Climbing in the forest of Fontainebleau

Climbing in the forest of Fontainebleau: Between Tradition and Adventure

Climbing in Fontainebleau is a unique experience that combines the natural beauty of the Fontainebleau forest with the excitement of climbing on sandstone boulders. It is internationally known as one of the most beautiful bouldering sites. This discipline, called bouldering, is practiced on low-height rocks and generally does not require ropes for protection. Families or experienced climbers can choose routes tailored to their difficulty level. In this article, we will explore best practices, necessary equipment, remarkable climbing areas, and delve into the fascinating history of this sport rooted in this picturesque region of France. Additionally, we will discover the Denecourt and Colinet trails, as well as the Tour du Golfe de Larchant trail, which provide privileged access to climbing sites.

The Origin of Climbing in the forest of Fontainebleau:

Climbing in Fontainebleau has deep roots dating back to the early 20th century. The enthusiasm for this sport began with artists, mountaineers, and outdoor enthusiasts who discovered the Fontainebleau forest as an ideal playground to develop their climbing skills. This tradition has evolved over the years to become what we know today. This discipline, bouldering, is practiced on low-height rocks and generally does not require ropes for protection. Families or experienced climbers can choose routes tailored to their difficulty level.

Necessary Equipment:

  1. Climbing shoes: Climbing shoes are essential to provide optimal grip on the rocks.
  2. Crash pads: These are thick foam mats designed for climbing, intended to cushion climbers in case of falls.
  3. Brush for holds: A hold brush is useful for cleaning rock holds and improving grip.
  4. Chalk bag: Chalk helps keep hands dry, enhancing grip.
  5. Harness and belay system: If you plan to climb higher routes, you will need a harness and belay system.

Best Practices:

  1. Environmental respect: It is essential to respect nature and avoid damaging rock formations or vegetation.
  2. Safety: Always climb with a partner when possible and follow strict safety procedures.
  3. Route knowledge: Before climbing, make sure to have a good understanding of the route and a clear idea of the descent.

Remarkable Climbing Sites:

Climbing areas, known as bouldering sectors, are scattered throughout the Fontainebleau forest. Among the most famous are:

  1. Les Trois Pignons: One of Fontainebleau’s most famous sites, offering a variety of routes suitable for all levels. Notable routes include “La Marie-Rose” (6A) and “La Japonaise” (7A), providing exciting challenges.
  2. La Dame Jouanne: An iconic site characterized by its spectacular rock formations. Climbers particularly enjoy “Le Surplomb de la Dame Jouanne” (6C+) for its technical challenge and the Elephant sector for beginners.
  3. Le Cuvier: A favorite spot for high-level climbers, featuring challenges like “L’Angle Ben’s” (7A+) and “Le Carnage” (8A).

Denecourt and Colinet Trails:

For hiking enthusiasts looking to explore climbing sites and enjoy the beauty of the Fontainebleau forest, the Denecourt and Colinet trails offer ideal access.

Denecourt Trail No. 9 (“Sentier de l’Escalade”): This trail leads you to climbing sites such as Les Trois Pignons, offering breathtaking forest views. Plan for about 3 hours to complete this loop.

Colinet Trail No. 7: This trail is shorter but equally enchanting, taking you through the Fontainebleau woods while passing near climbing sites like Le Cuvier.

Denecourt Trail No. 19 (“Sentier du Rocher Canon”): This trail takes you to another popular climbing site, Rocher Canon, known for its demanding routes. The trail is well-marked and provides a beautiful forest walk. Plan for about a 2-hour round trip.

Tour du Golfe de Larchant Trail: The Tour du Golfe de Larchant trail is another wonderful option for hiking enthusiasts. It takes you through the surrounding countryside and offers spectacular views of the Larchant area. The hike takes approximately 3 hours and is a great opportunity to explore the diversity of the Fontainebleau landscape.

Weather Conditions:

Weather conditions are a crucial factor to consider when climbing in Fontainebleau. The ideal season generally extends from fall to spring when temperatures are mild, and holds are not too hot or slippery. Avoid climbing in rainy weather as sandstone becomes particularly slippery.

Local Services:

  1. Equipment rental: If you don’t have your own gear, several local sports shops offer climbing shoe and crash pad rentals.
  2. Guides and courses: For beginners, there are experienced local guides who can show you the best routes and teach you basic climbing techniques.
  3. Accommodation: The region offers various accommodations, from cottages to campgrounds, for climbers to rest after a day of climbing. The Gîtes Dame Jouanne is an ideal option: Our comfortable and well-equipped cottages are conveniently located, providing warm and convenient lodging for your forest adventure.

Conclusion:

Climbing in Fontainebleau offers a one-of-a-kind experience, blending history, natural beauty, and adventure. Whether you’re an experienced climber or just want to try this captivating sport, Fontainebleau has something to offer all climbing enthusiasts, as well as hikers looking to explore the Denecourt and Colinet trails for a comprehensive experience of the region.

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