Here comes the sun. Told of a life where spring is sprung. Students, back from class/working/PhD/.., have packed in two vans and a car. Tasks are divided. Driver, music maestro, midfingermanager, co-pilot, window orchestrator.. LUAK’s coldfingerweekend is about to begin.
Later, on a bivouac deep into the vast forest, darkness is all around. Black treetops hide the starry sky. We find a fire and the zip to our tents. Traditionally when arriving in Font, someone has to meet with the rocks. So after some time on the bivouac, me and ’10.000 balloons’ Alessio, take the crashpads and head a-walking for the Cassepot Roches Grises.
A series of turns and a couple of innovations later, to not get lost, crazy boulders arise from the ground, telling the trees where to grow. We deploy the mats next to a cathedral of stone standing up in a Tower of Pisa angle: "Gravity, my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again." We top out a couple of three-star problems, and fall out a few more.
The next morning I wake with the first light spreading through every fiber of my tent. The birds are ready and I am too (after a tea). We drive to Barbizon, where the sunlight crawls over the houses. We make our way through the narrow streets of the small village of artists. We pass the open places where the daffodils took the places of crocuses. The big parking for Apremont shows up.
From afar we see boulders heightening up with the entire forest itself. Up we go to enter a labyrinth of boulders and to make base camp. We take a look around but fractions of milliseconds later, me, Tom, Ramses, Hendrik and Dave are in deep with a steep slab problem. Slowly and turn by turn, fall by fall, we move higher. I’ve been climbing for one and a half year now and have become thrilled to see, with time, much more of the subtleties on smooth rock showing up.
Sebastian the spider
We climb 'till we feel at home. Fate takes us from boulder to boulder and one style is discovered after another, like where the smaller climber steals the show as the sole ascender. Suddenly we’re a lot further from the base camp, so after an expedition back, I find the others in the midst of battle. We head down from the heightened area, more into the forest below, and find some aggressive overhang problems. No one wants to miss this.
The night starts to fall and we feel the city of Fontainebleau calling us. Or well, actually, our trusted Italian master cook is. The joint is reserved starting from 8 pm. In the meanwhile we meet three other Leuven based people: Daniele and his two friends this time. Typical. In the end we leave the city again.
We set up tents and fire, on the tunes of owls who are calling out through the night. The old spirits of the forest. Later on the bivouac we’re no longer alone when we’re joined by fellow Belgian climber Maxime Guillaume with his friends Oli, and Max Räuber who finds 8B+ boulders and who is presently expanding playgrounds to 8C's.
The next morning we all go to Rochers Canon, for a seperate breed of boulders. Through bouldering, we run against a very vertical overhanging boulder with a 1m50-deep pont at its feet. Summer comes a-rollin'. Plonge. For other boulders, much of which seems out of reach becomes in our reach, and through the day people heard resounding “How the hell do I get off of this?”.
No injuries, except for some serious scratches along the wrists, or for some bloody handback abrasion like Sebastian has. The sun leaves us too early. We leave to prepare for the new week.
Thanks to president Tom, board members Wim and Dave, gear girl Sabine, Hendrik, Alessio, Ramses, Brecht, Fré, Jan, Sebastian, Danouck, Darya, Asefeh, Isa, Martha, Leen, Oscar, Ruan, Amira, Annelies, Nikolaos, Ansie, Tony (from NZL), and the people we met, for logistics, music, gear, food, coffee, beer, wine, water, tips, tricks, helping me not falling straight down to my head..