/ Font

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Little Billy - on 22 Oct 2012
Evening chaps,

New to bouldering so be gentle.............

I'm off to Font in a couple of weeks and would like to know the best guide book to buy and if there is a campsite near by where we could have an open fire

Many thanks
Billy
iccy - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to Little Billy:

Have a look here on Rock and Run

info.rockrun.com/articles/font-which-guide.html

They have a decent review of all the guides but a lot of people use one of the circuits guides.
Tom Last - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to Little Billy:

Dunno, but don't get this heap of shit...

http://cdn.gooutdoors.co.uk/Products/13248-261010155927-360758929.jpg
Fergal - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to Southern Man:

Have to disagree, excellent guide if you are into doing mainly circuits. combine with the maps from the 7&8 guide to find off circuit problems and you are laughing.
Ramblin dave - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to Quagmire:
Yeah, we had that and it did us fine.

For the most part we ignored the guidebook once we'd picked an area to go to anyway, since we were mostly doing circuits (or trying stuff that looked cool) and if you want to follow a circuit then you can just look for appropriately coloured numbers painted on the rocks anyway...
Tom Last - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to Quagmire:
> (In reply to Southern Man)
> combine with the maps from the 7&8 guide to find off circuit problems and you are laughing.

That's the point though isn't it? Buying a guidebook that needs to be combined with another guidebook's maps rather shows up its weaknesses from the outset.

Genuinely, we got lost at every single crag we went to over 5 days with this guide, we couldn't even find 91.1 & 95.2. There seems to have been zero thought gone into a single one of the maps, which are pretty much impossible to decipher. There's not much in the way of off circuit problems and not a single photo topo for inspiration (well needed as a first timer there). The circuit maps seem to work, but if you're not into that then it's utterly useless. Probably the worst guidebook I've ever used.

Sorry to go off on one about it, but I reckon I would have had a much better time if I'd just had a better guide - almost put me off of the place.
Tom Last - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to Little Billy:

Good campsite here - fires are fine.

http://www.camping-grez-fontainebleau.info/
Fergal - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to Southern Man:

Possbly, i have always combined it with the IGN map, always managed to get my bearings that way, i guess a bit confusing otherwise for a first tmer.
Tom Last - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to Quagmire:
> (In reply to Southern Man)
>
> Possbly, i have always combined it with the IGN map, always managed to get my bearings that way, i guess a bit confusing otherwise for a first tmer.

I reckon that's the way to do it. That and a compass would be dead useful. I'll know for next time :)
Ramblin dave - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to Southern Man:
> (In reply to Quagmire)
> [...]
>
> There's not much in the way of off circuit problems and not a single photo topo for inspiration (well needed as a first timer there). The circuit maps seem to work, but if you're not into that then it's utterly useless.

I guess it depends whether you want to treat a day in font like a day at a British trad crag, where you look through the guidebook until you find a route that you like the look of and then go off and then find the route and have a go at it, or whether you want to do what we did and run around like kids in a sweetshop jumping onto anything that looks interesting.

The former approach probably makes more sense if you're climbing harder grades and want to get on some really memorable problems, but for bumblies like us who just want to do lots of nice climbing, circuits and / or picking stuff at random seems to work fine.
Tom Last - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:

That's true Dave.

I did approach it in that fashion, though I'm not up to anything hard, I did want a bit more detail on specific problems.

We did do a bit of a couple of circuits, but couldn't really be arsed as it was hard to pick one circuit over another and a lot of what we found was quite dirty. So I'm not really n a position to judge its effectiveness for the circuits.

My main gripe was with the maps, which were just mad, though no crazier than French road signs - sacre bleu! ;)
fried - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Southern Man:
> (In reply to Little Billy)
>
> Good campsite here - fires are fine.
>
> http://www.camping-grez-fontainebleau.info/


Is closed from the 11th of November.
In reply to Little Billy: Go over to the dark side (UKBouldering) and you can download the POI's for font (for Tom tom) that way you just point and shoot the satnav to the area you want to visit - don't have to worry so much about maps in books then.
jkarran - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Southern Man:

> Dunno, but don't get this heap of shit...
> http://cdn.gooutdoors.co.uk/Products/13248-261010155927-360758929.jpg

It's a strange book. The circuit maps are extraordinary given the scale of the task. My only criticism of them would be there is little more than vague allusions to the height of the problems/areas. Some are routes in a British context. The rest of the maps appear to have been drawn by a committee of children entirely new to the concept of mapping. I'd suggest going through each crag adding carpark latitude & longitude for use with the forest map or GPS as a minimum. Finding boulders in the trees can be tricky too, something the book deserves a bit more criticism for given the forest tracks all have names/numbers.

Despite the criticism it's grown on me as a book :)

Planning ahead with a couple of books, large scale map and http://bleau.info/ is key to avoiding too much wasted time and frustration especially for a first visit.

jk
Font Green News - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to jkarran:

Hi,
before going to Font please have a look on my Webzine... There is a new edition of the Arthaud guidbook of Jo Montchaussé.
You'll find informations here http://latribunelibredebleau.blogspot.com/2012/10/bleau-le-nouveau-topo-de-jo-arrive.html

All the others information you need about Font (sleeping area, maps...)can be found here http://latribunelibredebleau.blogspot.com/2012/10/ltl2b-un-peu-devolution-sur-le-site.html

Have nice trip
Greg
M0nkey - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to jkarran:

I second the bleau.info recommendation. It has great info on lots of the problems. If you want to geek out properly you should spend some time looking for the high star rated problems and make a ticklist. To be sure you find them you can get the GPS co-ordinates from bleau.info, and then navigate there with your sat nav.
Croakinglizard - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Little Billy: Fontainebleau Fun Bloc by Jingo Wobbly. Used it for both my trips this year.
Pictures of the boulders and the actual lines. No beta but I like trying to work it out myself
bouldermonkey - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Little Billy: Seconded the jingo wobbly is good. The little essential fontainebleau is also good and has beta. there is a campsite run my an English woman and her French husband its basic but really nice here is a link to the website, the campsite is pretty central to everything :). http://www.camping-grez-fontainebleau.info/ website is a bit naff but has everything you need to contact them on there, they also have a little lake where you can have open fires. Enjoy.
balmybaldwin - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Little Billy:

The problem is that no guidebook can possibly do the forest justice. On my first trip I used the Purple guide linked, and whilst it's by no means perfect, found it perfectly adequate (we didn't have the ign map) and found the boulders easily enough - sometimes this meant having to back trace the numbers on the boulders to the start of the circuit to orientate ourselves, but it's not that hard.

I also thought it had a reasonable selection of interest pages and history listing routes to seek out at most grades e.g. Marie Rose, Science Friction l'helicoptere etc.

I also find that it's idea of quick drying, crowded, nasty landings etc was accurate.

On the other hand, one time we went we bought the (new at the time) Jingo Wobbly guide which was bloody awful, only covered in any depth 10% of the forest, and had a ridiculously complex legend and symbols, and in terms of accuracy, the quick drying symbols were just wrong.

I guess if you want to go and just work the hardest problems at your limit, then the purple guide is of limited use, but if you want to experience font properly, then wandering around the forest lost in the wonder of it all whilst a little confused as to why the boulder in front of you has a black 12 on it instead of a red one is all part of the experience.

And remember, the famous routes are not necessarily the best, there are too many good and interesting problems out there (as well as some pretty pointless dull ones)

On your first trip, don't be surprised if you get spat off a 3c or two the grading is somewhat erratic, and there's a certain familiarity needed with the rock!

Musardier will be open for camping, and in the winter months you'll find old BBQs and things available for you to have an open fire in.

Enjoy!
strudles - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Southern Man:

I have spent a significant amount of time lost in font because of that guidebook, sometimes when I've found frame of reference it still doesn't make sense.

ads.ukclimbing.com
jolivague - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:

On your first trip, don't be surprised if you get spat off a 3c or two the grading is somewhat erratic, and there's a certain familiarity needed with the rock!


Second that, sometimes it just makes no sense at all! I was set up by the lads who took me there first time, after an ace first day of numerous 6b's they pointed me at a slab with a 3a grade - 10 very wobbly minutes and much cursing later topped it out, just terrifying.

Enjoy every second, it's just a wonderful place
Ramblin dave - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to jolivague:
I thought the issue with the grading was that they didn't adjust grades for polish, and hence a lot of popular easy slabs are now really hard.

The good news is that it doesn't matter if you do get viciously sandbagged because you can just fall off and go and try something else. We barely looked at guidebooks when we got to the blocs, we just wandered around picking stuff that looked fun / interesting / cool / easy / challenging / whatever...
Ramblin dave - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to jolivague)
> I thought the issue with the grading was that they didn't adjust grades for polish, and hence a lot of popular easy slabs are now really hard.

Or at least, a significant part of the issue...
Bruce Hooker - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Southern Man:
> (In reply to Little Billy)
>
> Dunno, but don't get this heap of shit...
>
> http://cdn.gooutdoors.co.uk/Products/13248-261010155927-360758929.jpg

I've got several books, one dating back to 1975 which is very succinct, but although it is incomplete - it could hardly be complete in one pocket-able volume - I find it one of the best introductory guide for the whole area. You need an IGN 1/25000 map as well of course, but that's true for any guide book.

The other books cover either half the forest or just one area, like Au Grès des Trois Pignons, which covers just this area in detail - and only in French AFAIK.
Duncan Bourne - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Southern Man:
> (In reply to Little Billy)
>
> Dunno, but don't get this heap of shit...
>

Don't believe him that is actually an excellent guide and one I would recommend
Duncan Bourne - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Duncan Bourne:
I appreciate your reasons for not liking it but for me it was:
a) the most comprehensive guide to the area (other than the jingo wobbly one which was also most comprehensive, though somewhat harder to decipher I found)
b) a nice handy size
c) I actually found it quite easy to follow and the lack of topos didn't put me off. But then I was brought up on the LLewedd guide and Paul Nunn

Most other guides I have seen are very selective either in terms of area or grade.
peaches69 - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Little Billy: ive got a couple guidebooks but my friend bought one while we were out there few weeks ago.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1873665156/ref=asc_df_187366515610382223?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&tag=goog...

its loaded with topo's and maps, only down side is that there aren't any worded descriptions, all in keys, but it works when you understand them.

if your 1st visit to font try 95.2, loads of stuff there, well try as many crags as days your there, you'll find something to do.

as far as open fires go, i have no idea. for my four trips ive stayed at La Musardiere campsite and its pretty good.

hope this helps
payney1973 - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Little Billy: went last spring had a guide, after one day went with the bin the book, just bimble thru the forest and climb cool stuff, just know the colour codes to make sure youre not trying anything outrageously hard.

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