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COLLANA LUOGHI VERTICALI

Jacky Godoffe

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Isatis Cuvier Cuisinière Apremont Salamandre Rocher Canon Rocher d’Avon Gorges du Houx Rocher Cassepot Rocher du Calvaire Rocher de Bouligny Rocher Saint Germain Rocher des Demoiselles Mont Ussy – Roche Hercule

EDIZIONI VERSANTE SUD


First edition: 2010 ISBN: 978-88-87890-65-5 Copyright Š 2008 VERSANTE SUD Milano via Longhi, 10, tel. 027490163 www.versantesud.it All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers. Cover

Michael Wilhelm (N. Altmaier www.NicolasAltmaier.de)

Text

Jacky Godoffe (bleauabloc@versantesud.it)

English translation

Melanie Roberts

Maps

Chiara Benedetto

Editing

Chiara Benedetto

Symbols

Chiara Benedetto

Printed by

Monotipia Cremonese snc (CR)

Note Climbing is a potentially dangerous sport in which participation is entirely at your own risk. All the information in this guide has been updated based upon information at the time of publication, however it is vital to evaluate every situation yourself before placing yourself in a life threatening situation or to seek the advice of experienced and qualified individuals.


Jacky Godoffe

FONT À BLOC Bouldering in Fontainebleau

EDIZIONI VERSANTE SUD


INDEX and MAP

4

Introduction Technical introduction Legend

6 8 12

1 - ROCHER DU CALVAIRE

14

2 - MONT USSY – ROCHE HERCULE

18

3 - ROCHER CASSEPOT

26

4 - ROCHER SAINT GERMAIN

32

5 - ROCHER CANON

44

CUVIER 6 - BAS CUVIER 7 - CUVIER BIVOUAC 8 - CUVIER REMPART 9 - CUVIER MERVEILLE 10 - CUVIER RECONNAISSANCE 11 - CUVIER MARE À PIAT

58 62 88 94 114 118 128

APREMONT 12 - APREMONT GORGES OUEST 13 - APREMONT GORGES CENTRE 14 - APREMONT GORGES EST 15 - APREMONT ENVERS 16 - VALLON DE LA SOLITUDE 17 - APREMONT SULLY 18 - APREMONT BIZONS

132 136 146 156 156 170 176 182

FRANCHARD ISATIS 19 - ISATIS CENTRE 20 - HAUTES PLAINES 21 - SABLONS 22 - VOLTANE CARRIERS

192 196 218 224 228

FRANCHARD CUISINIÈRE 23 - CUISINIÈRE CENTRE 24 - CUISINIÈRE SUD 25 - CUISINIÈRE ERMITAGE RAYMOND

232 236 256 272

GORGES DU HOUX 26 - GORGES DU HOUX 27 - PETIT PARADIS

280 284 294

28 - SALAMANDRE 29 - ROCHER DES DEMOISELLES

298

30 - ROCHER DE BOULIGNY

318

31 - ROCHER D’AVON

326

Summary table

334

304


MELUN

PARIS-A6 MELUN D142

PARIS-A6

6-11

5

D606

D607

BARBIZON

12-18

3

4

MACHERIN

N

2 MILLY

23-25 19-22

D409

26-27 rond point de 28 l’Obélisque

D301

29

1

AVON

FONTAINEBLEAU

31D606 30

D58

D607

D152 URY

NEMOURS-A6

Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy, ANGLE BEN’S, 7a (P.-A. Chouvy - www.bleau-a-bloc.com)

5


INTRODUCTION Total happiness! What a feeling if you don’t already know Fontainebleau and are about to discover this magic place. From the very first pages of this guide you will understand why its sandstone boulders are the most famous in the world of climbing. However if you already know the woods this guide will give you, thanks to the explanations, drawings and photos, a clear and effective means to choose a problem. Given that every climber has a preferred style I’ve made sure that the descriptions mean that you can find the boulder that is exactly the right fit for you. It is with great pleasure that I give you the chance to choose your next objectives at a glance, sharing with you this wood that I have always considered a fantastic garden. This first volume presents the sectors close to the city of Fontainebleau. A second guide will cover the sectors around Milly la forêt while the third and last volume will be dedicated to the peripheral sectors (around Nemours and the Ferté Alais), to secret areas and traverses. Given the huge expanse of the wood it is impossible to cover everything so it was necessary to make some choices. I therefore propose a selection of boulders in the middle to high grades, around the 7th grade, though I would like to stress that the line is more important than the number… the other criterion on which the choice is based is the variety of sectors. Apart from the well known and over crowded sectors I will take you on a “walk” in the heart of the woods, far from the parking areas, so you can feel the magic of this place. A quick note on the boulders situated in the more peaceful areas. As they are climbed much less often it could be useful, if not necessary, to bring a brush with you: sometimes the beauty of the line makes the effort of brushing worthwhile. Make sure not to use metal brushes that ruin the rock but something softer. Before the arrival of climbers it was hikers who walked and explored every corner of this magnifi8

cent wood. There are many walks marked in blue, and today the markings from A to Z are also used to find the boulders. Even with directions and the guidebook in your pocket it is not always easy to find the boulders and this search, taking a longer or shorter time, is itself part of the enjoyment of climbing in these surroundings! It is not an indoor wall but a natural playground that you let yourself (re)discover. Leave yourself to be transported by the fascination of the wood. Don’t forget that climbers’ are not the only visitors to the wood, nature has to be shared and everyone has to make an effort even if only by not leaving any trace of your passage (cigarette butts, paper, chalk….). Talking of respect for the area small gestures should be enough to preserve the rock and allow climbing to remain enjoyable for future visitors. There is no need to say that holds should absolutely not be chipped and it is warmly recommended to clean your shoes before climbing so as not to alter the legendary friction of the rock of Fontainebleau.


Martin Mayer, Bas Cuvier (N. Altmaier www.NicolasAltmaier.de)

9


TECHNICAL INTRODUCTION Some practical information before starting

Addresses and web sites to consult

PERIODS AND SEASONS RECOMMENDED FOR CLIMBING IN FONTAINEBLEAU

www.gites-seine-et-marne.com www.gites-de-france-essonne.com www.resa77.fr

The temperature is rarely very cold; the main problem is the level of humidity that is often very high whatever the time of year. After rain it is advisable to search out the sectors that are more exposed to the sun and to the wind, unfortunately these are relatively rare close to Fontainebleau (chiefly Apremont and Cuvier Rempart). Spring and autumn are the best seasons for climbing in Fontainebleau due to the colours of the woods and the pleasant temperatures, ideal also for family outings. The best friction conditions are found in winter due to the cold, but the air is often humid so you need to be extremely motivated to climb, above all in January and February. In the summer it is practically impossible to climb due to the heat. USEFUL LINKS Area As a supplement to information on climbing in Fontainebleau the site http://bleau.info/ is still a reference point: it describes many problems, updates the number of repeats and offers photos and videos. The Dutchmen who created it have also published a guidebook 7+8, a must! Weather As regards the weather the following link gives reliable forecasts for a three-day period for the city of Fontainebleau, it is not very reliable after 72 hours. http://france.meteofrance.com/france/ m e t e o ? P R E V I S I O N S _ P O R T L E T. path=previsionsville/771860 Sleeping Around Melun, the biggest city of the Seine and Marne, it is relatively easy to find hotels. In the city there is also a campsite. Regarding farm holidays, Bed & breakfasts and campsites the towns around the woods offer numerous possibilities.

10

Hostels (booking compulsory): Base Régionale de Plein Air et de Loisirs de BOIS-le-ROI UCPA Rue de Tournezy 77 590 BOIS-le-ROI tel. 01 64 84 33 00 or Sylvie JEANMICHEL : 01 64 81 33 16 Web : http://boisleroi.ucpa.com EMail : boisleroi.cial@ucpa.asso.fr Base Régionale de Plein Air et de Loisirs de BUTHIERS 73, rue des roches 77 760 BUTHIERS Tel. 01 64 24 12 87 Web : www.base-de-buthiers.com Email : bpa-buthiers@wanadoo.fr Le ROCHETON Centre International UCJG / YMCA 77 000 LA ROCHETTE Tel. 01 64 37 29 37 web : www.rocheton.asso.fr LE BOIS du LYS Centre International de séjour 380 chemin du clocher 77 190 DAMMARIE-lès-LYS Tel. 01 64 37 15 27 Web : www.boisdulys.com Email: hebergement@boisdulys.com Camping out The National Parks Service has allocated two areas where it is possible to camp for free near the Maisons forestières of Bois-le-Roi and BourronMarlotte. Food There are no problems for eating and the city of Fontainebleau is full of life in the evening.


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

The hardest boulders in Fontainebleau

Logistics A car is indispensable in order to go climbing in the woods of Fontainebleau. Even if there are trains that arrive in the city, the distances to most of the sectors are too far to reach on foot.

8c

The circuits The first circuits were put up in the ‘40s when climbers trained at Fontainebleau to prepare themselves for alpine climbs. The linking of these circuits meant that you could reproduce conditions similar to an alpine route. The more recent circuits were put up in the ‘70s, when climbers started to seek out exploits on boulder problems and single moves. It is from that point on that the level of climbing evolved considerably. Today the circuits that are frequently climbed are regularly maintained so climbers can still put themselves to the test on the concatenation of these famous routes. The rock The sandstone of Fontainebleau is relatively “soft” with holds that are often compared to bars of soap: never very violent or sharp for the fingers. The only defect of the rock is that it dries very slowly and is more fragile after rain. Often, after heavy thunderstorms, you have to wait at least two days before being able to climb and longer on the north facing boulders. Style of climbing Generally there are few very overhanging boulders; most of the boulders are vertical or slightly overhanging slabs, a characteristic that makes the climbing very technical: physical strength is not sufficient while mastery of friction is necessary. N.B. to show consideration do not use metal brushes that can ruin the rock, we also recommend using a mat to clean from your climbing shoes the grains of sand that ruin the grain of the rock and make it slippery.

KHEOPS Cuvier Rempart sector, first ascent from sit start realised by Antoine Vandeputte (8b if start standing) LE DERNIER FLÉAU Cuvier Rempart sector, freed by Sébastien Frigault

8b+

LA FORCE DU DESTIN Franchard Cuisinière Ermitage sector, freed by Kevin Lopata GECKO Rocher de Bouligny sector, freed with sit start by Olivier Lebreton (8b standing start) DUNE Rocher de la Salamandre sector, climbed with sit start by Sébastien Frigault

8b

LA PIERRE PHILOSOPHALE Apremont Envers sector, freed by Fred Nicole L’APPAREMMENT Apremont Envers sector, sit start freed by Olivier Lebreton L’INSOUTENABLE LÉGÈRETÉ DE L’ÊTRE Franchard Isatis sector, first ascent Sébastien Frigault L’INSOUTENABLE LÉGÈRETÉ DE L’AUTRE Franchard Isatis sector, first ascent Sébastien Frigault SIDEWAYS DAZE Cuvier Rempart sector, freed by Dave Graham

Bibliography Escalade à Fontainebleau les plus beaux sites et blocs Jo Montchaussé, Françoise Montchaussé and Jacky Godoffe Editions Arthaud Escalade “hors pistes” à Fontainebleau 6 et + Jo Montchaussé, Françoise Montchaussé and Jacky Godoffe Editions Arthaud Bleau de grès six Dominique & Jean-Jacques Naëls Essential Fontainebleau Stone Country Fontainebleau Magique Jingo Wobbly Publishing 7 + 8: 1789 straight ups in Fontainebleau Bart Van Raaj

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LEGEND

ALTITUDE

BEST PERIOD

BEAUTY

DRYING DAYS

PARKING

9 6

TOTAL NUMBER OF PROBLEMS

3

100

FOR FAMILIES

3

NOT EXCITING

DIFFICULT

FOR BABIES

NICE

SUFFICIENT

NOT FOR BABIES

VERY NICE

GOOD

SPLENDID

VERY GOOD

+ SHORT BLOCKS

TICK

MEDIUM BLOCKS

DANGEROUS BOULDER

HIGH BLOCKS

BEAUTY OF PROBLEM * ** *** **** *****

12

OTHER INFOS

GPS COORDINATES

MARKED ELIMINATING ELIMINATING CIRCUITS LINE HOLD 1 1 1 1

2m


Javi Pec, DIVINE Dร CADENCE, 7b+ (A. Gonzรกlez)

13


58

Nicola Anzoni, CORTOMALTESE, 6c+ (M. Caminati)

CUVIER

BAS CUVIER - CUVIER BIVOUAC - CUVIER REMPART CUVIER RECONNAISSANCE - CUVIER MERVEILLE - CUVIER MARE À PIAT


There are often a huge number of climbers because the mythical boulders that have made Fontainebleau famous have almost all been opened here. Here as in no other area you will find a friendly atmosphere and you can exchange beta with local climbers. Some have climbed only in this sector for more than thirty years. Don’t be surprised to meet some “grandpa” topping out on a boulder that you find difficult even to start. Apart from the problems proposed you can put yourselves to the test on the circuits, there are five marked at Bas Cuvier amongst the most well known and the most challenging to link up. Some numbers for the Guinness book of records: the 42 problems on the red circuit for example, have been linked up in less than 20 minutes: incredible but true! the white circuit has been done in climbing boots and with a rucksack full of stones (of course there were no problems above grade 7 at that time but try to imagine climbing only one problem that way).

Moving away from Bas Cuvier along the “Route Mory”, or following the Dennecourt path marked in blue, you get to the sector called Cuvier Rempart where the grades are higher. A smaller number of problems than at Bas Cuvier but all characterised by exceptional lines. Be careful to follow the signed footpaths as it is easy to get lost in this vast area. Between Bas Cuvier and Cuvier Rempart some scattered boulders in the Cuvier Bivouac sector deserve a visit; the patience used in searching out the boulder will be more than repaid by the quality of the problems. A bit farther on along the Route Mory is the sector of the Merveille: as the name implies a real natural marvel. A few hundred metres behind the Merveille, the sector Reconnaissance offers great tranquillity with boulders in the middle grades and slightly lower than average height. Going still farther along the Route Mory you come across the Mare à Piat sector that brings a sense of adventure to the kingdom of boulders.

CUVIER

The Cuvier sector has always been thought of as a “laboratory of movement” since the first steps of climbers at the beginning of the last century. The closeness of the road, the quantity of problems and the quality of the sandstone still make it the most popular area of the woods.

In short the CUVIER sector hides some climbing treasures and remains today as yesterday the Mecca of bouldering at Fontainebleau. A temple to be respected where there remain projects to be opened by future generations

Tanja Wilz, LA NESCAFE, 6a (N. Altmaier www.NicolasAltmaier.de)

59


CUVIER

Parking N 48° 26.7600’ E 2° 38.2458’

APPROACH On the Route N7 between Barbizon and Fontainebleau at the « l’épine » crossroad. There are two parking areas on the side of the road, one in the direction of Paris the other in the direction of Fontainebleau. The first boulders of Bas Cuvier are already visible from the parking area. MELUN

PARIS-A6 MELUN D142

PARIS-A6

D606 BARBIZON

D607

MACHERIN

N

AVON D409

MILLY

FONTAINEBLEAU

rond point de l’Obelisque

D606 D58 D607

D152 URY

60

NEMOURS-A6

Jose Carlos GM, LA CLE, 6c+ (J. Pec - www.javipec.blogspot.com)


BAS CUVIER N

CUVIER REMPART

CUVIER BIVOUAC

Paris-A6

sentier bleu n°5

tunnel route Mory aire de stationnement du Carrefour de l’Epine

RECONNAISSANCE

MERVEILLE

MARE À PIAT

route du Luxembourg route nationale 7 D607

Fontainebleau

Michele Caminati, KHEOPS, 8b (M. Caminati)

61


BAS CUVIER

6

10 4

BAS CUVIER has always been a forge of movement since the origins of bouldering at the beginning of the 20th century. Here the best climbers of every era have imagined and climbed ever more difficult problems helped by the large number of boulders available, the proximity of the parking area and above all the characteristics of the rock: many slopers, slightly overhanging and a kind of climbing which requires a solid technical background. You will note many chipped holds, a practice that lasted only a few years between 1950 and 1960 due to the large number of climbers in that era and their common aim to progress. Today we know that improving the holds is not part of the game: a fundamental rule of bouldering. For each era there are boulders that we can cite as reference points and that have become the symbol of a style and class of climber: all problems which even today should definitely be tried. In the ’50s MARIE ROSE was without doubt the 6a with most attempts at Fontainebleau; in the ’70s the first 7a: L’ABATTOIR, that is still today a serious challenge; in the ’80s the strength required to do ABBÉ RÉSINA represented a turning point, a real watershed with respect to boulders freed before that point. In the wake of this more “athletic” tendency the must of the ’90s became LA BALANCE. From then on almost all problems have been freed, but that which is most striking is the increase in the number of climbers and hence the methods used for climbing: a diversification that on one side has eliminated the morphological differences between climbers and on the other side has brought two very different types of climbing:

Height of boulders: from 3 to 5 metres

+

62

3

100

118

compression on slopers and crimping on “finger nail” micro holds. Leaving room for everyone to take their preferred style to the limit. One of the emblematic examples of this evolution from the start of the new millennium is the new IMOTHEP that combines compression moves with an out of the ordinary level of exposure (the boulder is about 5 metres high), and RAIDEUR DIGESTE: slab on microscopic holds very rarely repeated because of the strength and technique required. There are very few lines still to be exploited, all characterised by the need for both a lot of strength and technical ability. APPROACH On the Route N7 between Barbizon and Fontainebleau at the « l’épine » crossroad. There are two parking areas on the side of the road, one in the direction of Paris the other in the direction of Fontainebleau. The first boulders of BAS CUVIER are already visible from the parking area.

5 MARKED CIRCUITS 1

Orange

Type of Climbing: slopers Length of approach: none

1

Blue

1

Red

Parking N 48° 26.7600’, E 2° 38.2458’ IMOTHEP N 48° 26.9112’, E 2° 38.3428’

1

Black

1

White


FONTAINEBLEAU

vers Rempart sentier bleu n째 3 D607

35 34 36 33

44 32 30 3837

31

28

26 3

24

N

25

14 15 17 18

16

12 13

route de la solitude

2 4

11

23

20 21

45

39 40

27

m.

route du Sanglier

41

29

0 30

43

42

10

1 6

5

46 7 8

22

9

19

PARIS 63


6 BAS CUVIER

BOULDER 1 A - LA LILI 6c ** A superb and technical pillar in spite of a limitation: the holds on the left are out of bounds B - LA POGNE 6a * A bit painful for the left hand

BOULDER 1 C - LA CROIX DE FER 7b * Often covered with moss as rarely repeated

BOULDER 2 A - COUP DE BAMBOU 6c * Sit start, a not very high boulder

64

1

1


6 BAS CUVIER

BOULDER 3 A - 6b * A dyno move on a great vertical face

BOULDER 4 A - AERODYNAMITE 7c **** A reference point for dyno starts, easier for taller people

22

B - AERODYNAMITE ASSIS 7c+ ** Sit start, ball on the right out of bounds and combination of unintuitive moves to avoid the dyno start C - LE TROU DU SIMON 6a *** Superb mantle

4

D - L’EMPORTE PIECE 6a * 2 Interesting and original crack problem where you need to avoid remaining inside the crack

BOULDER 5 A - LA POIGNE 6c * Technical slab principally because not much for feet

22

B - PLATINIUM 7a * Very demanding for the feet

65