Posted on 06. Apr, 2008 by in Fontainebleau


It wasn’t easy leaving Switzerland. We had perfect granite, awesome weather, and a lot of motivation. Fontainebleau is one place that could lure me away. “It is by far the best area in the world” “It blows Hueco Tanks away” “If you think Switzerland is amazing, wait until you go to Font.” The expectations were very high as we walked into Bas Cuvier, the most famous area in the forest. Perhaps a bit too high. I saw no less than 5 used condoms on the ground, and a lot of trash littered about. Several “classics” had horrendously chipped holds and many of the problems I had heard about were contrivances or variations. Some of the sandy smears had been covered with messy glue. All this while a steady drizzle dampened everything.


And now that I have gotten that out, I can say that the climbing here is amazing. There are 1789 problems 7a or harder. That means that the number of problems in Font V6 or harder is 500 more than the TOTAL number of problems in Hueco. I still haven’t seen a Slashface or a Dreamtime, but there are a lot of very good problems. Some areas have perfect beach sand landings. Others are tucked away in a beautiful forest. Rest days are spent climbing the Blue circuits in our tennis shoes. As is often the case with sandstone, the rock forms amazing shapes.



It has rained every day but one since we got here, so the pace has slowed a bit. That hasn’t stopped us from climbing on some very nice problems.

Fata Morgana bas 8B

Rolson on Eclipse 7C

“The Little Wizard” finds a good method on Neverland 8A

As well, Dave Graham has made the second ascent of Kheops Assis in a few tries over two days, which he downrated from 8C to 8B+. Dave is also close on an amazing project that will be very hard when completed.

10 Responses to “Fontainebleau”

  1. DT

    07. Apr, 2008

    Bonne chance en France JE. Good to see that you finally made it there!

  2. eb

    07. Apr, 2008

    Conquistadores (and Mégalithe), Tigre et Dragon and Partage are of course not Dreamtime, but worth checking out.

  3. bleausard

    08. Apr, 2008

    Well it sounds like you’ve found out about Font’s biggest problem –a city with 10 million inhabitants located a mere 40 miles away…from the all too famous Bas Cuvier. But still, bienvenue! and enjoy the rest forest and its classics (Duel, L’angle Parfait, La Pierre Philosophale etc)

  4. jojo

    08. Apr, 2008

    what you call “messy glue” is called “poff” and has been used by locals long before you even thought about bouldering in general… chalk therefore is not very appreciated in the forest bc it does no good to the sandstone. keep yourself informed, plz.

  5. TWAL

    08. Apr, 2008

    Hey JE,
    Is Daves new problem the large compression roof up high on the hill? It sounds like it would be this diving board looking stone we checked out years ago.
    Glad to see you finaly made it there. Congrats to Dave,amazing line! (if it’s what i think it is)

  6. jamie

    08. Apr, 2008

    First of all I am well aware of the difference between pof and glue. There are numerous problems at Bas Cuvier in which grey glue has been smeared on to prevent footholds from sanding. Nearly every single hand hold at Bas Cuvier is slick and disgusting from the use of pof. I have discussed this issue with some of the strongest climbers in Font and none of them use pof. In the US we have some very old sandstone areas the have seen almost no hold degradation whatsoever from the use of chalk, and in fact these areas are more than 50 years old. When used exclusively it seems obvious that chalk has no long term effects. I am not trying to change the ethic here in Fontainebleau, merely trying to express my disappointment.

  7. jamie

    08. Apr, 2008

    I agree wholeheartedly. We have been spending our time at some of the more quiet areas and have thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the magic forest. We are all amazed at the quality and quantity of climbing in the region.

  8. Linus

    09. Apr, 2008

    I can’t understand how people in Font can defend the use of pof. Pof is the only problem with the forest. The use of pof have distroyed many of the classic lines and also the most beautiful lines too. And like Jamie say, there is numerous of problems in Bas Cuvier with grey glue.

  9. campusmang

    09. Apr, 2008

    pfft u guys were misinformed, its pos
    agree’d about the chalk jamie,
    shoe rubber is merely the actual issue for sandstone

  10. Pascal

    10. Apr, 2008

    Don’t forget about Trip Hop, 8C. It’s still unrepeated as far as I’m aware.
    There may be more unrepeated boulders at font of this grade.

    Also, the number of boulders you mention are just what is in the latest guide. There are currently well over 2300 straight-ups, 900 traverses and 3200 variants registered graded 7a or harder with many unexplored boulders.

    In the meantime his boulder has been registered and named. Congratulations Dave.. Excellent achievement!

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