Yesterday I received an email from Kevin Lopata, font beast and all round nice guy. He wanted to know if I was in Font and I happened to have arrived for good only some days ago. That’s fate, when yin and yang come together, in perfect harmony. Font beast, me, glorious blue skies, good temps, and bucket loads of ebbulience.

I met up with Kevin and we began the warm up circuit which consisted of the easy problems on the charcuterie block, la Picon-Biere, 7A, L’Araignee, 7A, and then on to Antithese, 7C+. Unfortunately Antithese got the best of my skin and I had to give up even though I was only a move from the end. Bigger beasts to slay. We moved on to La Balance and I walked round to find Ned stood beneath it. I demanded to know why he hadn’t crushed it to which he replied that he was about to, and then he did! His flexibility allowed him to save his power and use technique which was nice to see. No wonder he is on Team GB. Unfortunately for him he had used the chipped pocket for the first jump, but then didn’t bother using it for his feet! Clearly a man not motivated for grades, so I suggested he do it again using the two hand jump start, La Balance sans la prise taillée. I had one go but fell off matching the slopers. Kevin suggested I try a slightly different foothold which was only 1 inch from where I was putting my foot. It was slightly bettter, but a little more difficult to see. After I watched Ned crush it again without the start pocket for hands or feet, I had a go. The slight alteration in foot movement made all the difference and I used a whole lot of power, and not much technique to get to the top. Well, the top is the top, so I wasn’t disappointed and I had done it just like Ben Moon in the real thing! YES! After doing it I was pretty sure it wasn’t 8A, which detracts nothing from the problem, only that it’s too soft to be 8A. 7C+ is an underrated grade anyway.

I was done with Bas Cuvier, mainly because my skin was already getting thin and I was only warming up. We went up to Cuvier Rempart and Team GB got stuck in with the Big Four whilst Kevin and I went to Kheops. He wanted to try the assis and I just wanted to try the stand. It is such a cool feature, a beautiful prow with just enough holds to make it attainable to those who want it enough. I did some of the moves and I figure it’s definitely one I can do. Kevin struggled with the sit start because he was too tall! It’s not often that lankiness becomes a major disadvantage, but it definitely was. I had more success with those moves than he did! Perhaps Kheops could be one of my real fontainebleau 8B ticks. I’ll keep you updated.

I still feel a bit that I’m not concentrating my efforts specifically enough. The problem is that I also just want to go and climb amazing 7C’s but each sessions spent doing 7C’s is a session lost working on something hard. I’ve only been here a few days so it’s no big deal at the moment, but I think I need to start thinking about zoning in. I don’t want to leave here in 2 or 3 months without at least 1 hard thing. I’d feel like I let myself down.

Anyway, after Kheops we went to try a really cool project. It’s not a really tall line, only about 8 foot tall, but it’s a really nice feature on the rock. An overhanging crescent shaped prow, which involves narrow compression moves, followed by a huge move, and then a slap to the top. It’s probably 8Bish, but worthy of some of my time. Kevin looked good on it though, and I think he could probably do it if he lived closer to font! If I go back to try it I’ll update this with some pictures.

The day drew to an end with a forage to look at another project and then a beautiful orange sunset through the trees. Pretty splendid. I would post a photo but I didn’t have my camera and I’d given my phone to someone else. Next time… I know you’d appreciate it Saatje. Tomorrow could be a rest day, it might not be. Such are the hard life decisions I am forced to take.