I am going on a family camping holiday and we are staying near Font for a few nights and going into Paris. Will bring my shoes and a few bits, but can't fit the bouldering mat in the car with all the other stuff.
Is it possible to boulder without the mat in Font and is there anywhere people could particulary recommend to go to in that case? Will have three small boys with me as well who will want to have a go!
In reply to JeroenandTimo: folk have been bouldering in la forÍt for about a hundred years, bouldering mats have been around for a lot, lot less. So yes, its perfectly possible to climb without a mat although you might want to be a bit careful about landings & spotting.
You don't say what age the boys are, but several areas have kids circuits (marked in white) which might be worth looking out for.
Lots of places have good short kids white circuits alongside short harder problems. You don't need a bouldering mat but as others have pointed out a mat/towel of some kind is vital to keep feet clean and preserve the rock.
> Is it possible to boulder without the mat in Font and is there anywhere people could particulary recommend to go to in that case? Will have three small boys with me as well who will want to have a go!
I seem to recall that we had great times bouldering in Font before they invented the bouldering mat
In reply to JeroenandTimo:
I was there today, and hired a mat from The House; http://www.thehouse.fr/
7 euro for a taco style mat, with 100 euro deposit. Perfect. The place is close to Les Trois Pignons, and the guy was nice guy to deal with.
I can confirm you don't need a mat for Fontainebleau as most of the landings are good on sand - the ones that aren't you can just avoid. A tea towel or bit of carpet is needed though to avoid having sand on your shoes when you start.
I'm a bit late in on this thread, but I can echo the comments that a beer mat is all you will need. I've been doing circuits at Font for the last 30 years and have never used a bouldering mat. As has been said most of the problems have soft sandy landings, and where there is an exception to this eg tree routes, rocks, crevices, there is so much choice, that it's no big deal to skip those problems if you feel unhappy about that.
In reply to JeroenandTimo: I agree on the whole with what's been said, pad not essential but certainly good if you have room to take. If not, choose routes carefully and you should be ok. As a parent I scrambled around a couple of enchant circuits with my 6 year old girl, no pad needed. If they are older and doing bigger routes I'd search out the hire place mentioned above and not risk their legs.
People managed without pads until a few years ago... even the black circuits. Some are pretty impressive but on the whole you don't need one. It is, perhaps, a different approach to climbing though, doing circuits within one's level rather than working single problems with multiple attempts and falls. Falling off was still common but less frequent and not from quite so high.