Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I've added 3 new slideshows of pictures from some of the different areas we've visited so far in Fontainebleau. The first that was posted is from the Buthiers area, specifically Massif L'i. This was the first area we visited and is only 5 minutes from Maison Bleau, where we are staying. The second slideshow is from L'Elephant, the most classic boulder in the forest, and the surrounding circuits near Larchant. As mentioned in the previous post, this was one of my dream areas to visit...and it didnt dissapoint. L'Elephant was much taller than expected, even though I knew it was a highball boulder. The third slideshow is from Diplodocus, an area found within the Trois Pignon section of the forest. The boulders in this area are said to look like the bones of a dinosaur, scattered across the sandy opening in the forest. We have also visited another area in Buthiers, Massif Canard, but I havent got any photos yet, because we lost our lighting when the sun went down. We plan on heading back in the next day or so to finish up the circuit, and plan on getting some photos then. We should be visiting Bas Curvier, the most famous area of Font, tomorrow, and checking out all of the super classic routes that have made Curvier so legendary. Hope everyone enjoys the pictures!
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I finally made it to mecca! We arrived at Maisonbleau (www.maisonbleau.com), our gite for the week, this afternoon about 4:30. The country side is beautiful and, at first, makes you wonder where all the bouldering is. Maisonbleau is a great place near Buthiers, that offers cheap, but incredibly nice, places to stay only 2 km from some of the best climbing in the forest. The gite has plenty of room, a full kitchen, and best of all, a collection of climbing DVDs to watch after your day of climbing. They also sell the best guidebooks to the area, as well as, chalk, brushes, DVDs, and their own sweet little crashpad. If you are planning a trip to Font, I'd definitely check them out! We decided to run out and catch half of a circuit before dark and weren't disappointed. We did part of the orange circuit at Massif L'i ("No Hands" in the Jingo Wobbly guidebook) to get used to the climbing here. The problems were all in the V0-V2 range, but were challenging enough to make you work for a couple of them. Problem 21 was the hardest on the circuit, at 4a+, and threw me off a couple of times before I figured it out. We plan on heading to L'Elephant tomorrow and climbing on the boulder that has fascinated me for so long. L'Elephant might just be the boulder that got me hot and heavy into bouldering, after one of my good friends gave me a big picture of it as a house warming gift. It sits above my mantle and has been a dream of mine to vist for many many years now. I'm also going to start another slideshow, tomorrow, with pictures of Font, so keep you eyes peeled, as I plan on taking tons of photos.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Between the rain, hiking, mountain biking, and canyoning in Switzerland, all I could muster up was one boulder route on the way out of town. The weather was very wet and cold compared to what was expected before we arrived. The cold was perfect for climbing, but there were showers everyday, except the last, which kept the rocks too wet to climb. On the way out of Switzerland, we saw one lone boulder in the middle of a small park in Interlaken and I sent one V0 route on it before we had to catch the train to Paris. By no means did this put a damper on the trip to Switzerland though. We stayed in Lauterbrunnen, which had 72 waterfalls streaming down the 2000 ft vertical cliffs surrouding the whole valley. I've never been to Yosemite, but this reminded me of all the pictures of the Tuolumne Valley I've seen. I added a couple of pictures to this post, one is the view of the valley from our hotel room, and the other is a picture of the great alpine mountains that towered above us just outside of the valley. The 3 snow covered mountains are the Eiger, the Monch and the Jungfrau...each one famous for their alpine mountaineering and big mountain appeal. Next stop FONTAINEBLEAU!!!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
After we go to Italy, we are heading to Interlochen, Switzerland. Its only a 6-7 hour round trip to the Magic Woods, but we dont have any extra time or days to go there, so hopefully I can find some boulders closer to where we are staying. After Switzerland, we are heading to Paris and then finally Fontainebleau!!! I'll definitely have some pictures and blogs about Font...so stay tuned for that.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I went back to Baia do Mexilhoeiro, yesterday, to tick off the rest of the routes in my climbing range. The tide was coming in and crashing against the base of the bouldering area, making for a great setting to climb in. This is a nice change of scenery compared to the usual forested bouldering that I'm accustomed to. I am by no means a photographer or videographer (if thats even a word), but I did take a video of a couple of climbs that I liked...here is one of those climbs showing some of the ambience of the area. This route was near another route called "Factor Solar", but wasnt listed in the guidebook, so I am calling it "Factor Lunar"...its wasn't that hard of a route, around a 5b or V2.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Went to Sintra and found more boulders than imaginable...but they were so mossed over and featureless, that I only got about 10-15 routes in. I also got about 10-15 "buildering" routes in on the ancient walls of the Moorish Castle. If I had all the time in the world to develop this area and scrub some moss away, it would be a real bouldering paradise. I'm still having problems getting the pictures on the web, but hopefully I can get them up this weekend. Sintra is one place that has stuck out in my mind ever since the last time I was in Portugal, and I was glad to get back and feel the incredible energy of the area.
As mentioned, we're heading back to the coast this weekend and should have more pictures from a different bouldering spot called Farol da Guia. Farol da Guia is a limestone seaside cliff that's mainly a sport climbing area, but it has a couple of bouldering sectors with a bunch of 6a and above routes. Should be fun and we might have sad enough eyes to sucker one of the locals into letting us borrow a harness and get a tow up a couple of sport lines:)