Posted: January 15, 2014
After a quick 15 hour flight from Salt Lake City-Chicago-Dublin and finally Paris, the once far away magical forest of Fontainebleau was within my grasp. I love returning to an area 10 years later for its as if I had never been, everything fresh and new but still so familiar, a bit of deja vu was clearly present. We snatched up our spiffy French car and hit the road, after sussing out our living sitiuation with a good friend the time had come to attack the precious boulders. Unfortunately the ever present moisture and dew had devoured the boulders and never seemed to evaporate. Climbing in Fontainebleau is by far one of the most technical styles of rock in the world, its also extremely temperature dependent. The conditions were completely horrible, and even the thought of projecting anything above the warmup grade was out of the question. It was fun for a day or two but after 3 weeks of the continuous let down, my mind began to go a little cuckoo. Nearing the end of our France adventure, in hopes of being in the best shape ever and ready to give the full on Utahn invasion of Great Britian, the exact opposite was at hand, too much delicious pastries, wine and cheese mixed with no climbing, made for some ruff times ahead.
With the dreams of Fontainebleau behind us it was time to venture onto the next chapter. England! Sheffield!
I was able to climb one of Fred Nicole's classic hard problems on a short trip to ticino right after new year. I hadn't been down there in quite a while so I was very excited to climb on good old swiss gneiss once again! As some snow dropped down at the higher spots the days before we arrived the desicion was made to climb at Cresciano. We got there in the afternoon and just climbed around randomly, enjoying the rock and the forest and meeting people I hadn't seen in a while...
Me on the crux move of La Proue. Photo: Korni Obleitner
The following day we went all the way over to the La Boule sector as I was keen to get on "La Proue". It's a short and powerful line established by Fred in the late 90's of the past century, classic and quite technical, around 8B. I had randomly tried it every once in a while over the past years but with little success... I kinda expected it to be the same this time but to my suprise I felt stronger on it. I stuck the crux move for the first time that day and fell off on the next one because I kinda had no clue what to do after... So the plan was to rest one day, return back, warm up, then first do the upper part isolated to get the beta and then start from the bottom again.
Being a lazy b**ch and full of confidence on my return two days later I thought it for sure will go without sticking to the plan. So again, I stuck the crux move perfectly and yes, again I punted somehow and fell off. I did try the upper moves after that, figured out the foot-moves which are the tricky part but the power was gone and I couldn't get up there anymore... Idiot.
The following day was my last chance. It was sunnier and warmer as the days before and the tries didn't feel good, I was pretty sore as well from the day before. I made a long rest until 30 minutes before it got dark and started my last set of tries, already making up plans in my mind of returning the next weekend because I didn't feel like it would go anymore