Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I drove to Font this year, the first of many road trips hopefully. Did a night boat over and slept in Mcdonalds car park waiting for the lads to land, an extension perhaps of a McShit with lies. The Ka held up nicely, taking 4 average sized humans pretty well, though the boot really isn't up to much. Bit of nip in her as well, even fully laden.

First couple of days were quite wet and everywhere was out except 95.2, and even there you had limited stuff to climb. Still, was pleased to get up the red squeeze arete one day ( couldn't last time) and then do a standing campus version of the problem at the ridge-end another. Pottered on bits and pieces in between. Sunday was the saviour though and we all reduced ourselves to aching old men and women in a full day at Isatis. I don't think anyone pushed the boat out difficulty-wise which was quite refreshing, very occasionally we 'd have ten of us trying one problem ( eg the lovely 6b side of l'angle ben), there was a nice sense of wandering and being happy trying whatever someone was working. I personally renewed my acquaintance with beurre margarine, it's a lovely one to come back to because at 6b the assumption is you don't have to be too strong to do it, just totally dialled in to the right technique*. Having said that I should probably not go back to Isatis next trip round, just for some variety.

On balance I think we managed to entertain ourselves pretty well despite the worst font trip weather for years. It helped greatly that we had a table tennis table in the basement of our gite and the usual easy access to beer and pastries. We were a little distant from the boulders but I didn't find that a huge issue, in better conditions we could have been climbing in petit bois or elephant in under 20 minutes. The group, though large, ebbed and flowed nicely with car occupants changing around a bit. Also we all looked after ourselves individually for cooking which if nothing else meant that there was plenty of selection when one was in vulture mode, me and bray made a particularly formidable team when it came to chicken carcasses. Kitchen got hectic at times but it's defo the catering style i'm happiest with. Only one trip to decathlon/carrefour despite the shit weather, and watched the shitter half of a rugby match.

New route to airport has now been established, via melun and n104 mostly, takes a bit of navigation but it avoids the peripherique and I suspect we could have done from gite to Mcdonalds in 2 hrs 15mns once we have it wired, which is pretty good considering we were 20 minutes south of Font town.

I was a victim of fashion profiling at the port, the car got searched i think because I was wearing a hoody, maybe they thought I was too old for it. They also asked me was I a competition climber, which gave me a good laugh. I had about 15 bottles of wine in the boot but they didn't care, your man couldn't even tell me what the limit was.

*right foot on obvious ramp, using tiny ridge on it. Right hand in hook hold, left hand high. Step off ground and shift left hand to better hold, specific sweet spot. Bring left foot through awkwardly, twisting heel outwards then shift right foot onto horizontal ledge. Without moving body, pop right hand to next vertical groove, right at limit of extension. Weight right foot, shift rightwards and upwards.

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