shows a fraction of the available amount of climbable boulders.
There is so much more to do, but it is not recommended to go there in Summer when temperatures easily reach 35°C in the shade. Even at 21h it's still over 30°C.
I do recommend the visit. The view only is already worth it.

Vidauban - Face Nord - 3 red problems

The view from high up on the hill. (Picture by Anthony)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

July 21, 2016 - Watch your step!

After work I quickly went to Rocher du Télégraphe to check out some new opened problems.
I didn't have much time but was able to climb one of them, "Coup d'Epaule", a very nice arete on quite positive holds. Not a give-away though, or maybe it was me being a bit scared from falling onto the small boulder right next of it.

My right leg is getting much better, but I can feel that I lost a lot of power in it due to the constant limping for a couple of weeks. While trying "Coup d'Epaule", I even had difficulties to stop it from shaking.

There are some more problems, all variations, on the same boulder and on a big boulder 8m to the right of it, but I had to limit myself to trying only "Coup d'Epaule" due to lack of time.
I will return soon though to try some more, now that I know where to find them.

Fontainebleau - Rocher du Télégraphe - Coup d'Epaule 7A(6C+)

In the evening after eating and swimming, I went to Jean des Vignes and crossed a small viper on my way. I nearly stepped on it as it was in the middle of the big path Chemin de la Vallée Close, at about 30m from the parking.
It was a reminder to watch my steps, because, even if a bite will not kill you, a trip to the emergencies is advised to get antidote, and it will give you a high fever.
Be warned you all!!

The viper on the path.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July 19, 2016 - Oh the irony ...

Oh the irony ... this evening at 21h it was still 29°C and I went for a short climb in Roche au Four. 'Four' is the French word for 'oven'.

It did feel like an oven there in the small sector at barely 100m from the parking of the Croix Saint-Jerôme.
It was way too hot to go and find a 7th grade problem, so I did a nice 6C right next to "L'Huître Bleu".

"L'Huître Perlière" is a small, slightly overhanging pillar with marbled slopers. Not exactly ideal in this heat, where you start sweating just by breathing.
Only 6C but it felt like a 7A in these conditions. The marbled slopers were still warm and the boulder heated up the air just around it even more.

Fontainebleau - Roche au Four - L'Huître Perlière 6C

Sunday, July 17, 2016

July 17, 2016 - Searching for shade.

It promised to be hot today and I made the wrong choice to go to Jean des Vignes just before noon.
All the boulders are on the South face of the hill and completely exposed to the sun.
In the end the heat became unbearable, so I went looking for some shade in some more dense vegetation.
Some problems passed on my way, but I wasn't able to finish any of them, and yes, I use the heat as an excuse. It was simply hot, too hot.

In the end, I did find a nice little roof problem that was all about shade, except for some parts of the outclimb.
Looking at the name of the problem, "70° à l'Ombre", makes me believe that it has been opened on a hot day too.
It's soft for the grade, I did it on my second attempt, and mainly because I made a misjudgement on my flash attempt.
In a way, it would have been totally OK if I would have had to work longer in it. It was nice there in the shade. The mosquitos thought the same though.

Fontainebleau - Jean des Vignes - 70° à l'Ombre 6C+

During my noon session, I briefly tried "La Tempête Divine (assis)", but the prow on bad slopers was completely in the sun and thus simply impossible to hold on to. Even the standstart which is 6C(6C+) didn't work out.
Igor (Depoorter) however sent me a message during the day, saying that he had done "Gorétatov" in this heat, and in the evening he let me know that also "Coup de Force" was in the pocket. In these conditions an extraordinary prestation!! Again, well done, animal!!

In the evening, after diner, I went back to Jean des Vignes to try "La Tempête Divine (assis)" again, but this time in the shade, even though the temperature was still 27°C.
Sorry, Igor, for not letting you know, but I felt like I had to do this on my own. This isolated boulder in the back of Jean des Vignes just asks for it to be climbed alone.

At first when I tried the standstart, I didn't get further than I did at noon, but after slightly changing my method and body position, it suddenly felt possible and a couple of tries later, the standstart was done. All I had to do now was link the moves from the sitstart to it.
At noon, I was able to do all the moves until passed the standstart, but linking it all together seemed to be still a struggle.
On my before last attempt, I had the last hold, but not good enough and fell off. That's when I saw that the skin of my right index finger had become so thin that it even started bleeding.
I knew I had only one attempt left, gave it all I had and ... made it.
Trying this in the evening shade was so much different than my short noon session in full direct sun.
When I arrived back at the car at 20h55, it was still 26°C ... in the shade ...

Fontainebleau - Jean des Vignes - La Tempête Divine (assis) 7A+

Friday, July 15, 2016

July 15, 2016 - Short short short, long long long, short short short.

I went to Rocher du Télégraphe this morning to check out the new (re)opened problems along the former blue path and near the blue circuit. Of course I also tried a couple of them.

It's not the most popular area and, to be honest, it probably never will be for some reasons.
I went straight to the top of the hill so I could work my way down.
On the top, I first tried "Pudding à l'Arsenic (debout)" which took me quite some tries before I was able to finish it.
The original, the sitstart followed soon after.

Fontainebleau - Rocher du Télégraphe - Pudding à l'Arsenic 7A

I really felt tired before I started climbing, and on my way up the hill, when I passed by "Carabistouille", I stopped and looked at it and it just looked way too hard in the state I was in.
Now, however, after having done "Pudding à l'Arsenic", I was warmed up and the tone was set so I went back down to try "Carabistouille".
I was able to do the first move quicker than I had expected. The next moves followed soon, but everything had to be synch before I was able to link it all together.

Fontainebleau - Rocher du Télégraphe - Carabistouille 7A

It was starting to get warmer now, but I still wanted to try "Prouepriagenoux", about 10m down the blue path from there.
It looks really easy, and I thought I might be able to flash it, but I was wrong, and I was set on the wrong method due to its name.
The method to which its name refers might have worked for Tony who is a very tall guy, but I had to use a toe- and heelhook.
Also, I'm sure that Tony would have been able to do it differently than me. I was inches away of using a static method. Inches that Tony has.
Anyway, I made it, but I must say that it looks much easier than one would expect.

Fontainebleau - Rocher du Télégraphe - Prouepriagenoux 7A

For those who don't know, "short short short, long long long, short short short" is the Morse code for SOS.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

July 14, 2016 - Take off that shirt.

It's Bastille Day today, the French National Feast day, meaning it's a public holiday, so time to climb.

I went to Mont Simonet again.
Every time I'm there, I always have the impression that the area is totally underestimated. OK, it lies in the shadow of the hugely popular area of l'Eléphant, but still, the amount of climbable boulders and problems are more than enough to be able to spend all day there.
I was there for only a couple of hours, but long enough to climb some very nice problems.

I wanted to warm up in "Le Triathlète" but after a couple of tries, it started raining. Not much, but enough to force me to wrap up my stuff and go for shelter under the big boulder of "Duke Nukem".
In a way, I made a positive out of a negative by using the time needed for the sandstone to dry, to inspect the holds of "La Tortue Lutte (droite)".
As the rain shower was only short, the wind and sunshine after it, dried everything after about 10 minutes, so I didn't have to wait long before I could give it a try.

If it wouldn't have the big boulder in the back, I guess this will be about 7A. Trying to avoid touching the boulder behind you too much, though, requires some extra body tension to add up to the grade.
I had to restart a couple of due to the touching, but made it after all. I would say it's soft for the grade.

Fontainebleau - Mont Simonet - La Tortue Lutte (droite) 7B

Up next was "Duke Nukem".
I enjoyed doing this a lot!
Sitstart with a crimp, far deadpoint move onto a high crimp, prepare for the next move and doing a strange dynamic move up to a jug-ish hold far left, hold onto it for dear life and hope you keep sticking both holds until the foot is on the start crimp. From then on it's quite safe to say it's done.
Two hard moves to start and then an easier part up. Four stars!!

Fontainebleau - Mont Simonet - Duke Nukem 7A+

While looking for the next problem, there were a few contenders but in the end I chose "Colorado Provençal" on the backside of the boulder of "Motivé".
With only two publicly registered repeats, obviously not the most popular problem of the area, but I wonder why.
For me this was the hardest problem of the day.

It starts under the roof with a horizontal slopey rail with only footholds for the left foot, every time using them for a heelhook.
It took me while before I had figured out how to move and where to reach to be able to come out of the roof.
Once out of the roof the holds become slightly better but it's far from over yet. The mantle into the wall above proved to a small fight on itself.
When I was finally free standing in the wall, I really had to, and wanted to, take my time. I didn't want to fall off here, because I wasn't sure I was going to be able to the first part again.
Luckily resting is easy while standing there so I try regain as much strength possible to climb my way to the top.
Some balance required, foot high, some pulling on sandy slopers and ... yes. Done!

Fontainebleau - Mont Simonet - Colorado Provençal 7A+

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

July 13, 2016 - Anarchy.

It's obvious that I need a rest, but as long as the weather allows it, I just can't resist the soft sandstone calling me into the forest!

I wanted to try "Ludus" in Cuvier Nord, but my body wasn't able to follow anymore. The conditions were not really good, but it can't serve as an excuse now. My body is tired.
So I put myself into "Makhno", the short traverse on good crimps but with a hard swing to take to get to the jugs.
At first I wanted to give this 7A+ on, but I changed my mind, realising that when rested I would do this much easier.

Jean-Claude Valluet once told about me the history behind its name.
It comes from Nestor Ivanovych Makhno. He was a Ukranian anarcho-communist revolutionary and the commander of an independent anarchist army in Ukraine during the Russian Civil War of 1917-1922. (source Wikipedia)
Several other problems have been named after him, "Makhnovtchina" (7C, Rocher de la Reine) and "Le Mouvement Makhanoviste" (7B, Coquibus Vendée) are two of them.
If I remember correctly, Jean-Claude has been involved in the cleaning of all related problems but were left to open by fellow climbers.

But so far the short history lesson.

Fontainebleau - Cuvier Nord - Makhno 7A

Monday, July 11, 2016

July 11, 2016 - Ticking off.

When driving home from work, I stopped at Isatis to finally retry "Le Faux Baquet".
I had tried it once many years ago, and had forgotten about it since. All in all, there is so much to do in Isatis that I tend to forget about problems I still wanted to finish.
Apparently it was in May 2009, the day I did "Plastikman". Keeping track of done ascents on can be a good way to retrace the years.

I didn't realise it was already 7 years ago, but I did remember that I found it way too hard to do the far dynamic move towards the 'false jug' (hence the name of the problem).
The big pocket near the top looks like a jug, but it is actually a flat sloper, unlike the other holds in the problem.
This time, the move was possible, but I did have to go deep to send it.
Anyway, I was glad I could tick this one off.

Fontainebleau - Franchard Isatis - Le Faux Baquet 7A

At home, I had to ask remove a tick that did find its way to my armpit. Luckily the tick came off quite easily.
I've been struck with Lyme disease a couple of years ago and I can tell you it's no joke! I truly hate those tiny pesky little ticks!!

After diner, I felt tired, but as the rain will return tomorrow, I wanted to still do something.
I browsed a bit to look for a quick win, and it had to be close to home due to the lack of time left.
Rocher des Souris was a good option and I went straight for "Mistoufly". A 7A dyno on the boulder of "La Souris Verte".
Last time I was on up there on the hill of Rocher des Souris, was when I finally did "Ratatouille" after having worked several evenings on it about a year ago.
I followed the red path and it felt nice being there again. It felt like coming home after a long trip.

When I went off the red path, I had to find my way through dense bushes and ferns to get to the boulder, hoping not to catch yet another tick.
But then, there it was, the beautiful high boulder, hidden on the East face of the steep hill.

It didn't take me long to do it, but for some reason I felt nervous about the topout as I didn't know what to expect. In the end it was really ok and a couple of tries later it was ticked off.

Fontainebleau - Rocher des Souris - Mistoufly 7A

Briefly it crossed my mind to try "La Souris Verte". It is in the top 5 highest rated problems for the grade, and when looking at it, I can understand why, but it is very expo and I didn't want to risk making a bad fall. 
One day with some more people and crashpads, I will try it.
It would be a nice one to tick off!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

July 09, 2016 - Not "One Thing".

I left early this morning so I could profit from the cooler morning temperature.
It was announced to be around 30°C again so waiting too long would just turn out against me.
There is a new sector in Boissy-aux-Cailles. Not really new, it was a more or less secretive spot until the beginning of this year, when it was decided to make it public.
As soon as it was published this Winter, I went to have a look around. It's a small sector with maybe 10 to 20 boulders but quite some problems to try.
Being in a dense part of the forest though it stays wet for a long time, so I thought it would be ideal in Summer, a real Summer area.

On my way to Boissy Le Goulot, the name of the sector, I made a hard stop between Le Vaudoué and Boissy-aux-Cailles. My eye had caught something.
There is a big hemp plantation! I got out and took a small cute bud which is drying now. Hey, in the worst case it will just give me a light headache.

The big (legal) hemp plantation near Boissy-aux-Cailles

Upon my arrival in the sector, I actually wanted to start with trying "One Thing" but after having a quick look at the boulder with "Flying Lotus", I noticed that for the first time I found it completely dry. The three other times I was there, either the undercling or the crack, or both, were wet.
I had to take my chance to finally try this ultra classic looking problem.
From the first try I had this positive feeling about it. This might go today, I said to myself.
When I got the first time to the slopers on top, I thought it was done, but there actually starts the second hard part. I still fell out, but at least now I knew what to expect. I wasn't done yet.
My left thigh, however, was starting to hurt pretty bad due to knee-bar under the overhang.
I had to improvise making a kneepad with my towel, which helped a bit.
My joy was great when did "Flying Lotus", it was harder than I had expected, but my suspicion about it being a beautiful ultra classic problem, was correct.
It got the full 5 stars from me on

Fontainebleau - Boissy Le Goulot - Flying Lotus 7A+(7B)

By that time it was close to 10am and it started to become really warm now.
I didn't try "One Thing" anymore, but decided I will come back for it tomorrow as the weather forecast is announced to be even warmer.

The result of the knee-bar.

In the afternoon it was too hot, so we, the family, went swimming in the river in Grez-sur-Loing.

After diner, it had slightly cooled down a bit and before going for another swim in Grez-sur-Loing, I made a small detour via Mont Simonet where I actually went for trying "Le Requin Blanc" but ended up with a German guy, Mathias, working in and doing "Prise de Comprimé" next to it.
Not really hard, but in these hot and sweaty conditions (it was still 28°C) it felt hard enough. says 7A(6C+), I think it's indeed soft 7A and with really nice moves in it. Hard sitstart though, I thought.

My skin was complaining, my body was overheated, it was time to dive into the Loing and cool down for the night!

Fontainebleau - Mont Simonet - Prise de Comprimé 7A(6C+)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

July 07, 2016 - War up North.

With temperatures close to 30°C today it was truly hot.
The soft sandstone traps heat for a long time, just like sand, so I went looking for a boulder up North.
A quick look in Coquibus Vendée turned out into nothing. This area is being forgotten again and the boulders really need a cleaning again.
So I moved a couple 100m further towards Coquibus Auvergne, where I went straight to "Monotoit". It's the first boulder you pass when arriving in the stretched out area, and facing North on the North face of the hill, it stays wet for a long long time.
Even now after these warm sunny days, it still could have been better, but it was good enough. At least the mono under the roof was dry, but the slopers on the topout were ... dry not in good conditions.

I had tried "Monotoit" long ago, on my first time in the area, and then also the roof was dry, but I couldn't hang on to that mono or bidoigt.
Even when I tried the topout separately back then, I wasn't even able to do it. It does have a hard slopey mantle as  topout.
It took me a while before I was able to figure out what to do to get on top, and even when I knew, it was still hard.
Only a few moves on this small roof, but hard from the first to the last!!
I gave this 7A+ on, and I'm not the only one.

It was a war up North, but then again, everywhere is war.

Fontainebleau - Coquibus Auvergne - Monotoit 7A

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July 06, 2016 - Like a monk.

Another quick stop at Bois Rond on the way home today.
Didn't immediately know what to do, but as the first part of the area was deserted, I found a small 7A traverse-ish problem that was quite worth it.
A bit soft for the grade, but the heat of today made up for it on the slopers.

Fontainebleau - Bois Rond - Bouddha Peste 7A

I had the honour meeting Jacky Guinot who was repainting the blue circuit.
It's a true monk's work and I have a lot of respect and admiration for those willing to put their time and effort in it.
Jacky even agreed to have his picture taken for the blog.
Without the circuits, Bleau wouldn't be what it is now.

Jacky Guinot, here repainting blue 24 in Bois Rond.

For my short after diner session I only had one problem in mind.
It had been a couple of dry and warm days, so "Zen" it would be!

My patience was rewarded because for the first time, I found every hold on it dry. My only hope was that the slopers on the nose wouldn't be too warm and would still stick enough for the ascent.
I did it quickly, on my second ascent, but when I stood on top, I could have kicked myself in the nuts if it was possible. When I looked at the camera, I saw that it had tipped over, and even facing the other direction.
I had attached the gorilla-pod to a small tree, so the camera was kind of hanging on the pod.
It seemed that the screw that fixes the camera in position wasn't tight enough and the camera had tipped over due to its own weight.
I checked the video and the ascent wasn't on it. I had to do it again if I wanted to have a video of it.
After reattaching the camera to the tree and making sure the screw was tight enough, I set off for another ascent and cruised through it fast.

I got two times "Zen" for the same price!

Fontainebleau - Roche aux Sabots Sud - Zen 7A

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July 05, 2016 - Eternal youth.

After work, I made a short stop at Bois Rond to go and try "Les Envahisseurs (assis)".
Having done the stand only a couple of days ago, I still had the moves in my head and fingers.
I didn't try the sitstart then because the crack that you have to use to start was still wet, now after a couple of days of good weather, it was dry.

It doesn't happen a lot when I find a sitstart to have such an added value to the beauty of a climb, but it happened here.
Mostly I have the impression that problems with an original standstart, a sitstart is added just to get a higher grade without really adding beauty or really nice moves to it. But that's of course just my opinion and I must admit that I sometimes do an extra sitstart just for the grade. Most recent example of this is yesterday's "Gorétatov", where the beauty certainly doesn't come from the sitstart.

But ... anyway ... I did "Les Envahisseurs (assis)" quite quick, but I did feel the difference of 8°C warmer than a couple of days ago on the slopers. I did have to dig slightly deeper to stick it all.

Fontainebleau - Bois Rond - Les Envahisseurs (assis) 7B

On the parking I had seen his car already. 
My friend, one of the living legends of the forest, Jo Montchaussée, was here too. I found him near the back of the area and we briefly had a pleasant chat.
Those who don't know should Google him.
He's in his 70's already (Jo, correct me if I'm wrong), but still young at heart and body. He still climbs many traverses and straight-ups in the 7th grade, and he's still stronger than the average boulderer. 
It's someone I look up to, and I hope to be able to get older the way he is doing.
That man almost is the definition of eternal youth.

After dinner, I went to have a quick look at Gorge aux Châts Est, and I was amazed by what I found there. 
Words cannot describe it, but I took some pictures ...

Beautiful view to which the picture doesn't do justice!

Milly-la-Forêt can (barely) be seen on the horizon.

Taking a little fall due to sliding off a dusty crimp while trying "Je n'ai Jamais Pleuré". And no, I didn't cry!

Monday, July 4, 2016

July 04, 2016 - Bodyscratching.

Rocher Guichot was my choice for this evening's short session as it's right next to the parking.
I had three options in mind that I wanted to try there ...

"Le Surplomb aux Fougères" was in such bad condition that I didn't even consider opening the crashpad.
I did some tries in "Coin du Paradis", but I just couldn't get in (and on) to it. For some reason it just didn't feel right.
So I turned to my last option, "Gorétatov".

I had done the standstart a couple of weeks ago and briefly tried the sitstart.
That day I was easily able to get from the sit up to the stand and even further, but I couldn't do the mantle anymore.
I still remembered all the moves pretty well, but on my first attempt today, I fell off the mantle due to a minor confusion in foot placement.
On my second attempt this evening, however, it was already done. But, mind me, I did have to use all the naked skin on my body available to find the better friction.
I'm quite sure that with a shirt on, I wouldn't have made it.
I have the scratches on my torso to prove it.

Not much harder than the standstart. 7B max.

Fontainebleau - Rocher Guichot - Gorétatov 7B(7B+)

Sunday, July 3, 2016

July 03, 2016 - Dig this!

When Pieter called me this morning, I was glad to tell him that I was still vacuuming and will still clean with wet. Glad, because it meant that my leg was not hurting too much yet.
About an hour later, we met at the carpark of Le Croix St Jerome, we were going to Gros Sablons. Yes, I know, again a longer than usual walk. Even longer with us going in the wrong direction at some point and walking a part of the "25 Bosses". Not easy with such a big crashpad. There is not always a "Mondo-way" around.

Anyway, we started climbing in "L'Oeil du Cyclone". We both watched some video beta but in the end we decided to do it our own, more logical, less morpho way ... straight up instead of going for the far left sloper first.
It didn't give me too much problems, but Pieter will have to come back for it. He's having lots of problems with his elbows and most likely suffers from a tendinitis.

Fontainebleau - Gros Sablons - L'Oeil du Cyclone 7A

We continued on the "25 Bosses" path to go find the slab of "Casus Belli", something that would give Pieter less pain in the elbows.
But then we noticed the big boulder left of it which I recognised from browsing on
It was the one with "Objectif Lunule (assis)".
We decided to try this first.
The first move is the hardest, followed by an easy part into a slightly harder part with sloper right where you have to be confident for taking the small marbled crimp left hand and use it to get all the way up to the jug.
I did this on my second attempt, Pieter sadly had to give up due to his elbows again. Injuries suck big time!!
We briefly tried "Casus Belli" but this was hurting my leg because of pushing too much on it. Injuries suck big time!!

Fontainebleau - Gros Sablons - Objectif Lunule (assis) 7A

Pieter decided to call it a day so we went back to the carpark. He even was so nice to propose to carry my much heavier crashpad because we had to stop every 100m because I couldn't limp my way through anymore.

At the car, I convinced Pieter to still have a quick look at "Haute Trahison" at 50m from the parking.
Those who have the Black Bible from after 2011 might know it already, but it has only been published on since a couple of days ago.
Reason for that is, that the opener had done some serious digging to be able to create a new line in the roof that he actually dug out himself. Can you dig that?
It is published now because the huge pit under the boulder has started to look natural after all these years.
The opener, Jean-Jacques Naëls aka Pepito, could have dug a little more because it's hard not to touch the ground while climbing the roof.
After checking out the holds and looking at two other climbers trying it without much success, I started and after a few tries, I fell off on the last move.
A short rest later, I gave it another try and again fell off the same last move.
My arms were pumped and I went home, determined that soon I would come back and probably finish it off quickly when feeling more fresh.

A couple of hours later, after diner, I felt rested. I couldn't wait and went back to "Haute Trahison" to finish it.
Feeling fresh, I only needed one try to make a successful ascent, but I could feel the heartbeat in my fingers after so many moves.
Nice roof, positive holds, great moves, a superbe climb!!

Fontainebleau - Rocher des Souris - Haute Trahison 7A(7A+)

Saturday, July 2, 2016

July 02, 2016 - Start with a curse.

Despite having trouble with walking due to a weird muscle injury on my right leg, hip, ass muscle and pelvis, I decided to do the long walk up to Rocher de Milly, especially to have a look at "Dolmen du Divin".
2 km of walking is not that much but with this muscle injury that starts hurting like hell after 200m it's not that fun. Add to that the weight of the crashpad and a backpack, it becomes a whole challenge.
I had finally admitted to my wife yesterday evening about the injury and the pain, and she advised me some stretching exercises that I did that evening and a bit this morning before leaving.
They did help because it did take a while longer before the pain set in, but unfortunately, once it sets in, it doesn't stop until I sit down, and let my leg rest to let the blood stream through.
Depending on how long I rest, the pain eventually comes back. Short rest means pain very soon again, long rest gives me some more pain free time.
The weird (or lucky) thing is that it doesn't bother that much while climbing. Boulders are short climbs and the short rests in between tries help too.
As soon as I start walking again though ... Ai Caramba!

View over the "Plaine de Chanfroy", along the path to Rocher de Milly

It took a while before I was able to find "Dolmen du Divin", only to find out after trying some moves, that I'ld better warm up before trying this to the fullest.
As there is nothing nearby to warm up with, I decided that I would come back again for it another time without injury and maybe closer to Winter so it would be easier to reach without all these 2m high ferns, the tick country as I always call it.

As I had walked all that distance now, I walked a little bit further to the "Sanglier" sector where I easily found "Caramba!". A nice relatively high boulder that looked like an ideal warmup.
Slightly morpho, but had it on my second attempt.
At least I hadn't done all that walking and cursing because of the pain for nothing. Ai Caramba!

Fontainebleau - Rocher de Milly - Caramba! 7A(6C+)

It's a bit of chaos in that sector and with a big crashpad it's hard to navigate through the boulders.
I had made the walk though and was determined to find and try "Punchy" nearby.
It was indeed nearby but the effort I had to do to get there with such a big crashpad felt enormous.
I tried it a couple of times, but after finding a tick, my previous idea to come back near Winter, took over and I packed up.
My plan was to try some problems near the path on the way back. It would make the walk easier and at least I would be able to rest from time to time.
The rests in between were welcomed because the pain while walking started to become unbearable.

After a couple of stops, I arrived at Rocher de Corne-Biche where I wanted to do "Eclats (droite)".
It turned ut to be much easier that the original left exit. Did on my second attempt, but I should have flashed it. Ai Caramba!

Fontainebleau - Rocher de Corne-Biche - Eclats (droite) 7A

On the boulder next to "Eclats" there is a blue problem, number 4 I think, of which Bart Van Raaij opened a sitstart.
I had tried it briefly when I did "Eclats" but it felt too hard for that moment.
It starts with both hands on a low, good undercling, on which you have to pull really hard to reach for a higher slopey sidepull. Then you can use a heelhook to slap the right hand onto a sloper right.
I then used a kind of kneebar to be able to reach for the better hold high up. Once you have that, you finish withe blue problem and you can start breathing again.
I found this one pretty hard. Ai Caramba!

Fontainebleau - Rocher de Corne-Biche - Pavlova de Pont Loup 7A

There is more to do in the area, but now I wanted to make way back to the car without detours.
The walk back took me about 35 minutes instead of the usual 20.
Every 100m I had to stop and let the pain in my leg and ass muscles fade away.
It gave me the occasion to take a picture of the medallion of the "Carrefour de la Resistance".

On July 21st, 1944, 22 French resistance fighters who were captured by the Germans, were taken out the Fontainebleau prison and put onto a truck.
The Germans took them to the "Plaine de Chanfroy" and executed them there on that spot.
A couple of hundred meters further than the medallion, they raised a monument to remember them. Because of my leg, I didn't want to make the detour just for the picture of the monument.

I was glad when I got to the car, I was able to sit down and let my leg finally rest.
My hunger for more climbing wasn't over though, so I checked how far the new opened boulder in a desolate part of Bois du Rocher would be.
At only 200m from the parking was not too bad, so I stopped there on my way home.
I was glad I found it quickly because my leg was screaming to stop and let it rest.
The boulder, (as far as I'm correct) found by Yano Salaün, is a beauty.
A low 45 degree overhanging roof with 3 seventh grade problems on it.
I was able to do the easiest of the 3, the 7A on my second attempt and decided I would come back to try the other ones.
Peace and quietness guaranteed here in the isolated part of the forest. It even has potential for cleaning more boulders and opening more problems.
The trees haven't seen the last of me yet!! Ai Caramba!

Fontainebleau - Bois du Rocher - Bord de Fuite 7A

Friday, July 1, 2016

July 01, 2016 - Les Envahisseurs.

I don't go often to Bois Rond.
Somehow I always have in mind that the walk to it is much longer but in the end it's only 5 minutes.
I guess it is because the very first time I went there, I had parked on the wrong parking, the one of Drei Zinnen. From there you have to count at least an extra 10 minutes walking.

I parked good this time, so after a 5 minutes walk I stood in front of "Les Envahisseurs" and was lucky to find it dry to climb.
A little bit more than 10 minutes later it was done.

Fontainebleau - Bois Rond - Les Envahisseurs 7A+