/ Font: general ethical decline
It's amazing what some people believe will help them climb a boulder problem...
It's unfortunate that some people protested rather too much about chalk in Font. It is laughable to be told that chalk "kills the rock" (as I have been told more than once, you know the rest - it involves a rag and certain tree resin) and that locals and visiting French people don't use it, when all the first hand, photographic and video evidence demonstrates without a shadow of doubt that that is completely false. A united and well-publicised "please respect our rocks and use chalk sparingly, and remove it using a very soft brush" policy would have been far more sensible.
AFAIK some of the painted on tickmarks are part of the circuit system they use?
I recall reading on some webpage that some starting holds etc are marked, also some have arrows guiding to the next hold on rocks with a lot of problems on.. Or is this not the case?
What he's getting at is large lines marking hidden jugs, which tbh are rarely needed and if they are needed a small dot (which can easily be brushed off) will suffice.
I've only been going to font for the last few years but the hordes of Brits with little respect for the area is most definitely on the increase.
I suspect what he's getting at is large lines marking bloody obvious jugs!
Some of the tickmarks you see are pretty hilarious - but I often think I shouldn't be mean about them, because they could be a low-vision aid, and I think bouldering should be accessible to all.
Fair enough, was just checking if that hadn't been over looked thats all. :)
In this case then it seems to be going directly against what the locals have asked for, i.e: don't add problems without consent and don't f**k with the established ones. Pretty poor show by the sounds of it.
Yeah, it's a shame. It's amazing how long Font has resisted being trashed, but I think we're getting the measure of it now. I give it ten years.
No, it's not the case. Circuits are marked as that's the normal way to climb there but not the holds themselves.
As for those that say use chalk and brush it off, that would only add to the polish. The best is to accept the COSIROC requests, and Fontainebleau Forest regulations, and not use chalk at all. If this means you have to climb at your real grade your ego will recover after a beer or two, in the knowledge that you have done your bit to preserve the forest for future generations.
I wondered when you would pop up ;-)
Like Jon Stewart I suspect COSIROC have shot themselves in the foot. It would have been much easier and way more realistic to accept reality and apply peer pressure on squeeky clean feet and absolute minimal chalk use. Top performers climb better with some chalk and even at my lowly grades chalk has stopped many a nasty uncontrolled fall from a rounded top-out on quite a few of the thousands of easier circuit sandbags. However I can't see the Forest authorities standing by if the situation gets much worse. Hence I do want to publisise the fact that folk should use chalk very sparingly (if your hands have no excess there should be no need to brush it from the rock) and avoid tickmarks and from the climbing perspective, to preserve the problems for the future, to never chalk footholds and keep feet squeeky clean.
I agree with Bruce - idiots like this:
need to have a word with themselves and accept that they basically just aren't very good at climbing...
It's bollocks to say the locals don't use chalk - they do. I don't think I saw anyone using pof this trip mind you.
> I agree with Bruce - idiots like this:
> need to have a word with themselves and accept that they basically just aren't very good at climbing...
The legend! :-)
For those who don't remember, when chalk started to appear the southern sandstone community reacted exactly like the Bleausards (i.e. with horror that people were making the holds slippery) & a total ban, like Bleau, was discussed. In the end an appeal for minimal chalk use, just as you describe was decided on .
The result : every hold including footholds is now plastered with the stuff. Exactly the same result I would suggest as would have happened in Bleau if the same approach had been taken.
I've been to his house to buy one of his bouldering mats and see his guidebook work (well ahead of its time, and sadly still mostly unpublished)
In reply to i.munro:
...so heads they mostly win and tails we mostly lose.... I'd still say the more sensible approach is the one we should follow irrespective (ie advise best behaviour, not try an unworkable ban). The friction problems at Font are of course made worse by the evil mixture of pof and chalk.
& I'd say that a phrase like "use the minimum amount of chalk" is simply meaningless noise when nobody knows what the minimum is & even if we did know you couldn't measure the amount used.
I suspect it would be better to just skip it & focus on clear unambiguous advice like mats & clean shoes.
I guess I'm an optimist. I've pursuaded many to do both (use less chalk and clean their shoes). Also chalk isn't so much of a potential access issue for SS as it is for Font, so it needs advice there and honest realistic is better than the alternative (unless forced on us).
Of the climbers there (and nationality didn't make any difference), there were either those that cleaned shoes, used chalk only when needed and left little rubbish.
Or you had those chalking up between each attempt, not shoe-cleaning and using ticks.
I'm sure both were aware of the ethics, they just choose to ignore them (or not).
You could say exactly the same about any ethical issues that became so serious that they actually led to change (like chipping, or ropes running over the top edges at SS). If there is a clear message and nearly everyone behaves and speaks up about when they see the ethical guidance ignored, lazy people adjust.
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