Fontainebleau Climbing Trip
During the October school half term holiday, Jurassic Climbing Academy drove through the night for a week of world-class bouldering in the magical forest of Fontainebleau, France. Leaving cold and blustery conditions in the UK behind. We were welcomed by blue skies, golden autumn sunshine which was shining through the yellow and orange trees of Font. Outstanding memories where created that none of us will ever forget.
We camped only 20 minutes away from many of the bouldering areas at the ‘Les Pres’ Campsite. Making it easy and accessible to visit as many areas as possible.
Roche aux Sabots – Saturday
For the first day, Saturday, we went to Roche aux Sabots where there were many climbers from all over the world. However, the forest is so vast and versatile that the amount to climbers was well spread out. We were surrounded by endless problems that we were itching to jump on. One of the main problems we tried that day was ‘Lucifer’ a 7b+. An amazing route with almost non-existing footholds, let alone tiny crimps for your hand. Unfortunately, I didn’t complete this route but I’m still thinking about it today and am desperate to go back and give it another go. At the end of this day, a quick trip to the supermarket, a big meal and an early night was needed by us all.
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Rocher Cailleau – Sunday
On day two Anna and I both achieved a slab 6b+, a high boulder with an uneven landing surface to fall on, which made it that much scarier! That day Anna found a 6c Climb that suited her style, however, the top-out was terrifying with no clear edges and it was by far the hardest move of the route. Every try she got better and better but the sunlight was running out, so was the skin on her fingers! We decided to call it a day and potentially come back later on in the week.
Fontainebleau Palace – Monday
The first two days were blessed with amazing weather conditions, however, for the third day, we were chased by the rain. We decided to go to Fontainebleau Palace which was a historical trip back into Napoleonic times.
Gorges d’Apremont – Tuesday
After a bit of an epic trying to find the exact area, we were looking for we had a fantastic days climbing. The problems were fantastic and I was so close to sending my first Font 7a boulder problem. But it wasn’t to be as my fingertips and toes gave up the battle on the sharp edge holds. The problems at Apremont were so cool and such good fun.
95.2 – Wednesday
We had a good go at ‘Smarty Pants’, a classic problem, however, it was not suited to our style of climbing so we set out further into 95.2 in search of more challenges. We found ourselves in a beautiful location with short easy boulders and long traverses to get us going again, leading us into harder boulders. There were a lot of other climbers from Germany and Norway who we met and worked on problems with. We exchanged contacts and are hoping to soon give them the Jurassic climbing experience back in the UK.
Rocher Cailleau – Thursday
We went back to Anna’s 6c project, which I then also had a go at. It was the perfect temperature and everything looked promising, however after changing the beta and learning from each other’s styles we still weren’t able to finish it. We are both determined to come back to this excellent problem to finally send it!
Disneyland, Paris – Friday
For our last full day, we drove to Disneyland Paris (a must go location for rest days) to end an amazing week in France.
Rocher Guichot – Saturday
We were packed and ready to drive home on Saturday. However, we couldn’t leave without going to do one last climbing session. Despite the cold weather we wanted to climb as many problems possible. So we found loads of great ones at Rocher Guichot to round off a perfect week.
Every day was special, I feel privileged to have been a part of it. We all loved every second of it and want to do it all over again. A big thank you goes to the outstanding coaching that Anna, Amy and I received From Paul Jackson, Head Coach at Jurassic Climbing Academy. To Dawn Jackson for always being there every day, having food at the ready to fuel us up, and to motivate us when we needed it the most. And also thanks to our sponsor’s Friction Labs.
If anyone is thinking of having a similar experience to this please contact us, and we will be happy to help.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.
Katia McCrudden – Apprentice Coach at Jurassic Climbing Academy