Why is Fontainebleau every climbers wet dream?

Fontainebleau, or as the climbers call it, Font is the climbing Mecca of all the boulderers. It is no wonder, since there is over 270 areas with more than 27000 routes in a beautiful magical forest, surrounded with soft sandstones and good sandy landings. It is like being on the beach without the sea. It is hard to understand, how this place has been born in the middle of France only one hour train ride from Paris.

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The best climbing team there has ever been in Font.

There isn’t really any other known areas to boulder in France than Font. In this considerably small area, there are thousands of stones and the best boulder routes in the world. There is really nothing that can beat Font. The lovely villages with idyllic bakeries with crazy good chocolate thingies. Here it is easy to understand, why the French cuisine is so respected.

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The chocolate thing is filled with chocolate and inside the pancake is a raspberry cake of course.

The vanlife in Font is hard to explain for a person, who has never been here. The Fontainebleau lifestyle is very different. One morning there is a horserace in the forest and the parking lot is full of horse trailers. Families and people of all different ages take part in outdoor life. It is not just bouldering, the forest is a place for horse or bike rides or then just mountain biking and running.

Many times you see families or big groups of friends having a picnic next to boulders. It has also happened, that some senior aged French men have stopped, when we are bouldering and given some beta (advice how to climb the route). They don’t maybe look like hardcore climbers, but many times they are able to climb stuff, that you can only dream of, even with the crappiest looking shoes, that you have ever seen. Huge respect for the Bleausards (that is how the local climbers are called).

The nature is incredible. In Finland you really need to do effort to get the garden look like something and it can never beat just the natures own gardens. One of my favorite plants, the ivy, you can find everywhere climbing up the boulders, looking like somebody has planned their placing and shape.

The animals are always present everywhere. The birds are really singing there hearts out even so much, that is sometimes in my opinion disturbs my climbing. Finally I have also met the famous wild boars. I would have maybe chosen a rather different moment to meet them, than when I was doing my business in the forest. Must say they are quite polite animals, since they left me in peace very fast.

Of course you will sometimes feel here the famous French arrogance. People don’t really like, if you can’t speak French and they are not happy to speak English. But this is only sometimes and I think I should really start learning the language. I just hope the language could be little bit easier and they could even sometimes pronounce the words, how they are written.

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Ville is watching Osmo to climb.

Fontainebleau is considered to be a rich holiday area, the prices for the houses here are in the level of Helsinki city prices. So far the living here is quite harmonic, but you can sometimes feel, that the locals don’t always appreciate the big amounts of foreign climbers and van people. It is quite a contrast between the richest people in France and poor climbers in the vans living in the same small area.

The life here after these months still sometimes surprises us. You can go to sleep in the van in totally empty parking space only to wake up in the morning that you are surrounded with horse trailers, couple of free donkeys eating grass next to car and a big group of men on the horses dressed in traditional uniform and playing a trumpet loudly as a mark for the hunting to begin. As a Finnish person you are of course always puzzled by the fact, that if a huge parking lot is totally empty in the evening when we park there, why would someone you don’t know park next to you (like actually just so close that you can barely open the door!!). This happening has shaked our world and personal space many mornings.

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George not happy with his new name..

 

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