Today is the last day of another week in Fontainebleau. I’ve come later than usual this year as we are usually here either April/May, or September, but this time we’ve come a little later.
I was wondering if this was a bit of a gamble weather-wise, but perhaps you run the rain lottery no matter what time of you come!
Still, we’ve been mostly lucky. The weather as been crisp and dry from the Saturday evening we arrived, right through to late Wednesday evening when the heavens opened and mostly washed out the last few days.
I was a little hesitant coming here this year. I’ve been bouldering three times a week pretty much all year since January once I’d recovered from pulling my finger in a pocket the day after my last Font trip, so I was hoping to feel like I’d made some progress. This nervousness was backed up with my grades not really seeming to have shifted from where I was last year on the indoor grades. Last year I’d be consistently completing 95% of a 6a circuit at the Climbing Works as it went up and be working the 6b – 6c circuits until they were refreshed. I was pretty much back there now after pretty much a year of 3 sessions a week. Outdoors, my best climb last year was a single solitary 6a; La Marie-Rose in Bas Cuvier and virtually everything else in the low 5s.
So how did I do? It took pretty much a day to get my head around Font sandstone again, but eventually I realised I was pulling on things which seemed definitely more thuggy than my usual climbs. I didn’t complete anything significant on the Sunday, but came away with a good ache in my arms and a feeling like I may be climbing harder than last year.
Lorraine was on a mission to complete as many 6a’s as possible provided a lot of inspiration for getting on stuff. The next day we hit 91.1 and Cul du Chien where she had a long tick list of items. Rowan also had a 6a project here: Presse Citron, something which he’d been working on his last trip to Font. After a full day of climbing a lot of 5s and falling off the more glassy-marbled 4s in 91.1, I decided that I’d had enough and wandered over to find out how Rowan was doing on Presse Citron. Now, I said I was done but it looked great; a really tough looking wall with a good mix of wall, overhang, crimps and slopers to play with. I couldn’t really not have a go! I got it on my 5th go, each attempt adding in an extra move or two to keep me hooked. It’s a great climb! So, finally I’d done another 6a to compliment La Marie-Rose from last year and prove it wasn’t a freak.
Not a bad little week really, considering I was expecting to mostly be wallowing in the 4s and 5s as usual. I guess some of the practice has paid off a little.
This trip couldn’t have come at a better time really. I was starting to feel a bit jaded and tired of the indoor walls. Hopefully when I’m home on Sunday I’ll be a bit rejuvenated. I’ve definitely improved in my focus as well as started to get my head around properly crimping on small holds. I’ve also learnt about a “thumb spragg” which had completely passed me by until this week.