Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Coquibus Longs Vaux

My plan for my last day in Font was to climb at Coquibus Longs Vaux on the way out of the Fontainebleau area. However, we woke up today to everything being soaked and climbing was not looking very likely. This area was on the way to Normandy so I convinced my parents to take a look anyways. Coquibus Longs Vaux is a very small area of Font that would likely see little to no traffic if it were not for the Fata Morgana bloc, a large 45 degree roof with a plethora of hard climbs located on it. After a little bit of wandering I stumbled upon the boulder only to find a thin layer of frost and dew covering both the underside and topout. I was impressed by the boulder, which includes Dave Graham's Satan I Helvete 8b, in my opinion the best looking line on the bloc, and Fata Morgana 8a. The lines past this do much less for my tastes, most of which make links or add sit starts between these two lines., The others including Dai Koyamada's Angama 8c, Sebastian Frigault's Satan I Helvete Assis 8c, Fata I Helvete 8b/8b+ and Fata Morgana Assis 8b. The possibilities would do even the Centaur proud! After a bit it was time to move on and we walked back towards the car.

The bloc with Satan I Helvete climbing from the small rail to the left at the bottom of the prominent crack. It climbs up the crack, busting out to the arete and then to the top. Fata Morgana goes from the same rail to the furthest chalked pocket out right.

Hand print in the frost.

Font Photo Dump

La Bérézina, 7c, Bas Cuvier.

Eclipse, Col de Chien


The dog head boulder which gives Cul de Chien its name.

L'autre Toit, 7b+, Col de Chien.

The Maxx, 7c+, Cul de Chien.

The Maxx. This climb comes out the opposite side of the roof from Eclipse. Another climb very much so dependent on toe and heel tension. Unlike the others however, once one is spread out between the lip and under the roof, one gets to cut the feet and take the huge swing.

Biceps Mou, 7b, Bas Cuvier.

La Gaule, 7c, Bas Cuvier. These pictures do not do this climb justice. The boulder is much larger than it appears and while it may look straightforward, it has some of the more perplexing double arete climbing out there. Font's answer to the Mirrormask (or more accuratly Mirrormask is Mt Evans answer to La Gaule).

Helicopter, 7a, with the final jug in the center of the frame just below the lowest tree branch.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Font Days Two Three and Four

I woke up after my first day in Font completely stiff and sore, something I cannot remember being from climbing outside ever. My second day was a rough one, where I struggled on many climbs in the 7a to 7b range and only ended up sending Helicopter, a very fun 7a with a dynamic last move to a jug. My attempts with this climbed ended in me falling on my back and missing the crash pad last trip, so I was a little hesitant on the last move which I assume, due to the swing one takes, is what gave the climb its name. The rest of the day was spent trying new and old things and meeting a few French climbers who were both nice and extremely strong (as in 50+ years old and climbing 7c+). After not feeling my best I decided to take the next day off. We went into Fontainebleau and toured the chateau, an enormous complex that served as the King's escape from Paris. Late in the afternoon I eneded up returning to Bas Cuvier for an hour and wsa able to do Biceps Mau 7b, Holly Molly 7a+, and an unnamed 7a. For Christmas today I was able to get out for a bit and decided to go to Col de Chien, the home of one of the best blocs in Font. I had wanted to do Total Eclipse and after watching Dave Graham effortlessly cruise the bottom section of this climb over and over I felt that it would unlock itselve upon my arrival. Well this did not go as planned and the roof baffled me as much as it had on my last visit. I worked a number of the climbs that go out various sections of this well featured bloc and at the very end of the day I was able to climb Eclipse, 7c. This is one of my favorite climbs I have ever done and the movement is as good as any out there.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

La Charcuterie Video

Here is an unedited video of me doing a cool 6c+ in Bas Cuvier called La Charcuterie.

Day One in Font, Bas Cuvier

I arrived in Font yesterday evening after flying from Denver and then meeting my parents outside of Paris. This morning we headed to Bas Cuvier, probably THE most classic area in Fontainebleau. I checked out a few problems I had tried two years ago and then a handful of new ones. I did La Charcuterie, a very cool 6c+, which was a climb that had baffled me last time I tried it. I also worked La Ballance, a very classic sloper 7c+ problem but could not manage to do the last move. After some tries on L'aerodynamic, a cool 7c jump start problem, I hiked around to find a couple of problems I had seen pictures of but were not in the guide book. I found both of the main ones I wanted to, Neverland and Imothep, which each climb some of the more rad shaped boulders out there. Neverland turned out to be one of the most confusing problems I have ever tried and I was only able to figure out the moves at the end of the thing. Imothep did not have a landing suited well for one pad so I ended up not trying it. So after a day of climbing here is what I have concluded: Ute Pass does not prepare you for open-handed slopers, jet lag is no good, big french meals are amazing but dont lend themselves to helping you climb, and Font is still and always will be one of the best climbing areas in the world. The first photo is L'aerodynamic, the second Infidele, and the last two La Balance.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I have not posted in a while mostly just cause I have not been getting any photos or video recently. The weather has been the suck in the Springs, which has resulted in a lot of 2 hour Ute Pass sessions after class with a propane heater and lots of chalk. I have been working Daddy Fat Sacks the last couple times I have been at the pass and it is coming together nicely. I would really like to climb it before break but I split two tips on it today so we will see how that goes. I have fallen at the very end a number of times. Tomorrow I am going up to the pass for some last ditch efforts. On Wednesday I fly over to Europe for a a week in Font and then a week in Paris. The forecast shows at least a few consecutive days of cold and dry weather. On the 4th of January, it is off to San Francisco to meet up with Simon and head to Bishop until the 20th. Probably will not get a chance to update much while traveling but I will post a lot of stuff when I get back.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

From the Archives

I was looking through pictures today for the ever demanding JJ so he could droll over new V7s to do at Ute and I found this photo of Byron. I believe this is the single day that I have climbed with Byron and for the fact that Byron had not been climbing for months due to a should injury he sure killed the crux move of Daddy Fat Sacks.