5 + 6 - Western & Northern Fontainebleau (Part 2)
I’ve been a long-time fan of Bart Van Raaij, the Fontainebleau fanatic who has singlehandedly reinvented the guidebook to what is probably the world’s most complicated climbing area. Bart’s books are not only the best to navigate yourself around the complex boulder fields, but include area maps perfectly adequate for driving between venues, inspirational photos, and of course, a descriptive selection of the best problems of the forest.
Initially Bart produced a book for the serious boulderer, listing the best problems graded 7 and 8, in the forest. He then re-did this guide with colour photos and better maps. I reviewed both with flying colours. Then came the first of two volumes listing the best 5s and 6s in the forest. Volume 1 was focused on the Eastern and Southern half of the area, this one does the Western and Northern half including the beloved Trois Pignons. It is typical of the previous guides, if a little slicker still. Beautiful photos on a matt paper in the now standard landscape format. There are over 3,000 problems listed, more than most will attempt in a lifetime, and remember, this is only half of the selected problems at this grade!
If you like bouldering, you like Fontainebleau, and you like guidebooks then you absolutely must have at least one of Bart’s books in your collection, preferably all three! The question is, will he switch his attention to the sub grade-5 problems, and if so, how many tomes will that take?
There's a website with more info and also an app that includes all the problems in each of the guides so you can create your own trick lists, find the problems you like, and a link to beau.info which hosts more information on Font than you can shake s very large stick at.
To buy the guide check out Cordee's website.