Yesterday I ventured out again to the first sector I had located to warm up and met some lovely people in their mid fifties and they were going bouldering too. I asked if they knew where the Bison sector was and they invited me to go with them after they had warmed up where I was already doing so.
After the warm up we walked through the forest for another three minutes and my eyes opened wide with much delight as I saw the most amazing boulder field I had seen. They were absolutely everywhere. I was like a kid in a candy store. This was why I had come here in the first place, to go bouldering in arguably the best place on earth to do it. This is a boulders Mecca.
The big question was where to start? What do the colours on the rocks mean? What do the numbers mean? The colours used indicate the difficulty of the circuit. White (children’s routes), yellow (easy), orange (moderate), blue (difficult), red (technical and difficult), black (extremely difficult) and white (just plain outrageously difficult). I wonder still why there are two white grading and if confusion gets in the way of a good time.
Despite the confusion at first and the language barrier, we managed to clear up any issues and started to play. I had a great time here, so much fun! Although I was by myself most of the time. So I took it upon myself to get in touch with my inner Alex Honnold and ended up free soloing with a crash pad on the ground. Some of the routes although extremely small boulders, were very difficult to complete and I fell off a lot!
I discovered when I climbed with Kate last night that this sector was possibly the oldest sector in Fontainebleau and had been recently rejuvenated (pretty colours re painted for the circuits). The grades are “Old Skool” and the rock is worn. Ironically at a granular level the feel of the rock is very similar to Red Rocks in Las Vegas. There are just simply no holds at all at times and its all balance and technique that gets you through. A totally different style of climbing to what I have experienced thus far on my adventure.
Apart from the bouldering: Staying in Barbizon was truly wonderful and if you decide to stay here, I suggest staying at the Budget Inn Barbizon. Joel and his very friendly staff are truly awesome and made the experience away from the rocks wonderful indeed. 🙂
Eating in town is a well worth it and I tried the following three places:
- Le Biches
- Le Grille de la Provence
- La Boheme