After a late start today, I finally made it out to the boulders this afternoon. Of the endless supply of problems here in Fontainebleau, I only know a few. Also, I didn’t spend days pouring over climbing videos and books to put together a tick list. I just want to climb what looks good, regardless of what other people have to say. But I went against that and went to try one of the few roofs in Font, Eclipse.
I have to say first, Cul de Chien, the area where Eclipse is located, is maybe the most idyllic climbing area I’ve ever been. It rained a bit this morning, just enough to brighten the colors of the birch’s turning leaves, and the paths snaking through the sand and heather were now untrodden. After days of grey skies the clearing clouds almost seemed to cut into the blue.
I found Eclipse after some wandering and set into figuring out the movement. Starting in a good undercling and then shouldering out an opposing rail which is then matched and flipped to an undercling as well. After crossing right to a bad sloper, a high toe hook almost seems to invert you. To work the top of the problem, I was pulling on at the second undercling, and every time I moved off the right hand sloper, body feeling inverted, I took in the sky. Soon, I was falling off the last move from the beginning, and conditions were improving. A Polish couple came around the corner, and then, a few minutes later, a few Germans. My solitude had been interrupted, but company is always welcome.
Then it began to rain. Lightly at first. We pulled all the pads and gear under the roof, and I started to brush up the sit start to Eclipse. A skinny man with a baby appeared and stood under the roof out of the rain, which had picked up its pace. Rivulets of water were making their way down the walls, soaking the pockets and narrowing the dry ground. Three women, soaked, came out of the woods and joined us in our shrinking shelter. We talked mostly about climbing in our homes and climbing in Font as the dripping rivulets of rainwater brought us all closer and closer together. A brief tangent was made to make fun of me for being American. Donald Trump? How could that happen? Hardy har har. I’m glad to be in Europe, though it’s pretty hard to tear my eyes away from the train wreck that is American politics.