Franchard Isatis… a red circuit sampling

Our first day/afternoon out climbing since arriving in Font Saturday night, we thought it prudent to do some circuits and reacquaint ourselves with the Gres, or stone. We were also just getting over our colds and wanted not to hike or do much of anything too physical… except climb, of course. The red circuit at the first area, maybe 50 meters from the parked car was the ticket; unfortunately, it was Sunday. Isatis is a busy place and weekends only adds to it.

problem #7... having already done 1-6.

problem #7 red… having already done 1-6.

Our goal was volume, and it was a simple tactic: start with red#1 and go till we got tired. We did all of this in the space of a few hours in the afternoon. This is our send list by the numbers only:

  1. rob: 21 climbs, 18 problems, 14 reds, 4 whites, 1 solid star, 9 open stars, 14 from 5- to 6c (based on 2nd ed. 5+6)
  2. jill: 18 climbs, 16 problems, 13 reds, 3 whites, 1 solid star, 8 open stars, 14 from 5- to 6c (based on 2nd ed. 5+6)

We used Bart Van Raaij’s second edition of his 5+6 guide. His first guide was the 7+8 listing most all the hard problems, and the locals really like the guide. Not necessarily the serious Bleausards, but many. The guide is cool, but if you’re not a local and don’t already know the lay of the land, it can be pretty frustrating. Two years ago, we tried using the older 7+8 guide our first day out since besides listing hard lines from 6c+/7a and up, it covers circuits in the same areas. This was especially useful when we knew what we wanted, but he had a tendency not to list landmarks that are obvious, or landmarks at all. He also tended not to show the obvious boulders next to problems via the topo meaning you couldn’t just assume the the boulders he does show are representative of what is there. We ended up using almost every rest day doing recon missions to each crag we wanted to go to to make sure we actually knew where  things were. Very lame.

Here is a sample of one page for Franchard Isatis. The image is of White #4.

Here is a sample of one page for Franchard Isatis. The image is of White #4 (which we both did). If you look closely, you can see the many problems per each boulder, and this is just one of 7 pages for Isatis in 5+6 only.

His new guides include more landmarks, like stating “ridge line” or “top of hill,” etc. but it’s not very complete in any real sense. It’s very graphically pretty, and it’s better, but I recommend you do the recon missions regardless to make sure what this dutchman thinks is cool, you also think cool too. He’s tall, and his ratings reflect it. When he says “morpho,” trust it if you’re a shorty. It usually means there’s a key foot that may be the only thing useful for the grade and by not using it, you will be doing something really hard, much harder than the given rating.

Here is a sampling of images. If you’re the kind of person that loves or needs to do a lot of movement to get your game on, this place is simply the crème de la crème. No place on earth has as much attention given to planned circuits of so many grades, rock that promotes good footwork and movement, and landings that make most crags seem crude (think fine sand), except of course Pirate’s Cove. 😉 Raaij’s system of quality is either an open star for recommended at crag or solid star for recommended for entire fontainebleau.

problem #9. semi-tall but not scary.

problem #9 red. semi-tall but not scary.

problem #11. slab-tastic.

problem #11 red. slab-tastic.

Problem #12 white. I deviated from course. top is the crux.

Problem #12 white. I deviated from the red circuit. top is the crux.

problem #13 white. I couldn't help myself. It was so fun. we both repeated it doing the big move with each hand.

problem #13 white. I couldn’t help myself, another deviation. It was so fun. we both repeated it doing the big move with each hand.

Problem #10 white. Jill deviating, but the book called it a solid star (tops for the whole of font!)

Problem #10 white. Jill deviating from red, but the book called it a solid star! How could we refuse?

Problem #4 white. Another must do open star. We climbed this twice since the book said the start is with the left arete. Here Jill is climbing it straight on. I did the same then we worked out the beta for starting left at the arete.

Problem #4 white. Ditto. Another must do open star. We climbed this twice since the book said the start is with the left arete. Here Jill is climbing it straight on. I did the same then we worked out the beta for starting left at the arete and sent that way.

problem #12 red.

problem #12 red.

problem #13 red. this one was weird and crimpy painful.

problem #13 red. this one was weird and crimpy painful. Jill opted out of this one.

problem #14 red. open star.

problem #14 red. open star.

problem #15 red. book said to start high on jug. why? we started matched at left hand then repeated it again.

problem #15 red. book said to start high on jug. why? we started matched at left hand then repeated it again.

Of the red circuit, we did 1-15 except 10, a traverse in a corridor that seemed wet. The red circuit went on and on to over 60 problems in 3 sectors! That doesn’t include non circuit problems of comparable grade, white circuit, blue circuit, and even orange. All at one crag! His second edition 7+8 (which covers more areas than the 5+6) shows circuits at most crags, and that book covers over 100 crags! I guesstimate maybe over 12ooo problems of every grade in the Fontainebleau area. Of course it’s just a guess. it’s insane! It also rains here. Did I mention that too? Notice in the photos above, the ground and some of the sides are still dripping wet.

Alex, you must come to Font! It’s your calling… 🙂

Advertisements

~ by r. mulligan on 2014/03/01.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: