Bouldering in Fontainebleau
May 1-6, 2002
Despite the fact that it was raining, we were totally psyched when we saw the exit for Fontainebleau. We kept playing a techno remix of Bob Marley’s song The Sun is Shining to ward off the rain for the next week. It worked.
One of the first things we noticed about the rock was how amazing it looked. Then we felt it and found the texture to be better than we could imagine.
Jef commented that the rock looks just like Pusher’s new holds. He then realized that it was the other way around.
Navigating in France is not easy. We needed both the guidebook and a topo map and even then we would get lost often. The winding roads have this tendency to change names in random places.
Jef learns the true meaning of ‘focus’ pulling on the slopers at Bas Cuvier.
Zach prepares to launch.
Jef working the same problem as Zach, and sticking the move.
Angela learned a lot about slab technique as the incredible friction opened up a whole new realm of climbing.
The rock was often playfully shaped. We thought this looked suspiciously like a petrified tortoise.
One of the most famous boulders in Font is the Dogs Head, which sort of looks like Snoopy. It also offers some incredible problems in a surreal environment.
Merrick sending the problem on the back side of the Dog’s Head.
Jef about to top out on the Dog’s Head.
Jef looking like the king of Le Cul de Chien after topping out.
Zach pulling hard, hoping that wearing his hat like Obe Carrion will increase his power.
This sequence shows one of our favorite problems in Bas Cuvier. There are no holds on the slab above and balance is key. Jef got the closest on it, but it is a problem that we all want to return to Font to send.
Spotting Jef topping out at Apremont.
Merrick sending his favorite problem at Le Mont Aigu. The slopers are so good. I got to come back and send this problem again when I returned to France the second time.
This sequence shows Andrew sending a problem that he spent the morning working. Andrew slowly understood the technique as the morning went on and though he was almost ready to give up a few times he finally got psyched and sent.
Merrick proving that the mantle at the end is often the sweetest.
This montage shows the sequence that Jef found on a fun traverse.
One of the unexpected surprises was that the car that we rented was a Mercedes. It was a pimpin ride that treated us well.
If the middle boulder is inspected closely, one can make out the writing that was carved into it in 1901. There is detail of this in the inset. We think it was a poem.
Zach going up and up.
Merrick glancing down to check the position of his ‘SplashPad’. Luckily it was not needed.
When they say rock house in Font they don’t mean cave, they mean rock house.
Climbing is a very different activity in France. Families come out for the day and the young and old all climb together. This man was very old and climbed very slowly stopping mid sequence to catch his breath. But he was having a blast.
This is a 360 panorama that gives a sense of the land around Font.
We thought that not only was this a pretty picture but that 5.10 might give us sponsorship for posting it.
On the final day our elbows were shooting pain from tendonitis through our entire bodies. Even though we were in a large amount of pain those last few problems were well worth it.
Angela and Andrew using the crashpad as a couch.
Zach, Merrick, and Jef reflecting on a great week at the world’s greatest bouldering area.
of course you know to click on the picture to see a larger version
This general site has a few sections with details on climbing in Fontainebleau

A bulletin board for climbing in France that has a section in English for asking questions