Since Andi and I have rediscovered Fontainebleau as one of our favorite places in 2009, we climbed on the historic sandstone boulders every March when winter was over and usually a streak of dry weather arrived. This year the weather gods seem to be a bit confused, though, and after a pretty miserable fall and a dark winter came an almost non-existent spring with lots of rain. So after coming home from Switzerland we eagerly waited for our yearly Font trip to happen, but it just rained and rained and rained…. In the end we had already settled for another trip to Ticino, when we checked the forecast one last time. It looked slightly better all of a sudden and so we instantly decided to do another voyage à Fontainebleau!
Our prayers must’ve been heard and we had perfect weather for two weeks, maybe even the best conditions we ever had there! Climbing-wise, we both had our ups and downs… One memorable evening was spent in Buthiers: Really sore from the day before, I had planned to rest that day. Tempted by the cold temperatures, I wanted to have a look on ‘Misanthropie’, a high crimpy face, that I briefly tried and deemed impossible on a warm day last year. Well, ‘feeling the holds’ turned into ‘trying the moves’… and a while later I found myself on top 🙂 Andi managed to get an ascent of ‘Partage’, the most beautiful arête in the forest and climbed many classics like ‘L’Angle parfait’, which I was too chicken-hearted for. But I’ll be back! Next to settling some old scores like ‘L’Angle Bens’ and ‘Excalibur’ I put the great conditions to good use on the slopy ‘Papillon’, a well-hidden prow in a nice area called Petit Reine.
We both ‘failed’ on our main project for the trip: Andi felt close on Duel, but had to give up when he found it dripping wet on the last day. Lucky me even got another chance to try my project. It was supposed to rain more that day and conditions were rather mediocre. Just when I sat down for my last attempt, the wind picked up and the holds suddenly felt grippy. I fluidly moved through the crux, even omitting an intermediate hold. After the crux waited some bigger holds and one more insecure move. Hanging on the better holds I suddenly got nervous. I managed to do the insecure move, but then my brain shut off and I forgot my beta. Instead of fighting, I eratically tried different footholds and then…. dropped off! A bit later the first raindrops started to fall. As angry as I was at myself the next minutes, in retrospective I think it was a good reminder for myself to always a) know my beta for the topout and b) try as hard as I really can!
pictures by Manuel Brunn, Andreas Barth & me