/ First trip to Font - recommendations?

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exploringtim - on 26 Mar 2012
Hey all,

So a couple of us are heading to font for the first time in a couple of months. We're only going for a cheeky long weekend, but i'm wondering, what would people recommend for first-timers there? After reading a bunch of posts on here and elsewhere online there's no doubt we'll get reasonably spanked, but are there problems people would recommend for a first trip? I generally prefer doing circuits rather than laying siege to a tricky problem (especially given its a short trip).

Any advice welcome!

Cheers, Tim
Ava Adore - on 26 Mar 2012
In reply to exploringtim:

Would recommend Canche Aux Merciers as your first area. It has a good range of problems at the lower grades which is great to acclimatising yourself to Font rock.

After that Cul de Chien (with the Snoopy boulder) is great climbing. Elephant again is another must-do as the problems are higher and also very "pockety".

Enjoy!

exploringtim - on 26 Mar 2012
In reply to Ava Adore:

Thanks; just checked them out - pretty much met my expectations that starting with lower grades would be the best way to get ones "font eye" in. They look good though, can't wait for the trip.
Ava Adore - on 26 Mar 2012
In reply to exploringtim:

It's an incredible place. Even non-boulderers can't help falling in love with the area :-). Very jealous. :-)
In reply to Ava Adore:
> (In reply to exploringtim)
>
> After that Cul de Chien (with the Snoopy boulder) is great climbing.

Might want to keep in mind a crack has formed on Le Bilboquet

http://bleau.info/forum/24618.html


In reply to exploringtim: text of the news

The famous boulder in the sand see of Cul de Chien has become very dangerous, due to the formation of a crack at the pedestal. The erosion commission asks to definitely avoid to climb on this boulder since the risks of topple-over are real.
Ava Adore - on 26 Mar 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

Awww what a shame. I would hope that they have some sort of notice posted there - not everyone goes on to bleau.com.
exploringtim - on 26 Mar 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

Oh really? That is really unfortunate! Will they end up doing any stabilisation work do you think, or they'll just let nature take its course?
In reply to exploringtim & Ava: Yep, big shame. As to repair, I cannot find any info further than the bleau website so don't know.

:o(
exploringtim - on 26 Mar 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

Despite this though, its still a good area to checkout you reckon? I mean, its isolated problem to that one boulder or is the whole area suffering subsidence?

Cheers
In reply to exploringtim: It is just the dog - there are some nice circuits around the area to have fun on and an impressive roof to try and work out how the heck people stay on!
ilch - on 26 Mar 2012
In reply to exploringtim:

Maybe avoid Bas Cuvier unless your a big fan of really pollished rock. Apremont (sp) was brilliant for the long weekend I was there for though.
Ava Adore - on 26 Mar 2012
In reply to exploringtim:

Definitely still go. The Snoopy boulder is the landmark boulder but there's an awful lot of lovely stuff there.
fried - on 26 Mar 2012
In reply to exploringtim:

In a couple of months, the above spots (as nice as they are) will probably be too hot. I'd recommend stuff around Franchard or bois rond for shadier multi level circuits. Apremont Bizon would be another possibility. It's 20 already in the forest.
Ava Adore - on 26 Mar 2012
In reply to fried:

Canche aux Mercier has tree cover. But you have a point about the other two.
exploringtim - on 26 Mar 2012
In reply to fried:

Ah yes, it will be hot for sure. Are the other spots that are exposed unbearable or just not the kind of thing you'd spend all day doing?

Cheers
fried - on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to exploringtim:

Depends what you enjoy, you can always find something in the shade. Even on the hottest days you'll find people at Cul de chien climbing without a t-shirt. Canche aux mercier is one of the quickest drying places in the forest although it does have some cover.

Also if you're further down south Petit bois is worth a look.
Ava Adore - on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to exploringtim:

You do the continental thing and start early, snooze through lunch and then pick up again at tea time :-)
In reply to fried:
> (In reply to exploringtim)

> Also if you're further down south Petit bois is worth a look.

Which was lovely to climb at except I picked up Lyme disease from there so worth paying particular attention to exposed flesh.
http://latribunelibredebleau.blogspot.fr/2011/05/les-tiques-un-vrai-danger-mal-connu.html

Oh and just keep an eye out for caterpillars - they sting like buggery!
http://latribunelibredebleau.blogspot.fr/

peterp - on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to exploringtim:
If it were me I'd avoid the Canche - constant drone from the motorway kind of detracts from the experience and the problems are not particularly inspiring. 95.2 is a MUST for the first time visitor though it will be very hot when you go. Franchard Isatis is also great and pleasantly shady.

Cheers,
peterp
ads.ukclimbing.com
exploringtim - on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to peterp:

Thanks for reply peterp; have heard good things about 95.2 as well, so its nice to get 2nd opinions :-) How's the sun exposure situation there?
In reply to exploringtim:

Just FYI there has been some repair work on the crack in the Cul de Chein boulder but you still shouldn't climb on it. I'm not sure why they can't just stick a sign up on the entrance to the area. It would be such a shame if anything happened to it.
exploringtim - on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC:

Oh surprising; I thought it would have been quardended off or something if its out of bounds. That's kind of silly. Good to know these things though - will be sure not to climb on it. With that in mind though, and the danger associated with it, whats stopping people climbing it? Appreciate its a massive area but you'd have thought they'd police it or something for preservation purposes.
In reply to exploringtim:

It's one boulder in the middle of a big expanse of sand. Because it's such a landmark it'd probably look a bit shit with a barrier around it stopping people climbing.
conorcussell - on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat: Most of Petit Bois aside from a few problems like la baleine and the 8a+ were really overgrown and dirty when i was there this time last year. Not sure if it has changed since, but i couldn't recommend it really.
Font Green News - on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:
> (In reply to fried)
> [...]
> Oh and just keep an eye out for caterpillars - they sting like buggery!
> http://latribunelibredebleau.blogspot.fr/

Hi, Thank you to the links.
You will find on my blog lots of informations about Font' and the protection of this magic forest. Please, when you go at Font, Respect it. ;0) USE LESS CHALK, Brush it, ...

Have special look to about the Bilboquet:
http://latribunelibredebleau.blogspot.fr/2012/02/lutte-contre-lerosion-lelephant-bientot.html
http://latribunelibredebleau.blogspot.fr/2011/03/faut-il-sauver-le-bilboquet-des-sables.html
http://latribunelibredebleau.blogspot.com/2011/03/le-biboquet-du-cul-de-chien-suite-mais.html

Look on the left, you will find lots of links to camping or gites resevations, ...


fried - on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to Font Green News:

Rule number 1. don't annoy Greg LF! :)
Nick Russell on 28 Mar 2012
In reply to exploringtim:

These people seem to think a butler is necessary to make the most of a trip to font: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=493529

Maybe you should start advertising the position
exploringtim - on 28 Mar 2012
In reply to Nick Russell:

haha awesome. a full blown lacky is a bit beyond my means, but I'm sure my friend will keep the fridge full of beer: win some, loose some :-D

Thanks for the pointers guys - overall looks like 95.2 will be a good area to checkout as well as Cul de Chien (and try some harder stuff if we're not spanked by the grading!)

Cheers
fried - on 28 Mar 2012
In reply to exploringtim:

95.2 climbs much better than Cul du chien, either way you'll end up with a good tan. Rocher du sabots is a better bet from the same car park as cul du chien and a bit more cover too. The blue circuit is one of the best (although polished) in the forest. The red is brutal.
Bruce Hooker - on 28 Mar 2012
In reply to exploringtim:

It seems you have enough suggestions for a first visit! One for another is Mont Aiguille near Fontainebleau town. There are several circuits, yellow, orange and blue IIRC and they seem to be a bit less polished than some places, except the start of the yellow and orange.

As for the choice of circuit, the best is to have a few ideas in mind and then decide according to the weather - if it's hot, and it can get really hot in Summer, go for a spot under trees, if it's damp but clearing up then an exposed area - like the Cul de Chien - dries quicker.

Concerning the "Bilboquet" dog's head boulder, it has been out of bounds for climbing for a long time as it's a landmark, but a delicate one. It's no great loss for climbing though as it's only small and surrounded by about the biggest climbing area in the forest! Putting a fence round it would spoil the appearance of the place, and the thousands of photos - a good rendez-vous spot though and nice and sandy for children.

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