To cross the Channel and not visit Fontainebleau seems a bit of a waste for us, and so a stay here has become routine for our trips, beginning and ending our time away in a familiar place that feels something like coming home, and yet has so much left to explore. We went to a few new climbing areas this time, tried a new sleeping spot, found new water sources and learnt more of it's secrets.
We wanted to visit some other boulder spots this time round. After ridding ourselves of travel-lag, we went to Rocher Canon, which gave us an awesome first 'proper' day of climbing. The boulders were closely packed but sunny, and lots of interesting and some rather heady problems. Styrax was a 6b of this nature that took Sam a few goes, after a relatively problem free sit start that bumped it up to 7b.
After this, we explored Beauvais, another area that was new to us. It was quieter, and appeared less travelled but again had a lot of cool routes, notably Grain de Beauté, a beautiful, strong 6c+ traverse. In general, the site is very lovely, woodlanded, and has many other good traverses. Rocher du Potala was our next newbie, where we got spectacularly lost and walked far further than we would have liked. However, we managed to fill eight hours with climbing and lose most of our finger tips, so it can't have been too bad! On our ramblings we came across an old training cave, signed by several people and dated from 1983, filled with some crazy hard roof climbs.
Amber on Grain de Beauté (6c+), Beauvais
Almost all of our exploration relied on sites mapped in the Jingo Wobbly 'Fun Bloc' guide to Fontainebleau, so we were surprised in the middle of our rest day stretches to be politely interrupted by the man behind the guide, Mr. Jingo himself. This led to some further delving into the forest under his guidance to some rather more hidden and less documented gems, these being Mont Ussy and Roche d'Avon where we rediscovered the pleasure of wandering aimlessly through the forest. Also worth a mention was the striking giant of the Roche d'Hercule, a bit further out from Mont Ussy near Fontainebleau Town, a pocketed, dark ochre monolith. We finished the day in style with a cracking BBQ and beaucoup de vin rouge, and put the world to rights over dinner. Cheers for a good one!
Sam smashing Été Indien (6c+), Rocher du Potala