Fontainebleau Bouldering – 10 Tips for Your First Trip to Font

Fontainebleau Bouldering – 10 Tips for Your First Trip to Font

Fontainebleau is a world-class
bouldering venue with a whole array of problems for all levels and abilities
and what we’ve done is we’ve come up with 10 tips for your first time to
Fontainebleau through our years of experience of visiting this magical
place Fontainebleau is a fantastic place to visit
it’s got so much rock, so many different venues to choose from but planning your
first visit it is worth considering the time of year that you go – if you’re going
with your friends and family and you want a nice chill-out time then summer/
autumn is a great time to go. it’s nice and warm. If you’re wanting the best out
of the friction and the best out of the rock then a spring or winter visit is an
even better time to go, but you will have to prepare to weather the cold and
shorter daylight hours. Tip number two is understanding the colored circuits and
the different symbols used in Fontainebleau. throughout Fontainebleau
they’ve got colored circuits painted on to the rock; these cover a range of
grades. yellow circuit is generally the easiest and then there’s an orange
circuit, blue circuit ,red and then normally either white or black will be
the harder circuit problems. all these circuits do overlap a little bit so
there will be yellows that are harder than some of the oranges. they give you a
rough idea of how hard they’re gonna be and what you’ll have is a series of
anything from 30 to 40 problems around the forest all numbered with arrows
showing you where the climbs are for your first time to font, these are
really great – you can just follow them around and get a whole day’s climbing
following the arrows as you move around the forest. there are also specialist
kids circuits designed for younger children to climb up; these will be
painted with white arrows. once you’ve had a go at all the colour circuits then
there are plenty of off circuit problems to look at as well which are all shown
in the guidebooks but they can be a little tricky to find as they often don’t have any arrows showing you where they are on the rock so here you can see there’s an orange
arrow showing this is problem number 38 and it shows you a rough direction that
the boulder problem goes in. this example shows blue problem 8.
they’re also dots painted on the rock these normally denote footholds of
climbs often showing you where you should start a boulder problem, where
your feet need to be to start the boulder problem so in this example we can see we’ve got
a starting foothold again we climb up to the break you can see the arrow then
turns so we traverse the break and then there’s another second arrow showing
that you then want at this point to move upwards. dots with arrows on
them are used as little signposts, little guides to get you from one boulder
problem to the next boulder problem, so they’ll show you the direction to travel
in to get to the next boulder problem. so we can see an example of that here – we’ve
got orange 13 boulder problem which climbs up and then just next to that
we’ve got an orange dot with an arrow telling us to travel in this direction
once we’ve done our boulder problem, you see there’s a second one here pointing
us to continue going in this direction and following that on we get to orange
14 the next boulder problem in this circuit. so tip number three is getting a
decent guide book and over our experience of many many guide books
we’ve found these ones in particular to be very good. they have pictures of the
problems with the routes drawn on them which is very easy and clear to find.
it’s also got very good bird’s-eye view topo of the areas and alongside the
different problems they’re numbered in accordance to what you find on the
ground and the actual problems themselves. they’ve also got a given
grade as well so you can see what grade it is ,what grade the problem is. most have got
a little bit more information as well so it’s got how high the border problem is
and a little bit about whether it’s a traverse or what kind of problem it is.
another source of information that you can get is bleau info and this is the
definitive information site for all problems in fontainebleau. it’s very good,
very easy to use if you want to find out a little bit of beta on a particular
problem – just bring up the menu, bring up the search bar and type in the name of
your problem. that brings up the area a bit more information about it as well as
some photos and maybe some videos as well ,so you get to see other people
climbing it see which holds you can use get a little bit of beta on some tricky
sequences. another good thing about bleau info is that it also gives a band of
grades – so not everybody has a consensus on the grade for a particular climb so
it’ll give roughly how many people think it’s one grade or another just so you
give a better ballpark figure so unfortunately Fontainebleau does have
a bit of a history with car prime it is something to be aware of. I
recommend taking any valuables either with you or leaving them back at your
accommodation. that being said we’ve been to Fontainebleau lots of times and we’ve never
experienced it ourselves but there is evidence around of broken glass from
windows being smashed so make sure you move all valuables out of sight and another
thing we like to do is to leave the glovebox open so people can see that
there’s nothing hiding in there. tip number five – warming up. it’s always
important to warm up especially before climbing in font. we like to carry
a portable hang board – it’s super light and you can string it to one of the many
many branches in the forest it’s great for getting the arms working getting
some pull ups in there and also getting some recruitment in the fingers. it can also
be used to warm up the core as well and do some knee raises/ leg raises. It’s
overall a very good piece of kit that we have with us. we particularly like the
portable hang board because it lets us warm up without having to warm up
necessarily on easy climbs which does take a lot of skin, so the hang board
because it’s wood means that you save that little bit of extra skin when you
want to send projects. so tip number six is to make sure your climbing shoes are nice
and clean there’s lots of sand and dirt around in
Font and you often end up walking about in your shoes. we like to use a
little towel to clean our shoes and it’s also important to remember to brush off
the mat as well because a lot of the sand can fall off your shoes and end up
on the mat. having dirty climbing shoes whilst you’re climbing can damage the
rock, make it more polished and make it more likely you’re gonna fall
off. Fontainebleau is quite a unique style of climbing so at the beginning of your
trip do you start off on much easier problems, much lower grades than you
would normally. this will help you get into the style of the climbing, the
nature of the climbing so you’re just getting a feel for the rock before you
head off and look for bigger and harder projects. it can be very easy to get
carried away attempting a boulder problem in Fontainebleau so one thing
that we like to do is to use a rule of three and that means that we’ll give
something three really good goes and we don’t have to send the problem but if
we haven’t made any progress after three goes then it’s time to move on to
another problem. attempting the same moves over and over again wears the
skin quicker and it’s quite demoralizing falling off continuously. Fontainebleau is
quite good at taking off your skin – it’s very abrasive especially the tiny small
crimps and quartzite, so do look after your skin. if you feel it starting to
wear through and getting thinner and you’re still on a problem then tape up
your fingers as you attempt the problem just to save your skin a little bit, and
probably most importantly stop before you wear through your skin too much – you don’t want weepy bleeding skin. and when you
finish for the day make sure you wipe off all the chalk, get rid of the chalk and
wash it off and let your skin repair for the evening so that might mean putting
some cream on. there’s a range of creams out there, skin care products
but as long as each evening if you moisturise and get rid of the chalk and give
your skin a chance to heal overnight that’ll do you well for the rest of the
trip. so tip number ten is have fun! you’re on holiday, there to have fun, but
it can be very easy to get disheartened if you’re not sending your projects or
if you don’t think you’re not climbing the grade you should be climbing and to end
up coming away feeling like you haven’t had a good time. remember always
just try and have fun and don’t worry too much about the grades and enjoy
yourselves. thank you for watching, those are our top ten tips for Fontainebleau
if you’ve got any of your own tips then do drop them in the comment
section below go check out our vlogs that we’ve been
making of our road trips to font and we’ll see you in the next video Bye

8 thoughts on “Fontainebleau Bouldering – 10 Tips for Your First Trip to Font

  1. Hey guys, really loved this video, booked my first font trip two days ago and I am way too keen for it 😂

    Could you please tell me the make of the portable hangboard?

  2. Good tips!
    Start easy is definatly a good one, especialy for people who (mostly) climb indoor (like me).
    Most important tip clean shoes, respect the rocks, its sad how some of the boulders have been polished.
    Heading for Fontainebleau in two days, yeaaaaahaaaa.

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