The change from summer to autumn passed almost overnight, and a moment's pause gives us a chance to reflect on the last few weeks. These have been crazy hectic, full of change and new opportunities, but also full of sunny bouldering expeditions and the odd sweaty sending session in the Forêt de Fontainebleau.
The long drive back through France didn't take much time, our slow, stop-start form of travel was replaced by something almost approaching efficiency. Only approaching, mind; at least three hours were spent traversing out of an enormous, beautiful, really annoying gorge that demanded constant changes between third and fourth gear. The remainder was a little faster, with one night spent at a picturesque 'aire' on a river surrounded by hundreds of large, shiny campervans that dicked on ours - they ain't got no tiger though, yo.
Temperatures in the forest were just as hot as when we had left it, and the weather was just as blazingly sunny. Sending conditions were, at an average of 35ºC, obviously subpar, however we had bigger fish to fry. The last weekend of August was our first weekend working with Rock and Sun, guiding, instructing and generally hanging out for their Fontainebleau based climbing holidays. In an ideal world we would have spent the few days before running over our sites in a relaxed sort of manner, but we were waiting on on a parcel from DHL who were adamant that they would deliver on the Tuesday, until about 10pm when they finally conceded defeat and ruined most of our Wednesday too. So we covered all of our sites in a day and a half. Pas de problème.
The long weekend went really well, and we have since done a few more which have also gone swimmingly. The clients have been, without exception, lovely, and captivated by the forest and climbing. We have tried to be clear about the ethical values that help to keep the forest beautiful for everyone, and are hopefully creating a mini army of clean-footed, chalk-brushing, litter-picking awesome climbers.