Thursday, 15 January 2009

Snowy Font

I have never gotten on with Font at the best of times, but lack of funds and dictated holiday periods made Bleau in January sound like not too bad an idea.

We arrived late on Saturday and woke up to cold, but decent conditions on Sunday. Still tired from our trip we wandered around nearby Buthiers scoping out potential projects. Sadly, this was to be our best day out. It snowed on Tuesday and the temperature never got above -5C.

The rest of the week was spent attempting to clean problems and giving up in despair as you can never seem to get all of the ice off the slopers and given that this is Font, nearly every problem contains at least one requisite sloper. Also, our fingers and toes would pretty much go instantly numb. One day our car thermometer registered 12F (-11C) in the afternoon!

I did however manage to find this gem with big sharp holds way off circuit at Isatis. Yes, I found the only pocketed overhang in all of Font, but sadly, it’s just a 6a+.

Angle Incidence, Isatis

Here’s a video if you’re interested. I don’t top out in it as the last sloper was gathering a lot of ice by the time that I got around to recording it and I didn’t fancy slipping off it and landing on my back.

It was nice to get away, but equally, I don’t feel in a rush to go back. Is it just me or is Font not all that it’s made out to be? I will admit, the general style of climbing (technical, tedious, err… tenuous) was never my thing, but all those boulders… and I don’t want to climb any of them… except maybe Carnage, but I’m not standing in a queue to boulder.


Sarah Clough said...

That actually looks like a problem that might appeal to me... short, obvious holds (whether or not the moves are obvious or not) and no smearing, and a reasonable grade for a challenge. Is it on a circuit?

Anonymous said...

It's off circuit, down the hill at the back of Isatis. I was trying the direct version (which goes at 6a) and failing miserably, leaving me too tired for the (much nicer climbing) on the 6a+ line. Well that and spending 30 minutes brushing ice of it are my excuses :-o.

Jenn said...

Hey Sarah,

As Peter said - it's a bit Blair Witch Project... way off circiut in the woods.

It's in it in the Bleau: De Gres Six book and the new Stone Country one as well. You go all the way to the back of Isatis (Memel Area) and when you hit Boudha Assis, 6b turn left and go downhill - et voilĂ !

Liutauras said...

Wicked! Though I'm not a big fan to freeze myself to death, but it seems like it's very possible to climb there even when everything is covered by snow. It's kind of exotic as well.
How was friction?

Jenn said...

Sadly, friction actually wasn't that good. It was impossible to remove all of the ice crystals so sloper problems were a no-go.