Work work work work work work work FONT work work

well it's been 6 weeks since I last posted, for a few reasons really: I have been in Font for a week, but I've also been abroad with work quite a bit, it's just getting busier and busier, with virtually everything except work and family having to take a back seat for the time being. In terms of climbing, before Font I managed to get a further few sessions in on the board, trying to increase the intensity. I have added a few difficult moves to the circuit of usual problems, and the target is to eventually be able to flash them one after the other. Unfortunately I'm a fair bit off that, but having a benchmark gives me ssomething to mark progress against and I could definitely feel gains with each session. So it was with some trepidation that I went to Font, the first visit with the future wad. She is just over 16 months old now, so has just started running about everywhere. I was interested to see how the trip would go, as it's soo far removed from having gone to Font previously. We didn't end up heading down until Easter Monday, as it was the better halfs 30th birthday on the Saturday and we had a cocktail party. mmm. After leaving at stupid o'clock we met up with Chris and family at Toddy services and caught the 11am ferry. The babies needed a couple of stops, but we arrived at the Gite around 5ish. I'd tried to book the Recloses gite as we've stayed there before, but they were booked up unfortunately. In the event, I had to go with a gite in Coudray which isn't far from Malesherbes, so a little further out, but nice and close to Buthiers. Overall this proved to be a bad decision however, and the proprieters were pretty unwelcoming, in spite of me being able to speak French fluently. everything seemed to be extra, and it just seemed to me that they couldn't be bothered. I won't be booking again... if I could find a place to review it, I would give it a roasting. anyway, we got settled in, and checked out the guide for the next day.
 In the morning, me and Taffa headed over to Buthiers by ourselves to check it out as it was close. The weather was good, in spite of the forecast. As we only had an hour, we decided to warm up with a view to trying something a bit harder in the afternoon, and set about getting used to Font again by working through the Orange circuit. I like buthiers, it's kid friendly, quite a few different circuits, and relatively easy to navigate. After doing most of the orange circuit we called it for lunch and headed back. Not long after we got back, the heavens opened and it pissed it down for most of the afternoon. It seemed that the weather forecast was correct. Nothing was going to be climbable, but we headed out in the evening after it had stopped to see what else there was to do there. The evening was spent mostly drinking cheap french wine and eating cheese...
Today was our wedding anniversary and a designated non-climbing day so we headed off with the little one over to Fontainebleau for a look at the Chateau. She spent most of the time trying to run into various bits of masonry, or else ambitiously trying to climb steps and jump down them. As the weather was so nice, we just wandered around the grounds - I hadn't realised how big the place is, but it's huge. it was really nice to relax in the grounds and take some sun in.. In the evening we had a meat fest on the barbecue with 5 different types of meat, including a heart meat kebab, which was really good.
I'd only managed about an hours climbing so far, and time was slipping away. As we had barely scratched Buthiers, we decided to head back and see what else was on offer. I wanted to get more done on the blue circuit and intersperse it with some of the white circuit. Taff was not feeling terribly fit, so was quite happy cruising on the oranges adn trying a few blues here and there. After getting warmed up, I managed to crush l'Envers des Fesses (font 6a) on my second go, which I was pretty pleased about, in spite of the graceless top out. After that I did a few blues and then got to the top out of la voie lactee, a quality 6a further on in the black circuit. I felt really solid, but during the top out, my foot slipped out of position and I came tumbling down - I was gutted not to top out, as I had it wired. In the end we didn't have time to come back to it unfortunately. It was a really good day, with quite a bit of climbing done. In the end, as we were knackered, we left by about 5 as the kids were getting tired too.

 Friday morning weather also looked clear, so we headed over to Roche aux Sabots as I haven't been for a while and wanted to have a look at Jet Set too. I knew it was probably a little beyond me, but I wanted to scope it out in any case.We ended up starting out late, but eventually made it by about half 11. The place was packed, should have expected that really, but it really was a bit too busy for me. All the decent problems had about 3 mats under them, so we had to start further in the circuits. However, after warming up on a few yellows, we got some of the blue circuit done. I also climbed a quality font 5, an overhang called Le Gout du Jour (red 26). This involved heelhooking an overhang, and was an awesome problem. throughout the day, I went back to Jet Set to see if it was free, and eventually it was, so I put my mat down. The starting move is harder than I was expecting, and involves a sidepull with optional rampy crimp up to a positivey left hand shelf. I was just getting to grips with the starting move, when it then started to rain. I gave it a minute or two, but it was clear that it wasn't stopping. This seemed to be the story of the week, and I'm pissed off I didn't get to give it a proper go. As the mums and babies were sitting in the rain, it seemed prudent to head back to the Gite. I was almost pleased that it didn't really clear up for the rest of the day. The thing about font is that there is so much to do there, I find it almost impossible to focus on just trying to climb fairly hard or climb a limited list of problems - there are so many good routes and I am easily distracted which usually means that by the time I focus on the problems at my limit, I'm beasted already. Ah well, what a great place though, I can't wait to be back. Next time I think I'll do it differently and on climbing days to go climbing early in the morning to be back for just after lunch. Otherwise it's about 11 am before everyone is rounded up and out of the gite, and then when little people get bored the game is pretty much over. anyway, font 2012 was a good marker for future trips, and I might be back there with work anyway before too long.
 After a quick visit to Cite europe for wine and cheese, we got back to the uk in the afternoon.
Now I need to get fit again.

Over the next weeks it looks like I'm going to get very little done, as I'm off to france all next week, then it looks like I'll be working in the US for at least a couple of weeks. I may get out in June, you never know.............


  1. Nice one Beast. As ever, the perfect source of Psyche!!!
    Cadshaw sometime?

  2. HA. Yes yes, Cadshaw needs a visit soon. I'm away for the next few weeks it looks like, but by then the weather looks like it should be picking up. Summer is perfect time for Cadshaw if you can ignore the midges...

  3. Moving house shortly so hopefully have a new board and some time to get out in a month or six. Woohoo.


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