Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau

I just got my duffel bag delivered home, full of my climbing gears. It got lost on the way between Paris and Amsterdam, and wasn’t on the luggage belt yesterday evening. But let’s get back to the beginning.

Few weeks ago I decided to visit Fontainebleau (France) with a couple of friends, and in the following weeks we planned everything. Booked plane tickets, a room where to stay, a car. Found a nice guidebook for few sectors of the bouldering area. All the things you are supposed to do before a trip. We were utterly excited, and it did sound like a good beginning to the Summer outdoor climbing season. I’ve been training better this year, and I am enjoying decent climbing condition.

Anyway, day after day the weather forecasts got bad, then worse, then terrible. Then we heard the Seine was flooding, and not somewhere random, exactly in the area around Fontainebleau. Add transport strikes to the mix, and the situation looked quite bleak. We decided to not give up as everything was already planned, booked, and paid, and so we went. It was clear from the beginning that the chances of climbing outside were thin, but not going wasn’t really an option.

To cut it short, it was constantly drizzling, and the rocks were soaked. We just went for a short walk in the forest to check how wet the rocks were, and how did they look. They looked awesome, and we walked from a boulder field to the next one under the trees. The place really stands up to its name. Unfortunately they were wetter than we even imagined, so we climbed them only with our minds.

We went to a climbing gym in the area, Karma, and had hours long training sessions there. We also went climbing in a few gyms Paris for a couple of days when we got bored of spending time in Font. Karma is the climbing gym where the national bouldering team trains, or that’s what we heard. I would not travel hours just to visit a gym, but it was a decent back up, and training with friends is always fun.

The gym was more interesting than a gym would normally be because few days before the trip I watched a video on YouTube, a video called “The master of moves“. If you watch it, you’ll understand why it seemed to me that everything was falling into place anyway, and that coincidences are the salt of life. The video made me think about many things, especially after sharing it with Mauro and talking with him about it. And what made it clear to me is the relationship I have with climbing.

It is just three years now since I started climbing, but in these three years I had the chance to reconnect with my childhood passion for the wild and adventure, and now it is not rare for me to hike, run, or climb almost every day. But this is not the point. The point is that I also believe that climbing show the world how you really feel, and who you really are. It must be different for every one, and climbing is not the only activity that have this power, but it feels so true to me. I cannot climb if my heart is not at peace. All the colors of my character are visible while I climb, and there is no way to hide them to the world. Or from myself, for what matters. It may sound silly, but it seem pretty real to me, especially after seeing so many people climbing.

Back to the story, we finally saw the sun in France, but it was only while getting to the airport on Sunday evening. The I arrived in Amsterdam, and they have lost my bag. Plus trains were delayed, and one even broke down with me inside. It usually takes me less than half a hour to get back home from Schiphol, but it took me more than two hours yesterday. Maybe my karma isn’t that clean, lately? 🙂

Until next time, Font. I’ll be back.

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