Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September 28, 2016 - Food for discussion.

The days are getting shorter each day and my time for a quick after diner session follows with it.
I am bound to the areas closest to home and I have to make quick choices and sometimes they are not the best.

A bad choice was to spend time in "Evasion du Loup".
Not sure that I did it correctly, but I followed the most logical line according to the description on
Direct dynamic version just right of the standard version of Piège à Loup.
What I did was dynamic and direct, just right of "Piège à Loup", but in no way close to 7A like this. 6C at most.

Strange problem that's not really worth the detour.

Fontainebleau - Gorge aux Châts - Evasion du Loup 7A

The description of "La Grève des Nains (assis) says:
Sitstart below the roof of blue n°18 (without using the big holds of that problem) and exit in La Grève des Nains (red n°31).

What I used for the right hand was a sloper close to the big holds of "blue n°18" but I didn't use the big holds.
Did it help me for taking the big crimp on the left ?
Yes. I tried many times without that sloper and there was no way that I was able to reach the crimp enough to put my fingertips around it.
My feeling is that it was still around the grade.

Fontainebleau - Gorge aux Châts - La Grève des Nains (assis) 7A

All this is good food for discussion, but hey, that's part of the game. Right ?

PS: it seemed that I climbed "Le Papillon" wrong and have therefore deleted the video of it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

September 27, 2016 - Start with 2 options, end up with both.

I had a little hour of time when I stopped at Bas Cuvier after work.
My mind was set on two options. Either try to repeat "Le Carnage" for the video, or finally try "Pince-Mi, Pince-Moi". All depended on what would be free from other climbers.
A little hour passes quickly and I certainly didn't want to loose time waiting for my turn.

To my surprise, despite the considerable amount of cars on the parking, both were available.
After a short dilemma, I chose "Pince-Mi, Pince-Moi". I had already done "Le Carnage" in 2011, so something new would be nicer.
I'm glad I picked "Pince-Mi, Pince-Moi" because already after my try, I felt that this was something for me.
Barely 15 minutes later it was already done.

Beautiful problem, with a hard and desperate last move. Slap away!

Fontainebleau - Cuvier - Pince-Mi, Pince-Moi 7B+(7B)

Having done "Pince-Mi, Pince-Moi" so quickly, and as "Le Carnage" was still available, I moved everything over and pressed record.
Already for a long time I wanted to have this on video. One of the ultra classics of Bleau and with it's currently 377 registered repetitions on, one of the most repeated problems of its grade in the forest.

I still remember the fight with it 5 years ago. It came unexpected when I had the 'ball' near the top, and I feared so much to still fall off after, that a loud scream of relief could be heard in the whole area.
Today I was calm and confident, but not too confident neither. Being too confident makes me make stupid mistakes.
It did take me longer than the previous problem, but I was able to climb very steadily to the top again.

Very glad to have this ultra classic on video!

Fontainebleau - Cuvier - Le Carnage 7B+

After dinner I went to the parking of Le Croix St. Jérôme to again try "Squeeze Me" at only 50m from it.
Both the stand and the sitstart were opened by Ivan and now graded respectively 6C and 6C+.
Already a couple of short sessions, and even today, still no luck. The standstart alone already feels harder than a lot of 7A's in the forest.
Ivan, I don't know what you ate that day, but I want it too!

At least I was treated with a beautiful sunset ove the village where I live, Auvers (Noisy-sur-Ecole).

Sunset over Auvers, Noisy-sur-Ecole.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

September 25, 2016 - No to the needle.

After I woke up and opened my eyes, I immediately checked the weather forecast.
I was astonished to see that there was a 70% chance of rain starting from 10 o'clock.
Even though it was still half dark, I could make out a clear open sky and it was hard to imagine that rain would be there in only a few hours.
I got straight out of, had breakfast and went immediately to Restant du Long Rocher.
It was barely 8h45 when I arrived. The sky was still clear and the sun was shining. It looked like perfect weather to be outside.

One of the sectors closest to the parking is the one with "Vigipirate".
A typical gym style roof with small pockets that I had tried once before, but couldn't link the two overlapping parts that I was able to do.
My first stop was, of course, "Vigipirate".

It was long ago that I tried it, so I had to rework all the moves again.
Not easy when there seem to be footholds everywhere but you you have to pick just that one out.
This felt really hard for me.

Fontainebleau - Restant du Long Rocher - Vigipirate 7A

"Vigipirate" had taken a lot of energy from me and I wanted to try something different in style now.

"The Fire King" and "Le Papillon" are two of the problems that have been opened by Igor (Depoorter) and Kobe (Bellinckx).
Different style, not high but quite exposed.

"The Fire King" has a bit of an awkward start, but what follows are some nice moves towards the right.
Nice one, but maybe on the soft side for the grade.

Fontainebleau - Restant du Long Rocher - The Fire King 7A

"Le Papillon" sitstarts slightly left and exits directly.
It seemed the most logical way to go, but I'm not sure if what I did was correct.
With already having done the mantle above, it went smoothly. Maybe too smooth ?

Fontainebleau - Restant du Long Rocher - Le Papillon 7A

In the meantime clouds had gathered and it looked like it could start raining any minute now.
I didn't want to go too far anymore, so "La Boule (assis)" was a logical choice.
This looked nicer than on the picture I had seen. With moves that seemed to be my style.

On my flash attempt, I fell off the mantle due to the better hold being covered with needles. It's Autumn.
On my second attempt, my foot slipped off the hold, but third go, good go.
Seems soft at the start, but the mantle makes up for it.

Fontainebleau - Restant du Long Rocher - La Boule (assis) 7A

By now the clouds were becoming very grey, but I took the risk to still walk to "La Boullasse", an overhanging prow with slopers.
It is exposed, but still I gave it some tries. Unfortunately spraining my ankle again when coming down.
It had slightly started raining anyway and it didn't stop for a couple of hours.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

September 24, 2016 - Meh...

The inauguration of the new plant where I work, was today and all employees and their families were invited for a big BBQ at the new plant.
It was a nice day, but very tiring. On the way back, both kids fell asleep and Sandra also felt very tired.
We are not used to eating so much in the afternoon.

In the evening, when I was nearly at 95.2, my shadow suddenly revealed how low the sun already was. I had to hurry.

The revealing shadow.

I mostly don't climb well when I'm in a hurry, and this evening was no different.
A couple problems were tried briefly and in the end I had to do it "Le Smarty". Meh...
Not enough time left for the sitstart, but it's something to come back to.
Hopefully better tomorrow.

Fontainebleau - 95.2 - Le Smarty 6C+(6C)

Friday, September 23, 2016

September 23, 2016 - A deep breath.

It was good idea to stop at Bas Cuvier after work.
Last time I tried "Aérosol" I fell off the topout a couple of times but had all the other moves programmed in my head. I could do them over and over.

Today, after falling off the top at each try, I decided to try something else.
I took a deep breath and sent the very nice "Aérosol".
The music in the background of the video is not mine, but from a small group of 'louder' climbers who probably thought it would be a nice gesture to let all the people around enjoy their music with them.

The sitstart is a bit annoying after so many tries, but the moves that come after are totally worth it!

Fontainebleau - Bas Cuvier - Aérosol 7B+

The short evening session took me to Rocher Guichot.
Right next to the parking and "La Duègne (assis)" is on the backside of the first big boulder of the small area.
It would give me enough time to try it without hurrying.
On my previous attempts I always tried to dynamically go straight for the big crimp, but I had just seen a video of Jan (De Smit) and Manuel (Marquès) taking a bad sloper first to pull them towards it.
I could use the extra time to work out that move before giving it a real attempt.

As soon as I was able to slightly take the crimp, I went from the start.
Got the crimp, pulled on and took the far left pocket, slapped next to the better sloper, slipped and came out.
I brushed the holds, repeated the sequence in my mind and took a deep breath.
It all went smoothly the try after.

Very nice moves. The standstart (6A) is a beauty on its own.

Fontainebleau - Rocher Guichot - La Duègne (assis) 7B

Thursday, September 22, 2016

September 22, 2016 - Police Academy.

One of the first boulders of the spread out area Roche au Four features a long traverse, "L'Huître Bleue".
Traverses are not my favourite type of climbs, but "L'Huître Bleue" is not even at 100m from the parking of the Croix St. Jerôme, so ideal for a quick after diner session with barely an hour of daylight left.

It starts off on easy slopers into flat holds, then some bad slopers into crimps and the topout.
Of course, the most difficult part is the bad slopers near the end.
I'm not a length climber, and anything more than 5 moves becomes a lot for me, so continuity is not quite my cup of tea.

"L'Huître Bleue" is french for "The Blue Oyster".
Some might already have guessed, but that makes me think of the Police Academy movie, where some characters end up in the "Blue Oyster" bar (a gay-bar) during a raid. Probably the younger generation will not know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I did it on my third try.
Luckily, because I don't think a fourth try would still have been possible. My arms were pumped and I was exhausted.
Probably the characters of the movie would have felt the same when they came out of their Blue Oyster bar.
This felt more like a hard 7A for me, but then again, I'm not a length climber.

Fontainebleau - Roche au Four - L'Huître Bleue 7A(6C)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

September 21, 2016 - Tested and found good.

My new climbing shoes finally arrived in S'Cape climbing shop in Fontainebleau.
They had to be ordered because they didn't have my size anymore and I fear buying different shoes than usual.
The last couple of sessions I had been climbing almost literally on the tips of my toes, so they arrived just in time.
Of course, what better excuse is there climbing is there than having to test them out.

The amount of daylight that's left in the evening is getting shorter and shorter fast, so I headed to Drei Zinnen with doing "Close Contact (droite)" in my mind.
I tried it a couple of weeks ago but the friction wasn't good with about 30°C. Now it was a mere 20°C and the rock felt cold. There was great friction compared to last time.

About 4 tries and it was done.
The friction was good and the shoes were tested and found good.

Fontainebleau - Drei Zinnen - Close Contact (droite) 7B

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September 20, 2016 - Some corrections.

This weekend I wasn't able to climb and yesterday was dominated by rain.
Chance enough for my body to have a good rest, and I could feel it.

Someone notified me that the actual start of "Fatwoman" is with the big hold a little more left, adding a far move to the right to it.
As it is only a 5 minute walk and on the way home from work, I stopped to do "Fatwoman" with the correct start.
It does indeed add a big move, but it doesn't add that much to the difficulty.
For me the difficulty is on the edge of the roof.

I did it quickly.

Fontainebleau - Gorges du Houx Oiseau de Proie - Fatwoman 7A(7A+)

Her little sister, "Fatwoman light" went down on my flash attempt.

Fontainebleau - Gorges du Houx Oiseau de Proie - Fatwoman light 6C(6C+)

With the time I had left, I figured out a very nice but not so logical variation.
Standstart with both hands on the flake of "Pif, Paf, Pouf", dyno to the edge of the roof, traverse to the right on the edge of the roof up to the big hold and exit in "Fatwoman light".
Not that easy to come down to the jug. Had fun with it though.

I call it "Pafwoman Light" and the grade will be something around 7A+(7A).
Let's see if it will be added to, I sent the details though.

Fontainebleau - Gorges du Houx Oiseau de Proie - Pafwoman Light 7A+(7A)

For my after dinner session, I went to Gorge aux Châts for another correction.

It turned out after all that "Double Jeu-té" does dyno from the flat hold straight to the top.
Some confusion happened with the description.
But anyway, it turned out that there was interest in the line, so it was decided to create a separate page for it on, it's called "Le Jeu-Té Diagonal".

That means that I still have to do "Double Jeu-té", so I went there to try it.
Made some good jumps, but I still lack some distance. It still feels like miles away.

On my way to try "La Caravane" again, I stopped and looked at "La Ritournelle".
A small roof boulder on which I had already done "Humérus Clausus" in 2012.
It took my attention and decided to try "La Ritournelle" instead.

It has some hard physical moves to start, followed by a huge totally stretched out move to the left arete and then tops out in the slab above.
I wondered why I never tried this before. It's a very nice problem!

Fontainebleau - Gorge aux Châts - La Ritournelle 7A+(7A)

Friday, September 16, 2016

September 16, 2016 - The fat lady sings.

Now who said I needed a rest ?
I think I just felt that way because of the heat. Or simply said, maybe I just had a bad day on Wednesday.
A quick stop at Gorges du Houx Oiseau de Proie after work proved that my body was still ready to go and my mind was motivated.

I wanted to start with "Fatwoman", but the very bad slopers on the edge of the roof felt greasy and slippery.
I had the impression that I was never going to be able to hang on to those today, so I turned to "Pif, Paf, Pouf".
Same start and same exit as "Fatwoman" but it's what's in between that differs.
One very far move to a flake under the roof and then another very far scary move towards the edge of the roof.
My thought was that it was going to be much more difficult, but in the end you just have to dare to go for the far moves.

The first far move is very far and all comes down to good foot placement, for me at least.
The second far move requires enough guts to go for it.
The small sharp boulder underneath it is not one where you want to fall on when you miss. Luckily my old faithful Black Diamond Mondo was there to protect me but still, I needed to gather enough guts to make it.

Very far moves, but also very nice! A great and fun problem!

Fontainebleau - Gorges du Houx Oiseau de Proie - Pif, Paf, Pouf 7A(7A+)

That being done, I turned back to "Fatwoman".
With my fingers and skin warmed up, I tried the moves on the edge a couple of times and noticed that, even though still not sticky, I was able to hang on to the slopers as long I kept my body in balance.
It's a really tricky move there on the edge. Not as easy as it looks.

Fontainebleau - Gorges du Houx Oiseau de Proie - Fatwoman 7A(7A+)

There was not enough time for me to try the other variations, but there was still enough left to quickly "Le Bi se Marque" 20m behind "Fatwoman".
It's a small and low vertical roof with small pockets. Very a-typical style for Bleau.
The type of problem that a gym climber will probably like a lot.
A roof with pockets. Not jugs, but fingery pockets.

I didn't quite expect it to be dry, but to my surprise the holds in the roof were.
The topout was slightly mossy and humid, but okay enough to go for it.
Ever since I live here, more than 4 years now, I have climbed in a gym only 2 times, maybe 3, but when I still lived in Belgium, I climbed in a gym at least once a week.
Maybe that's why it didn't take me many tries to do it.

I enjoyed climbing this problem a lot!
Far vertically stretched out move and taking a hard swing into campus moves up to the top.
I'm not sure what was the hardest though, the physical moves, or the execution of them.
Easier than I expected, but oh so nice.

It's a nice mini area out there.
I will go back soon to try the other harder problems, but today already, the fat lady sang.

Fontainebleau - Gorges du Houx Oiseau de Proie - Le Bi se Marque 7A+

After diner I still went to Gorge aux Châts to try "La Caravane".
A very hard first move of which I had never figured out how to do it.
The way I saw Tony (Fouchereau) do it on a video is impossible for me. Then again, he is ten times taller than me and at least ten times stronger.
I was able to find my method today though, but then a light drizzle made a stop to it. The friction was gone.
I packed up and left. Not too soon, because by the time I arrived at the car, the drizzle had turned into rain.
Still raining as I write.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

September 15, 2016 - Play the game.

What a difference!

It had rained all night and morning, but when I was driving home from work, the streets looked mostly dry.
I know, I wrote that I needed a rest, but the temperature was a very enjoyable 20°C and after diner I took my chances and went to Gorge aux Châts, hoping that most boulders would be dry there.
My mind was set on trying "Double Jeu-té" because it only requires two holds and my intention for not really climbing would still count. I was simply going to play a game.

"Double Jeu-té" consists of two executive dynos.
One jump to the big flat hold and then a not so far but scary sideways two handed jump to a flat ledge.
I always used to think that the dyno was from the first flat hold straight to the top, which looks like miles away, but apparently, it's not.

It's a quite scary jump to the right, because I feared taking a swing and falling onto the small boulder to the right of it.
Luckily I didn't and I stuck the jump after a couple of tries and building up confidence.

Fontainebleau - Gorge aux Châts - Le Jeu-Té Diagonal 7A

All in all it took me less than 10 minutes and as the rain had washed the boulders, the friction was close to perfect and I was hungry for more.

I moved over to the boulder of the classic "Sa Pelle au Logis" to try it's variation "Variaspal".
"Variaspal" starts off at a mushroom shaped hold, traverses to the left and finishes in "Sa Pelle au Logis".
I had done the latter already a couple of times, so "Variaspal" felt not that hard and was done quickly.
Both problems were done in less than half an hour, and even though I still had time, I packed up and went home.
All in all, I had decided to rest.

Fontainebleau - Gorge aux Châts - Variaspal 7A

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September 14, 2016 - Roulette.

I took a couple of hours off work today so I could go to Rocher d'Avon Ouest before the rain started.
My idea was to try a lot and hopefully finish a lot too.

It seems that I'm in a need for a rest, because my body felt tired and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't finish anything that I wanted to do.
"Mekka", "Mekkera", "Le Compte des Mille et Une Voies", "Bombe X", "Les Tirements" and "Panhard Roc". All tried, none finished, but a lot of walking.

In the end I contented myself with doing the easy "Le Départ qu'Adhère" to keep the motivation going, and even there, I wasn't even sure that I did it completely correct because that one, I flashed.

It was like playing roulette, and I all I could tell myself was "Rien ne va plus".

Now it will rain for a couple of days, and I'm not angry about it. Time for a rest.

Fontainebleau - Rocher d'Avon Ouest - Le Départ qu'Adhère 6C+(7A)

View over Avon from Rocher d'Avon Ouest.

Monday, September 12, 2016

September 12, 2016 - Immediate action.

It was a hot day today.
At work, my car was standing in the sun, and when I got in, the thermometer read 44°C in the sun.
By the time I got home, it went down to 31°C but it was clouded and without the wind it had become a sticky heat.

On my way home I was thinking about climbing somewhere close to home after diner, and Roche au Oiseaux, being only a two minute drive away, is always a good choice.
"Action Direct (assis)" was going to be my goal.

I had tried a couple of times before, but only as an in-between other problems when it was free from other climbers, which is not often the case.
On my previous tries, I never managed to come out of the roof and stand up in the wall.
It turned out that I was using a wrong method for me.
I always immediately took the big undercling with the right hand to try coming out of the roof, but always failed.

When I arrived at the boulder and opened the crashpad, I could vaguely hear small drops falling onto the leaves of the trees.
It had started to rain, so it was time for immediate action.
This time I slightly changed my method and went straight for the far small crimp above and to the right of the big undercling, and then took the big undercling with the left hand to stand up.
It went like a glove and just when I thought that I had it, I came out. I was too confident that it was over after taking the small pocket in the wall left hand.

I practiced the outclimb once and did the whole problem right after.
Just in time, because by the time I had packed up to leave, the top sloper had become completely wet.
When I arrived back at the car, I was still wondering why I had never seen that method before.

Fontainebleau - Roche aux Oiseaux - Action Directe (assis) 7A(6C+)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 11, 2016 - Que Paso ?

My plan was to go to Apremont Envers to try the newly published "Le Trône de Fer".
After I parked had the car, however, I walked straight to the "El Paso" bloc to try "Clandestino" first.

After my couple of tries I had to give up because my fingers were hurting badly and I needed to warm up in something else first.
I stayed at the same boulder and quickly repeated "El Paso Droite" for the video.
I did it on my first try. Not a flash, because I had already done it in 2011.

Fontainebleau - Apremont Envers - El Paso Droite 7A

It all went a bit too quickly to properly warm up my skin but then I noticed that there exists an easier left version of "Clandestino", obviously called "Clandestino (gauche)".
It starts at the same point as "Clandestino", but exits more directly and slightly left of the original, thus skipping the crux.

This one went down on my second try, but I was warmed up now.

Fontainebleau - Apremont Envers - Clandestino (gauche) 7A

Now at least my skin felt ready for sticking the bad sloper far right for the crux of "Clandestino".
It soon became clear that for me the most difficult part of the crux was keeping the left heelhook in place for the next move.
My heel kept slipping away, up to the point that I was becoming angry. I could do the problem in 2 overlapping parts, but every time I tried from the start, that heel slipped away.
I needed to calm myself down and took a short break.

Ten minutes later I felt relaxed again and started again with a clear mind.
Two tries later it was done. Sometimes it's amazing how a mood can determine success or not.

Fontainebleau - Apremont Envers - Clandestino 7B

I still tried some other problems without success and also "Le Trône de Fer", but that one was a little bit too exposed with a small boulder right underneath the quite high mantle and I didn't dare to give it all in the end. Not alone, not without a spotter.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

September 10, 2016 - It's not called soccer, but "Futebol".

We were all up early because my wife's mom was who was on a visit had to leave for a long drive back to Germany.
That's why I arrived early in Franchard Raymond. No climbers, no hikers, just me and the forest.
I went to Franchard Raymond, because I finally wanted to try "Futebol" and I was determined to do it.

On my way I made a small detour to pass the other sector for a short warmup in "Traîne Pas sur les Pieds".
It ended up being a very short warmup because I did it on my second attempt.
Easy 7A, but good to loosen the skin.

Fontainebleau - Franchard Raymond - Traîne Pas sur les Pieds 7A

Now that I was warmed up and my skin loosened, I went straight to "Futebol".
Twice I had already stood before the boulder, but for some reasons never went for it.
Now it was my main goal of the day.

It didn't take long before I got the hang of all the moves up to the last one.
The last one, however, is a very far completely stretched out move to a bad sloper. Numerous time I fell at that last move and I even came close to giving up and come back when it's colder.
But then I decided to really go for it on the last move and give it even more than I had.
I was becoming nervous, a little afraid of making a bad fall, but I made it and climbed to the top.

It truly is a gem, a classic!

Fontainebleau - Franchard Raymond - Futebol 7B+

In the afternoon I went back to Franchard Raymond to try "Etalonnage Physique", a quite recent problem along the blue path, not far from "The Big G".
The first couple of moves started out really well, but the last moves appears to the crux.
No matter what I tried, I just couldn't make it to the last good hold.
I was getting tired and in need for something else, something easier, but I will definitely come back for this one.

At the start of the area is a small cluster of low boulders where I was only able to do "Un Peu de Trois".
Not hard, but the last moves on the bad dusty arete were a bit morpho and I had to go deep to make it all the way up.
Soft 7A, or hard 6C+. I choose soft 7A.

Fontainebleau - Franchard Raymond - Un Peu et Trois 7A(6C)

Not far from there is the boulder with "Délire de Forme", a traverse, but on the picture the boulder looked beautiful. In real life it is too.
It's a traverse of about 10m, but all jugs up to the end where the topout still felt tricky.
I was already tired and it are a lot of moves, but still, as I secretly kind of expected, I was able to flash it. Even though the last moves were a bit sketchy.

Fontainebleau - Franchard Raymond - Délire de Formes 7A

Friday, September 9, 2016

September 09, 2016 - Yesterday and today.

Yesterday after work, I stopped at Cuvier to do some problems that I skipped on my lasts visits in Cuvier Nord.
The more popular problems were taken, so I started off with "L'Huître (assis)".
Soft for the grade, did it on my second attempt.
Probably a bit morpho for the shorter climbers among us.

Fontainebleau - Cuvier Nord - L'Huître (assis) 7A

Up next was "Fantasmagorique", another problem that I never tried before because it didn't attract me much.
It will probably never become very popular, but still, it's a nice one to tick off.

Fontainebleau - Cuvier Nord - Fantasmagorique 7A

When I arrived at home, I was surprised by one of my sisters, Manon, and her boyfriend, Ilias.
They were on their way down South and decided to spend the night here on their way.
My wife knew that for 3 weeks already, but they kept it silent so it would be a surprise. A suprise it was indeed, a nice one!

After diner we all went to 95.2 in a hurry, because darkness would fall soon.
We went straight to "Les Pieds dans la Lune", because on my way home, I had decided to give it a try again.
I could do the start, once even had the pocket, but I still had to figure out how to finish it.
Maybe it was because of the audience, but beyond my expectations, I was able to finally finish it off.
Hard physical moves, but a beautiful problem! A very nice end of the day.

I didn't bother uploading the videos yesterday, we all played Cluedo instead.

Fontainebleau - 95.2 - Les Pieds dans la Lune 7A+

Today after work, I stopped at Rocher du Mauvais Passage again, but this time I walked on the sector with "Nadine...".
A new boulder has been opened near it just recently and I wanted to see it.
"Equinox" is a 7B, but during my first try, I immediately felt that it's a hard one.
I didn't have very much time, so I set my goals on some other easier climbs and walked back to "Nadine...".
A straight up wall with a hard outward compression move as the crux.
I was able to do the crux fast, but was distracted by the top. A couple of times I went for the top straight up, but after a while I realised that I had to take it more to the right and more statically instead of dynamic.

Very nice sketchy problem where balance is the key.

Fontainebleau - Rocher du Mauvais Passage - Nadine... 7A

I then walked on to the start of Rocher des Demoiselles, determined to do "Le Repos du Sphinx".
With 153 registered repetitions on, it's probably the most repeated and classic problem of the area, yet of all the times I came here, I had never given it a try.

This one felt really hard for the grade. At least with the given convention.
The convention says that you have to use a crimp on the right side of the prow, and that you are not allowed to use the good hold on the left.
There are some good holds on the left side, so being uncertain about which one was excluded, I didn't use 2 of the better holds on the left.
Maybe I unwillingly made it harder, or maybe it's just plain hard, I don't know which one it is, but this felt more like a 7A+ to me.

Beautiful problem, but I needed to catch my breath when I stood on the top of the boulder.

Fontainebleau - Rocher des Demoiselles - Le Repos du Sphinx 7A

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September 07, 2016 - What's in a name ?

The days are getting shorter and on the way home from work, I was about what I could try nearby and not too far from the parking to save some time.
It's one of the most classical problems of the area, yet I had only given it a try once many years ago.
The usual crowdedness kept from trying it ever since, but today it came into my mind and it seemed like a good idea.

I could hear some distant chatter, but the place looked deserted.
When I installed the crashpad, I remembered why I hadn't tried it more. The two boulders underneath it make the problem a bit exposed.
I stayed calm and focussed and gave it a try. Bad foot placement and I jumped off.
After checking the holds again and imagining the moves, I gave it a second try and climbed all the way to the top.
I wonder why I never did this earlier.

Very nice moves with a quite scary mantle at the top. A real classic!

Fontainebleau - Roche aux Sabots - Le Flippeur 7A

"Le Flippeur" was done sooner than expected so I still had some time, and even more motivation, left.
I remembered a sitstart of red number 13 at only 10 meters from there. I gave it a try once but it felt just too hard at that time.
With all the motivation inside me, I went for it and worked out the moves.
The first couple of moves are great to execute. Each one of them is nice and I just can't describe why. I guess the video will speak for itself.
The moves separately were going good and I saved the sequence into my mind.
Every move felt great and it all went smoothly to the top.

Not the most popular problem of the area, but certainly one that I can recommend.
I guess Jo Montchaussée couldn't agree on the name of it, but hey, what's in a name ?

Fontainebleau - Roche aux Sabots - C'est Assis mais C'est Tassé / Cavernicole 7A+

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September 06, 2016 - Withdrawal.

The weather, to be exact the rain, withdrew me from climbing yesterday, but even though it was cloudy today, it more or less didn't rain. Apart from some light drizzle in the morning.
In the evening it was warm but the air was humid.

I took my chances and went to Roche aux Sabots in the evening.
The boulders looked dry, but they were in bad conditions.
A little bit aside of the main area, on a low boulder where you wouldn't expect it is small problem called "Charybdis".
The boulder is about my height but the problem is on bad slopers and even worse conditions.
There were some small groups of climbers present in the main area, so I went for a try in "Charybdis".

Very slopey arete and a very bad sloper on the top with a thin humid layer of moss on it.
Conditions weren't in my favour, but I was stubborn.
I had to try many times and brush even more than that, but I kept on going, I didn't withdraw.

The problem on itself is not too bad, but there surely are much nicer ones than that.

Fontainebleau - Roche aux Sabots - Charybdis 7A(6C+)

Sunday, September 4, 2016

September 03, 2016 - InCREDOble.

A couple of weeks ago, when I repeated "EOS" again, disaster struck me when I stood on top of it.
The kneebar on the rough arete made a small rip at the knee of my all time favourite pant, my beloved Black Diamond Credo that my wife gave me some years ago.
It felt like a disaster, because I wore that pant everywhere and all the time in between washings and it suited for every occasion.
Okay, it was true that the rip got there due to extensive usage and the kneebar on the rough arete was simply the last drop it could take.
I still use it for climbing, it is in no way disturbing, but wearing it for work or special occasions that require a correct outfit is a bit sensitive now.
Being so attached to the pant, I had to get me a new one right away.

Some will say that any pant will do for bouldering, and they are right, but not any pant will make up for the comfortable climbing with the Black Diamond Credo.
It's a pant that is warm enough for cold Winter climbing days, but also not too hot on hot Summer climbing days due to its lightweight.
The stretchy aspect makes it extremely manoeuvrable and unlike most pants it doesn't stick to the knees when temperatures get high and you start sweating, making it ideal for doing sitstarts without having to adjust it to your bent knees.
I have lost some weight due to the heavy sweating in the heat these last weeks, but thanks to subtle built in adjustable waist belt, there's no need for an annoying extra belt to stop it from sagging.

I don't talk about clothing much, so maybe it's my female side speaking here, but for me the Black Diamond Credo is the number one bouldering pant out there and I can recommend it to everyone!
It doesn't make you climb harder and better, but it does make you climb in a comfortable fashion so it adds to less frustration that will turn into a positive experience, thus maybe indirectly to better climbing.

That said, I received my new one on Thursday and of course had to take it for a climb.

I was working from home on Friday, and during my lunch break I went to a remote solitary boulder in my village Noisy-sur-Ecole. The boulder with "Muramasa".
It's of course not in the village itself, but in one of the smaller remote parts of the forest on the territory of Noisy-sur-Ecole.
I know my village and its surroundings so finding the boulder was easy, but I can imagine that those who are not as familiar with the area will have some trouble.
Just use the small map on with some common sense and you will get there.
I, for instance, parked at the water reservoir and walked the remaining distance by following the edge of the forest (do not cross the farmer's fields!). The walk from the reservoir to the boulder took me at most 15 minutes.

The boulder is small, but it's a beauty! A great find by David Evrard!
Those who like solitude and seeing some undisturbed parts of the forest should definitely go there, but please don't go in big groups. We shouldn't disturb the wildlife that resides there, and there is a lot of wildlife there.
Unfortunately it are also hunting grounds, so do avoid the area during hunting periods.

"Muramasa" is, just like most of the other solitary spread out boulders in the area, opened by David Evrard. It has also been graded by David, and it can be noticed.
I don't mean any offence to David, but I already noticed in the past that his gradings are mostly very tight and some of them have been or are on the course of being upgraded.
David gave it 7B(7B+), but to my first opinion, as far as I could tell and experience, this is closer to 7C, maybe even hard 7C. (See his video of the problem on
Placing the left heelhook is very hard, but the next move far towards the left that I use as a starting hold in the shortened version, was impossible for me. The right crimp in the roof is very small and extremely sharp. It gave ma a bleeding cut in the tip of my index finger.

Like I wrote before, it was my lunch break, and as I was there and no other boulder is in the direct vicinity, I pleased myself by doing a shortened version that starts off after the for me nearly impossible move.
It will not be published on, so it's unofficial and more like a game, but I called it "Muramasa (raccourci)" and the grade will still be about 7A(7A+).

I will go back one day, but will need stronger fingers with better skin. All in all, it's an inCREDOble problem!

Fontainebleau - Noisy-sur-Ecole - Muramasa (raccourci) 7A(7A+)