I’ve been to Fontainebleau many times since I became an obsessive boulderer over a decade ago. When you live in London, getting out into such a vast forest full of so many perfect boulders is such a joy and never gets old. There's one problem, however: The weather is a changeable and unpredictable beast. One week long trip last year was the first time, though, we’d really had to battle the elements.
An overnight rainstorm can quickly wipe out a large number of crags from your list of possible destinations. Suddenly you see everyone flocking to the same spots (ever wondered why Sabot is so polished?). I’ve been pretty fortunate, however, that I’ve never had a trip that’s been a complete wash out. Even this week when it would rain, and I mean REALLY rain, most days we managed to find places dry enough to climb. We explored the local areas close to our gite in La Vaudoué looking for short walk ins (or, more accurately, short escape routes) and wandered around to see what was dry. If the wind is up and in the right direction there can still be a surprising amount of problems available.
Even if we can’t get on something this time, it can be logged away for the future. On trips like this it becomes less about tick lists and grades and more about just getting on the rock and enjoying the forest. Less about getting stressed about things outside of your control and just enjoying the calm. There's always next time. And hey, there's always wine and cheese...
Climber videographer filmmaker photographer camera geek based in London