We have been in Fontainebleau for another month since I last wrote. It has been a slightly mixed bag in terms of weather but has definitely been fun. There is a line in Fontainebleau that I have always wanted to climb: Misericorde. It is a stunning, high arete at Cuisiniere that I have always stopped and looked at in awe on previous trips; it is, for me, quite an intimidating line. I had played on the start a year or two ago with a friend but this trip I was determined to make a real effort to climb it. It is very high and, despite the good landing, I was nervous having recently hurt my ankle quite badly. I decided to go down it on a rope to give the holds a clean and some chalk and to try out the top moves. This really helped me confidence wise as I didn't find the top too hard and knew that if I could keep it together mentally, I could do it. The crux for me was a move about half way up where you go for a good crimp with your left hand (before setting up for the high rock up) and I knew in my mind that if I held this move then I could finish it if I kept my cool. After this session we had a bout of rain but next time it was dry I headed back over to try it. It took a good few attempts for me to warm into my sequence for the first couple of moves and then a few more to hold that left hold half way up. When I got that hold I switched my brain off and just climbed! For those of you that have done it you will know that the top hold is a massive jug and it is a great feeling getting that.... even better feeling when you are safe on top though!
Another line I have been keen to do is a 7C called Appartenance at Buthiers. Is is a beautiful arete with very technical climbing and a high finish. I don't know why but I seem to be attracted to highballs at the moment – I think because in Fontainebleau the are just so stunning! I tried Appartenance once earlier in the trip and was able to play on the start for a little bit but then it rained. So I was keen to get back to it and have another go. Yesterday, Kook and I set off in search of dry rock....it had rained all day on Saturday and are hopes were getting dashed as each problem we went to was wet. We regrouped by drinking a commiserative coffee in Milly and then picked up a friend and went to check out one last block : Appartenance. It was a bit damp. But closer to dry than anything we had seen and I decided to apply some drying techniques and have a go. The wind picked up and it just got better and better and Kook eventually joined in climbing too. The climb is very technical all the way up with a low and a high section separated by a big move. I had a good sequence (lent to me by Mickey Stainthorpe) and eventually stuck the big move that leads into the high section. Now I was on new ground but managed to find a method to get my heel, then toe, really high and rock up to the good crimp and then over the top. A bit out of the blue and very pleased! Very soon after Kook also topped out! The day was a success after all :)