Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Font 1

For a range of pitiful reasons (laziness), I'd never been to Fontainbleau. So when my office buddy/climbing friend Arran asked if I wanted to go with him John and another Inverness Mike, I needed a bit of persuading. Particularly with a danger of having to share a double bed with Arran, I eventually agreed.

People say, "Font is the best". As I really like other places, I didn't want these to suddenly seem crap compared to Font. Better to stay at home? It took me a while (years), but I realise that whatever Font is is irrelevant, what matters is one's relationship with place. With this in mind, I could fearlessly travel to Le Bleau knowing my cherished memories of Duntelchaig were safe. Also there are no good photos of Font as cameras can't capture the light and dark at all well compared to the eye.

The team:

I was the youngest, with 3 of our year of births following the 11 times table 66, 77, 88. John having fantastic knowledge of the forest which saved so much faff and probably doubled the amount of climbing we did. Mike had an excellent vocabulary which turned bumps in to crenulations and others things which I've sadly forgotten. Arran brought an SLR so I'll ask him for some pics which are better than mine above. I brought "business" jokes; here's examples:

-I'm in business
-Oh really, what business you in?
-The magic business
-Nice, hows it going?

-I'm in business
-Oh really, what business you in?
-The see saw business
-Nice, hows it going?
-has it's ups and downs

-I'm in business
-Oh really, what business you in?
-We sell sea shells by the sea shore
-Nice, hows it going?
-Hard to say

The highlight had to be finding a board game in the gite, Peak Experience, tag line: "you don't need to be an expert climber to play Peak Experience!". Sure, you could in principle play; answer multiple choice questions to make it to the summit of K2. I arrived at base camp a good while behind the others (slowed by my sampling too much of the local food and trying to burn animal dung) only for bad weather to push me back 2 places. Mike battled for a number of turns to get off the summit, at one point forced down climbing the top pitch of his chosen route. John eventually glissaded down the descent to victory. The next night we got a 5l barrel of wine.

Real climbing wise, I adopted the adage, "a 7a a day keeps the doctor away". It worked; none of us needed medical attention. Most of the time was spent amongst the mushrooms, lost in the woods, cleaning sand off from everywhere. I got scared on some highballs, learnt a bit more about slabs, the difference between dry and clean shoes and how not to mantel. Sabbot, Elephant/Cuvier, Apermont - just three days climbing; my appetite whetted for Font 2.


Jonathan said...

Loving the jokes. It's a definite winner. JB

Fultonius said...

Different Mike...

Mark McGowan said...

jokes were great! :-)

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