Fontainebleau is known worlwide among the rock climbers for its extensive facilities when it comes to rock climbing.
The sandstone boulders offer a vast range of difficulty, from very easy (for beginners or mountainering training) to nearly impossible (even for world level competitors).
On the same site, you generally see - side by side - sunday climbers and big names of this sport.
The rocks are 'grouped' in circuits, carefully marked (by circuit and by difficulty level ; from white : children to black : monstruous (the "standard" hierarchy being (white, yellow, orange, blue, red, black (or sometimes white)) but some sites use a specific color code) and brushed by volunteers.
This site has the largest number of 'maps' and descriptions.
Equipment: To climb in Fontainebleau, you need your climbing shoes (ballerina type or very supple are the best) , a towel, a small piece of carpet (to clean your soles and keep them free of sand) and 'POF' (dryed pine sap) - for the high level, the crash pad is mandatory.
A climbing pal is recommended.
For some higher sites : dame Jeanne, Cul de chien, etc... a lenght of rope (some 15 meters) is a good idea.
- Mountain Climbing
As I stated in my intro this region is a climbers' paradise. Numerous boulders await anyone who's ready to rest his/her abilities. Difficulties range from children's routes to extremely dificult passages for the "happy few". This added to the accessibility and the nature of the area where these boulders are located make it a perfect family holiday destination.
Equipment: Obviously the necessary gear to practice this sport are climbing shoes. Gymshoes might do for those wanting to have a try at it, but they won't have the effect of real climbing shoes. A crashpad may prove to be very useful, especially on the higher boulders or those with all kinds of rocks lying around at their foot. Crashing down onto them unprotectedly is definitely not advisable. Many people also use chalk, especially in the harder parts. This however is officially banned, as is plainly advertised at the campground La Musardière.
photo's of this year's birthday bash for my son
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