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Fontainebleau advice (beginner plus daughter) (Read 20796 times)

Ti_pin_man

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Hi one and all,

My daughter and I have been climbing at the local walls since the New Year and we're having a hoot.  She's a nimble 8 year old and I'm a reasonably fit 42 year old ( years of mountain biking).  I'm doing Craggy 2 easys fairly regular and have the occasional medium.  In their hard room I am ok with 5's usually.  My girl isnt but regularly climbs with me on easier stuff without any persuasion.  I recently asked her on a Sunday how much climbing she wanted to do, her answer was 5 hours!  We did it!  Anyway as we love climbing together and because I want to see what climbing real rock is like, add in a bit of culture and our love of adventure, I was thinking of taking her over for a week at Font.  Stay in a Gite.  Climb together but not burning her out, take days off, see some history and tourist things but base it around climbing.

So my questions are around Font itself and the best circuits for beginners and fun, family circuits she (and I) can work on together?

Gites recommended?

Worth looking for a guide/coach for the trip?

Is there anywhere to rent crash mats?  Kids shoes?  She rents here at home as her feet have a lot of growing!

recommended guides covering easier stuff?

Ideas for days off other than Paris?

Cheers chaps!

fatneck

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Firstly  :icon_welcome:

Secondly, great that you want to get out on rock as soon as possible!


I'm not the best person to talk to about circuits but IIRC there's a kids circuit at Roche Aux Sabots and the blue circuit at Canche Aux Merciers (sp?) is well worth going to.

The House is great to stay at and also hires out good quality mats but not shoes.

Blue "Off Piste" guide lists al areas although can be difficult to follow. The new one, Font a Bloc covers some areas and is very good. There a 5+6 guide coming out soon that sounds like it would be well worth getting and the old Purple guide is prob the best for circuits although outdated in style and can be difficult to work out where you are!

Personally wouldn't bother with a guide...

Fontainebleau Chateaux is well worth a look. Not sure what else there would be around although I'm sure there must be wine/champagne makers you could tour round.

Hope that's useful...

erm, sam

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Beyond saying it is an excellent idea I don't have much specific help. There are lots of areas that have kids circuits, and friendly yellows.
I don't think you need a guide or coach as the circuits are usually easy to follow and climbing in Font just makes sense. Do you have any climibing pals with kids for a joint trip? Makes extra fun for the kids exploring etc without the grown ups around..
Have you considered camping? Makes it a bit more special for the kids as staying in a house is not quiet so exciting for youngsters, in my opinion. They can get busy collection chestnuts etc while you cook tea instead of them sitting around pointing out the lack of toys.

Ti_pin_man

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 Thanks for the advice and I agree I don't think we'll need a guide, we'll just go and play on the rocks! 

Illhave a good look at those circuits from home later, it would be fab if we can find easy stuff for my daughter with the odd harder one for me.  I think my other half might even be tempted by a few easys! 

I expect to go a grade lower and take time to adjust from indoor to out, but as long as its fun, it'll be good! 

Any other circuits recommended?
Also the house looks cool but I was hoping for something a little more private for us.
Is the Magique book good for relative novices?

SA Chris

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I think the magique guide would be a good choice for novices, probably the best suited. I thought I heard mention them making a guide to the kid's circuits too?

 If it's your first visit, it is also worth getting the IGN (french equivalent of Ordinance Suvey) Map to the area for helping you get to the different areas, as it can get a bit bewildering getting from the parking places to the actual climbing spots. You can get it from the decathlon store at the Carrefour Shopping Centre just North of Fontainebleau. They also sell cheap kids shoes which you won't be able to hire out there.

I'm trying to remember good spots for kids, and I think Diplodocus is a good choice, the place feels more like a kids adventure playground than a bouldering area, but there are couple of sterner problems there too, including a lovely jam crack! I think Cul de Chien is a good spot too, but avoid it on hot days as there isn't a lot of shade.

fried

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Warm weather spots

http://bleau.info/rond/  - Slow drying/ cool
http://bleau.info/potets/ - perfect first spot, only easy stuff and pretty low with flat landings.
http://bleau.info/mee/
http://bleau.info/canon/
http://bleau.info/plaines/ - Excellent yellow
http://bleau.info/aigu/ - Nice spot


Cloudy days

http://bleau.info/canche/ - quick drying, tons of easy stuff.
http://bleau.info/fin/ - lovely spot, bit of a walk.
http://bleau.info/95.2/
http://bleau.info/y/
http://bleau.info/elephant/

Just a small selection, all chosen for ease of access, relative lack of polish and wide selection of problems.
Purple guide and IGN map and you'll be fine.

lagerstarfish

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http://bleau.info/potets/ - perfect first spot, only easy stuff and pretty low with flat landings.


a lovely spot for easy stuff and a great place for putting up a hammock for rests in between catching lizards

http://bleau.info/images/topos/potetsjaune.pdf

and don't forget the hardest problem there...


Duma

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The yellow circuit and kids white circuit at l'elephant are good.

fried

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I remember coming back from potets on one of my first trips out and thinking 'le grand k' was impossible. That evening I watched Lagers video, I could totally relate to the first half  :clap2:

lagerstarfish

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here's a kids circuit at Roche Aux Sabots and the blue circuit at Canche Aux Merciers (sp?) is well worth going to.


 :agree:

both kids circuits start very easy and low - building up to more challenging stuff, especially the bis

Ti_pin_man

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 :great:

Guys, some good sounding advice and yes IGN map is a defo and also buying climbing shoes there is well good idea.  Guess they might have crash mats too?

The idea of a hammock in the shade swung the trip for my other half, she's volunteered for lunch duty and will have a go.  I'll get her addicted somehow!  ;-).

Guess the next few nights will be investigating some of these circuits suggested! 

lagerstarfish

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I'm just uploading 10 mins of my oldest child bouldering at Sabots and Canche Aux Merciers (and a bit at Cuvier) in August 2007 - mainly because I want to post the link to her mates on Facebook, but also to give you an idea of how much fun it can be for kids.


I'll post up the link when it's ready...

lagerstarfish

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here you go

Sabots, Canche and then a bit of Cuvier to finish

she was 7 at the time and had decided that climbing shoes were not cool that week

« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 09:32:35 pm by lagerstarfish »

Duma

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brilliant! mantle queen! I particularly like the use of a brush on a stick.

Ti_pin_man

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That video is probably more inspiring than an inspiring thing for my daughter.  Dude, big thank you. 

lagerstarfish

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you're very welcome

I find with my kids that there's a huge difference between when they're "in the zone" climbing wise and when they just want to muck about collecting pine cones and digging in the sand. There's no predicting when they'll want to danse like Berhault, but when they do it's well worth dropping everything to stay out until their little limbs wear out.

ianto9

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I've been going to font for 18 years,took my kids for 1st time this year they're 8 and 6 they loved it.1st time i went we followed the black triangles on a map found most popular areas with ease,i love my guide books i probably spend more time looking at them than climbing these days(feels like a therapy session) Get a guide book any will do,even just to know how to get to each area,do a couple of areas a day even on rest days enjoy the smell of the place,problems to go back to etc.you can buy good cheap shoes from sabots on the weekend.tip if you can see the palace don't order drinks go a bit down the road,le cote de boeuf, nice boulangerie a few doors down aswell, cakes bread tottie.enjoy

lagerstarfish

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I know it's not the sort of thing that the lentil munching social worker types on here will approve of, but kids like Disney

It's not far from Font - I've done it in the middle of a trip and at the end of one (stay at Formule 1)

I believe that Sky TV customers are entitled to 2 free tickets to Disney this year.


SA Chris

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Guys, some good sounding advice and yes IGN map is a defo and also buying climbing shoes there is well good idea. 

I think they sell mats too, but if you are flying it might be a bit of hassle taking it back. You can hire from a few places. However, you can climb at Font without a mat, people have done it for decades! In many cases you will find you are better off without, especially if you are doing circuits, where it can be a right pain carting it about. Landing are usually soft sand and a beer towel and a piece of carpet for getting your shoes nice and clean before starting a problem are often enough.

Ti_pin_man

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We'll probably still go and buy a mat or two as we're driving so should be able to squeeze them back into the car.  i suspect your right and most landings are soft but I dont mind me breaking something but not my daughter, so best to more cautious. 

I know what you mean about Disney, we've been before and hopefully its only a last resort, lol. 

I am really looking forward to this trip now.  Even my fiancee was asking me last night if she could borrow my shoes on the trip... I let her smell them and she now wants her own! 

SA Chris

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Fair enough if you have space you could buy one here before you go, might be cheaper I have no idea!

Ti_pin_man

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 ;D it ain't a big car so buying a couple there might be easier then at worse its a one way loaded trip or donation to other climbers depending on cost! 

ianv

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Sorry to hijack but can anyone think of any areas with easy but overhanging stuff? I am thinking of taking my son and he prefers thuggery over finesse  :great:

tommytwotone

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...yes IGN map is a defo and also buying climbing shoes there is well good idea. 

Sorry, but thought I should just say - buying shoes in Font and then using them for climbing?

A recipe for sore feet / not wanting to climb surely?

Apologies for being a bit negative, they are cheaper over in Decathlon but surely you'd want them broken in before you go. If you're going to encourage the little ones to get climbing then I'd avoid sticking them in a pair of uncomfortable shoes!

SA Chris

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Sorry to hijack but can anyone think of any areas with easy but overhanging stuff? I am thinking of taking my son and he prefers thuggery over finesse  :great:

Only thing I can think of is an overhanging wall with massive pockets behind and to the left of the Elephant (as you walk towards it from the parking. Must be more though.