5 Plus 6 - Fontainebleau Guide by Bart Van Raaij
A few years ago I wrote a glowing review for a new guidebook to the boulders of Fontainebleau. It was a work of art and a labour of love all rolled into one, and the fruits of a talented and passionate Dutchman by the name of Bart Van Raaij. 7 & 8 is still my guidebook of choice. It has awesome maps, is beautiful to look at, provides inspiration for every trip, and never leaves my bag. When the second edition came out Bart sent a copy over and I reviewed it too. He’d ironed out many of the little details that niggled in the first book and produced something truly great. I’ve just come back from a trip to the magical forest – part of the Easter pilgrimage – and am very excited to say that Bart has fixed the one glaring issue that has blighted his guide for a great many, the fact that it only includes problems graded 7 or above…
5 and 6 is his latest creation, and is actually the first of two volumes which will cover the whole forest at this more amenable grade. It doesn’t include any traverse (though he does admit that sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between a traverse and a straight-up).
Although the guide itself wasn’t quite ready yet Bart kindly sent over a PDF of a section we were likely to visit so I took it on a tablet and showed it around. Suffice to say people were pretty pleased and excited about the new book. It’s much the same as the 7 & 8 equivalent, with clear and concise maps, and amazingly well drawn boulder clusters. The main upgrade is that it is in colour. There are colour images, and the problems, where they feature on a coloured circuit, are marked in their respective colour. Very sensible.
Can’t wait for the book to come out proper. It’s arriving next week :-)
There’s also a new app to go with the book which you can download for your phone or tablet. Not yet available on Android so I can’t comment. You can download it here: http://www.5plus6.com/