So this trip to Bleau started in Petit Bois, as I have wanted to try Big Dragon. I love it there, the rock is round and it is more about pushing and squeezing than about pulling down. Its really like a playground warming up on the Blue, Red and Black Circuits. My crew continued with the Blue Circuit but I had me eyes on BD. Alone I figured out the bottom moves (the 1st move is SO morpho) but soon realized I would need someone to push me into the top moves if I were ever to figure out what to do up there? Christi had mentioned L’œuf , a squeeze prow so I went up to take a look. He had said the first stand-up move was the hardest part but it was now easy as the foot hold had either been chipped or had just worn a groove into the soft sandstone. Sad to see how many classic boulders in Fontainebleau have paid the price for being so good 😦 Still felt very hard with the desperate mantle press-out at the end! By the time I was done a group of Brits, Swiss and Swedish were throwing down their pads under Big Jim. I have always looked at this impressively high pocketed wall but never tried it… on the one hand I have heard horrible stories of injuries and on the other I have been waiting to be in such a condition as to have a chance of doing it 1st try. Kaddi and the others were still “gardening” somewhere on the Blue Circuit so I joined the pack. No one was eager to go 1st so I thought what the hell… bham, 1st go… a dream come true! What an amazing line! One of the best problems I have ever climbed, 5 stars – PERFECT! That made my trip already 🙂
During a previous trip to Bleau I had been to have a look at Rocher ‘d Avon on a rainy day recon. The area is centered around 1 block with 3 Kinglines. One of which is a high slab called Calamity Jane. At the time it looked absolutely impossible with no holds visible on the soaked frictionless slab… oh, and did I mention it was high?! But with all great lines, its not that easy to keep them from your mind even though a part of you is thinking: “This is not a good idea!”
So when Christi mentioned he wanted to try it, I was in for the ride! Ground up style we pushed higher and higher up the technical slab discussing the intricate beta of figuring out which of the tiny grutons (crimps) to use in combination with what smear will get you into the right position to enable somehow to maintain stability. The day ended with us both knowing what needed to be done… but this move put you into an unstable, slightly dynamic position, not what you want on a 7b+ highball slab in Fontainebleau. This was not the last time Rocher ‘d Avon would see us…
Two days later we were in Rocher Greau, and after a frustrating session on Pentium (damn, that thing is hard!) we walked down to a high slab called Patience Yago. I love those days when somehow your brain allows you to just say:”Fuck it, I can do that”. After setting the pads so if I should fall I wouldn’t break myself on the rock below I calmly put on my shoes and climbed it first try. You might say:”What is so special about a 7a (and a pretty easy 7a at that)?” Well, I don’t know, it was a pretty damn cool feeling 🙂 Next was Supplément d’ Armes to the right, that another group was trying. We had a long look at it and both sent 2nd try 🙂 Such a great problem, classic Bleau balance problem! Christi still had energy so we headed to Éléphant, he climbed a stunning highball arête I had never seen before… for me, the skin on my left hand was still pink from CJ and just I couldn’t get any purchase on the polished arête… I’ll be back for you, beauty! Next was Jack Dalle Ton, a short little slab in a corridor, I managed to ‘duff’ the flash… I guess after the 2 beers my confidence was too high and balance was not all that great… nice but tricky little bugger!
The next day we were back at Calamity Jane, for me I was actually hoping for a rest day and went for moral support. Christi was psyched and walked up it 1st try …I knew this was it… so I put on my shoes and also sent it 1st try of the day. Wow, what a good feeling! I always find it amazing how your body can so precisely learn movement and how from one day to the next something that can seem so hard can become just a walk in the park. AMAZING LINE!
The last day we headed to Bas Cuvier, Kaddi had some unfinished business with Carnage. After falling from the top multiple times not knowing exactly how to do the final campus to the ‘ball’ she finally found her way and sent one of the most iconic problems of the forest. Congrats, that thing is NAILS hard!