Friday, 14 October 2011

Indian Summer in Font

When the forces of destiny conspired that I would spend three autumnal weeks in Fontainebleau I knew it wouldn’t be the sub-zero perfection that I had on my last trip there over three years ago. However, being a man of numbers, average temperatures around 16 to 18 didn’t sound too bad. By definition of an average, for every warmer day there would hopefully be a cooler one in which the mythical friction would emerge in all its Velcro-like glory to allow some respectable ascents which I would report herein with barely concealed pride.
L'homme a la Dent Creuse 7B

What I did not expect was a fortnight long record-breaking heat wave that saw my designs of Bleau mastery melt away like dropped ice cream on the footpath. After drying my tears I realised there were only two things to do: 1) get tactical with early morning and late evening sessions on shady boulders with holds that I could bend to my will despite a total lack of friction, and 2) make the most of exploring the surrounding area with my lass.
La Coccinelle 7C+ 
Tactic 1 got me up a handful blocs up to 7C+ish, and tactic 2 revealed a whole world of places, sights, tastes and experiences I never would have had if I’d been on a single minded “climb-or-else” trip. So although my best laid plans went astray, it was a good lesson in accepting what you can’t change and making the most of what you can.

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