Thursday, 19 March 2009

The Forest

Last year we only managed one trip to Font, which was over the Easter weekend and was a complete failure with the exception of one thing. This thing was that we realised that it was possible to drive to Font and back for a long weekend, thus saving a whole lot of money on flights, car-hire etc.

As it had been almost a year since we last visited we checked the weather forecast for the weekend, asked for a couple of days off work and set off down the A1. I'm not going to pretend that it isn't just the tiniest bit epic to undertake this journey for just a weekend, but it is well worth making the effort.

We arrived at the campsite on Thursday evening a more than a little road-weary, but were glad to get the tent sent up, listen to the magpies bicker and enjoy a cold French beer before turning in for the night.

Friday (the 13th) was one of the most enjoyable days I think I've ever had in the Forest and we ended up climbing for almost seven solid hours. Bas Cuvier was first, as it has always been my favourite venue. I managed to repeat Biceps Mou for the first time since 2002, managed Carnage first shot and just had a great time trying lots and lots of classic problems. Anna managed to lose a hell of a lot of skin on Cortomaltese, which is becoming the theme for all of our visits to Font. Hopefully she'll put that one to bed next visit.

Haute plains was next on the Agenda as Anna really wanted to do Solitaire after trying it back in 2007. Footage below

Job done, we immediately left Haute Plains in favour of Cuisiniere, so that Anna could do Bizzare Bizzare. This took a little more work, but was still dispatched very quickly and we then finished off the day trying Sanguine I had flashed this back in 2007, but couldn't touch it last Easter and it took a few attempts this time round. Anna is going to have to work on Hip/Hamstring flexibility to get the high heel in like I use in the video below.

Saturday we woke up broken from the ridiculously long session the day before, but Anna was keen to get on some more sevens. We tried a little problem up at a new area of Coquibis, but it had a disgusting top out so we went to Roche aux Sabots. Needless to say it was ridiculously busy given the good weather and the fact that it was the weekend. Thankfully no-one was under le Jeu du Toit so I quickly set about finding an efficient sequence (for a change) for the crux. Anna has made a very short film of this, which is below.

Shortly after this it started to drizzle, so we went off to got some provisions and set about having a look at my project. I photographed some of the holds so that I could remember how to train for it before we go back.

By Sunday we were fully exhausted, but went to 95.2 for a play and then finished off the trip by going to Isatis. For the first time in seven years I got a row for using magnesie by a guy climbing with a pof-bag round his waist. He also told us that a soft brush was bad for the rock, but it was somehow ok for me to whip the chalk off the rock with my heavyweight whack. With that, we decided we were better off calling it a day and returned to camp.

It was fantastic to have a last-minute trip to Fontainebleau and remarkably I was even relatively coherant at work on Tuesday.

The only downside of a trip like this, is that we have missed two campus sessions.

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