Thu 6th Apr - Mon 10th Apr, 2023
The UKClimbing.com article on how to improve your bouldering explicitly lists one place you must visit – Fontainebleau. After a couple of years in the wilderness due to "events" the Font trip is back with avengance. We're going to go at Easter. I plan to travel on the afternoon/evening of Wednesday 5th April and return Monday 10th April.
Located about 70km south of Paris, Font is arguably the centre of European bouldering, with hundreds of venues and thousands of problems. The rock is hard sandstone and very varied; from friction slabs to rounded slappy problems; from sharp aretes to steep powerful walls and roofs. The unique nature of the bouldering in the forest, with its clusters of boulders neatly organised into colour-coded graded circuits from the easy (Yellow) to the ridiculous (White) mean that the climbing is accessible, easy to follow and there is something for everyone, everywhere. The nature of the circuits also make bouldering at Fontainebleau a very sociable experience. I absolutely love it and have been over a dozen times – the only issue is that no matter how many problems you get done you always return with more objectives than you arrived with!
Where to Stay
I propose a loosely organised trip similar to the summer alps trip with core days and people free to come and go as they please. The best option for accommodation is camping and Camping Grez which has excellent facilities (showers, washrooms, BBQs, the ability to have a campfire) and doesn’t cost the earth (around £13 per night on average…) It is located south of Font in a small village with a shop and a bakery and is at most 15-30 minutes drive from all the climbing areas. There is also a huge supermarket for all you food needs as well as the occasional pizza van in the campsite. The pitches also have communal BBQs for those so inclined.
The easiest way to get to Font is to drive and take the ferry. You can get ferries for about £90-£120 (the earlier you book the better) and then with three people in the car the cost of fuel is easily shared. It is also easy to get there on the train but once you are there getting around isn’t really feasible on public transport. As it is the Easter weekend I will be taking an extra day off and driving down on the Wednesday night, climbing for four days and heading back on the Monday (likely after a light bouldering session in the morning!)
If you are planning on coming please drop me an e-mail and click the “Intend to Attend” button on the website. Early in 2023 (likely first weke of February) I’ll make a group booking of the campsite for those who have confirmed and try to group people together for transport (which you can then sort out between yourselves). After the group booking there is obviously nothing to stop you deciding to come but you will need to sort out your own camping.
Below are some useful links
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If you are considering coming along to a club meet, please read the following:
"I accept that mountaineering, climbing and walking are activities with a risk of personal injury or death. I am aware of and shall accept these risks and wish to participate in these activities voluntarily and shall be responsible for my own actions and involvement."