Monday, 9 April 2012

Evolv 1-0 Fontainebleau By Paul Walters

1200miles in a car, 130 boulder problems, 98 bottles of beer, pink finger tips, and a few tan lines, marks the end of another fantastic week in Fontainebleau.

I’ve always been told that Fontainebleau is best visited in either Easter or September, as the weather is decidedly cooler and a good level of friction can be had without the need for copious amounts of goose down to keep me warm..Turns out Easter can also be rather warm! After a chilly start to all seven days, the temperature was up to high teens by midday and knocking on the door of 20 by mid afternoon, toasty warm!

Regardless of the warmer than expected climate, it was a very successful week of climbing on the ever fascinating blocs that the areas of Fontainebleau have to offer.
I was in the area with a group who were on a coaching holiday with Make The Next Move. It’s always interesting taking a group outside especially if they have never experienced Fontainebleau
before. Some had never even bouldered outside before, so inevitably, they loved what they saw after only a few hours. The biggest learning curve for people that are use to standing on the humongous plastic holds offered by indoor walls is getting used to both the shiny and the small sized holds that you have to deal with on even the easiest of testpieces. As the days progressed and the group got better at weighting their feet, their shoes began to play a much bigger part in whether they succeeded on their ascent or not.

As usual, everyone took a selection of shoes on the trip, from “comfy old things” to high end down-turned monsters, and quite a lot in between. I was pleased to see the bandits holding their own but i was pleasantly impressed with my new Geshido lace ups. After some painful ‘breaking in’ due to the warm weather, they performed on everything that was put in their way, from the hideous and awesome slabs of Science Friction to steep monsters like Bus Stop. They’re my new all rounder, and a big step up from the bandits, will have to try out the velcros next ;)

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