So this trip turned into something completely unexpected, the original plan was to spend a week in Fontainebleau in the sun and then head to Magic Wood for 2 weeks to begin working a project there which I’d then be able to return in August and finish off…
We arrived in Fontainebleau late on a Saturday at the campsite we’d booked to find that we couldn’t get across the bridge and then we were informed by a local that the campsite is closed due to flooding and wouldn’t be opening for at least a month, we tried another and had the same issue. We then found one with limited facilities but still very expensive. Camping sorted so we headed out to Bas Cuvier for a quick evening session to find everything was soaked and we were forecast rain rain and more rain for the near future so the next day we packed up camp and drove straight to Magic Wood. The weather wasn’t any better in Magic Wood however and we suffered with morning of sun and afternoons of rain everyday for 2 weeks!
Upon arriving in Magic Wood I went straight away for a night session on a classic boulder which I’d wanted to be my project for the summer. This short session went surprisingly well for me and I managed to do the 18 move boulder in three parts straight away. I felt good and was excited to keep getting on it, however from this point onwards the conditions just got worse and worse and it was becoming harder and harder to do.
My favourite boulder in Magic Wood was Jacks Broken Heart (8A+), I’d wanted to flash this boulder for a long time however I pulled on with poor preparation and not really knowing what to do and the flash attempt ended prematurely. I ended up doing the boulder 6th try which I was happy with anyway, it was nice to do such a basic crimp problem to start preparing my fingers for the summer ahead. I tried loads of different boulders which I’d tried last year and found hard, unsurprisingly I still found them hard but I’ll try again when I return.
It was brilliant to see Lewis Richardson crushing out in Magic Wood too, he did his first 8A boulders and managed to get his first 7C in a session (although it was only about 15 minutes). Its always motivating for me to see people sending hard and trying hard, we also spent a bit of time with Sasha Gerzha, I’ve never seen such impressive crimp strength, he can hold anything! Nathan Phillips was out there ticking through the woods very quickly!
After a day trip to Lindau and Friedrichshafen in Germany we arrived back to find that is had been raining all day in the wood and it continued all through the night and they released the dam too which drowned many of the river boulders so we decided that we’d pack up straight away and head to Frankenjura for the remaining week.
After my first route in Frankenjura I was hooked and it instantly became my favourite climbing area, the style there suits my pretty well, locking between pockets, my favourite!
The weather here was the opposite to Magic Wood and here we had tempuratures up to 40oC which I found really hard to climb in. I knew the Jura would be a great place for me to find a project but with only a week left I knew I wouldn’t be able to put time into something hard so I just tried loads of classic routes here so I had an idea of what to do when I return sometime in future. I got on Raubritter, a super sharp 8c with a cool dyno at the end, Stone Love, a classic Jerry Moffatt 8b+ featuring a heart shaped pocket and also Action Directe; I was really taken by this line and it because motivating to train for this route. It is amazing, it has the history behind it and some amazing movement on perfect and pockets which generally aren’t too sharp either to top it off. I also ticked off the Wolfgang Gullich route Slimline, a great 8a+ known as the mini Action Directe.
All in all this trip has been an amazing experience and it also reminded me a lot about how important it is to enjoy climhing and everything which comes with it. I often go on trips and end up frustrated with not getting up a project or struggling on a particular move.