France's flag
Europe » France » Île-de-France » Provins
September 19th 2007
Published: September 25th 2007
Edit Blog Post

Getting ThereGetting ThereGetting There

I left Paris Wed September 19th in the morning and after taking a few wrong turns in the suburbs and riding for a while I got to the beautiful green forest which surrounds Fountainebleau.
Beautiful Green!

About 80km south of Paris, Fountainebleau is a fine destination for Parisians escaping the big city at weekends and a mecca for boulderers from all around the world. Why am I here? It's green, it's beautiful, peaceful and there are lots of pleasant places to climb.

The boulders are not famous for no reason - they allow all different climbing styles and are located in a gorgeous forest. The sandy walks around the boulders and the routes themselves attract people of all ages. It's lovely to see young children trying their first moves on the rock. And it's great to stop and watch the more experienced climbers as they attempt several times the same problems and discuss strategies with others. The trees create a cozy atmosphere, and adding to it the pure air, the singing of the birds and the cool temperature, the Forest of Fountainebleau is a quite a magical place to be.

I was very luck to have met some lovely people bouldering here, particularly Arnaud who is a great climber and one of those hard-to-find guys everybody loves spending time with. Arnaud introduced me to his friends and took me
La SeineLa SeineLa Seine

Crossing the bridge from Avon to Samoreau, where the camping site is located.
to climb in different places, including the amazing bridge Viaduc des Fauvettes.

I camped in Samoreau, where the Municipal site is located, a delightful area on the banks of the river Seine and close to a wonderful lake. About the people camping here I must say the French were by far the most polite and friendly; I won't disclose any information about the loud-not-so-considerate families who also happened to be there! I got on ok with my camping equipment though the temperature dropped to nearly 0 most of the nights and I had to reach for my long johns, socks, jumper plus my silver emmergency blanket! Arnaud took me to Decathlon where I bought a warmer sleeping bag, climbing boots and trekking shoes.

Riding around the area is quite pleasant; the Ile-de-France detailed map was very handy to help me find my way after taking a few wrong turns and I seem to be slowly getting better at reading road signs and fiding directions.

I've spent five days in Fountainebleau and enjoyed it immensely.

Why do I find it hard to leave Fountainebleau? Because I didn't want to leave without updating this blog,
Home for a WhileHome for a WhileHome for a While

The camping Municipal de Samoreau is very pleasant, on the banks of the river Seine and just a short ride to the bouldering places.
because of the nice people saying "bonjour" everywhere, the beautiful roads through the forest, my enchanted breakfast spot in front of La Seine, and because it was hard to say "au revoir" to my new friends who I wanted to climb more with.

I will be back soon. The road takes me to Dijon next, and I'd better get on the road now!

Additional photos below
Photos: 33, Displayed: 23


My Breakfast SpotMy Breakfast Spot
My Breakfast Spot

Morning view sitting on the bench and eating a beautiful pain-aux-raisin while my little cooker boils the water for coffee.
Bas CuvierBas Cuvier
Bas Cuvier

Fountainebleau is a world-known destination for aficionados bolderers. Its forests are home to a large collection of boulders which have been climbed since early 1930's.

People climb the sandstone blocks freely, just sometimes using a crash pad to stop them hitting the floor or rocks if they fall.
Jenny in actionJenny in action
Jenny in action

There are problems of various difficulties. Here Jenny, a very good climber from San Francisco is climbing a reasonably hard route.

Two really nice guys I met at Bas Cuvier: Jenny and Arnaud. Jenny climbs a hard route, one that Arnaud had just finished.
Allez Arnaud!Allez Arnaud!
Allez Arnaud!

Such a good climber!
Getting my Fingers to Work!Getting my Fingers to Work!
Getting my Fingers to Work!

Crossing arms and struggling a bit with my footwork I was very pleased to get to the top of this block.
Viaduc des FauvettesViaduc des Fauvettes
Viaduc des Fauvettes

Following day climbing up the long vertical pillars of an old train bridge near Les Ulis with Arnaud and his friends.
Arch WallArch Wall
Arch Wall

These routes are about 25-30m and are equipped with bolts, varying in grades from 4+ to 7.
Spider ManSpider Man
Spider Man

Arnaud is finishing his course in sports and will definitely be a great climbing coach.
My Turn!My Turn!
My Turn!

Here I go on a 5a route.

I found the rock super sharp, with some razor-like pocket lips.
French Belayer?French Belayer?
French Belayer?

That's some belaying style, ah? Get up on your feet, man!
Le Bambino 4+Le Bambino 4+
Le Bambino 4+

Not quite to the top on the 5a, so an easy short route to warm-up thouroughly...

11th November 2007

Um Oi do Ale - ex climbing partner
Great man! that feels like lots of fun. not sure about the cold! but after all the exercise who thinks about cold! happy to see you having a great time! look after yorself! lots of love . ale
30th November 2007

Really a great guy !
Hi José ! I finally found your web site ! I hope that all is good for you. This was a real pleasure of meeting you, and now I'm following you on your blog. I work my English to write you shortly. I hope to climb together once again dear José. Please take care of you, especially on the VFR !

Tot: 0.07s; Tpl: 0.012s; cc: 12; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0382s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.1mb