Last week the family and I made the annual (at least) pilgrimage down to Folkestone, under the channel and off down the Autoroute des Anglais towards Fontainebleau. I’d be really looking forward to the trip for months and after a particularly busy year of work the idea of being out in the forest, off the grid and enjoying the world class climbing seemed more appealing than ever. However, one factor that we couldn’t control were the conditions. The weather in mid/northern Europe is a fickle mistress at the best of times and trips to Fontainebleau at any time of year can be a risky move. The drive down was done in blazing sunshine and the first couple of days were glorious. Unfortunately our initial run of good weather didn’t last long and the rain (in all it’s forms; showers, drizzle and thunder storms) set in. Undeterred we still managed to make it out every day bar one and with careful crag choice we fitted a lot in.
Even with less-than-perfect conditions it was still a very productive trip and we revisited some areas as well as tried out some new ones. Highlights for me included the fantastic 6a L’Étoile Rouge at Drei Zinnen, Le Jardin Suspendu (6b) at Rocher des Demoiselles and working (and making decent progress) on Retour aux Sources at 95.2. Those plus a load of great circuit problems made for a great time!
I had planned to shoot some video of this trip but at the 11th hour I had a change of heart and decided instead to dust off (literally) my 40D, chuck a couple of speedlights in my bag and shoot some stills. It was definitely the right choice! I’ve not done any strobist photography for a while so it was a nice change of pace from the day job of (mainly) shooting video. Below are a few of my favourites from the trip.
Time to start hatching plans for the next trip and get some training in…