Fontainebleau Forest

10th Apr 2017

Recently I got to do a quick trip to France and join Woody while he was on a week long climbing climbing. I got to do a day trip to an area called Potala on Woody’s rest day, which was really nice as I got a day of climbing all to myself. We also got to stop by our favourite spots in Barbizon and Fontainebleau. I went for a 17 mile run through the forest near Barbizon again, I was hoping to make 20 miles, but my knees were in too much pain.

Here are some of the best bits from this trip.


Potala – This area is great for beginners or those who prefer not to feel like they need an emergency team to help them with the down climb. Yes, I had a debilitating fear of heights and started climbing. Go figure. It’s taken a long time to get over my anxiety around height and every time I climb outdoors I’m faced with new challenges. I think bouldering is a brilliant way to work on conquering your fears, but much patience is required.

There are many low boulders in Potala and plenty of choice from really easy 3/4s to 6a+s for the newish climber. There are of course harder problems for those more experienced climbers, but I can’t say much on those here. It’s worth grabbing Bart van Raaji’s guidebook 5 + 6 Fontainebleau; the books come with an app that helps keep a log of what you’ve climbed, filter for specific problems, and other helpful jazz. Just be aware that these are separated into two part books, unlike the 7 + 8 book which is one. Potala is in Part 2.

I jumped on a few nice and easy climbs and then worked my first Fontainebleau project, le Mur Hargneux 6a+. I’ve been trying to focus more on having fun when climbing rather than seeking problems according grades. I find this has helped me gain confidence and feel a lot calmer when bouldering. You can watch a really quick video of me climbing an easy problem here.

Out & About

Barbizon – I’ve mentioned my love for this quaint little town before in this post I did on Font, but here are some more top-notch spots to try out.

Le Royal – This is a one of the first spots that opens in the town after the bakery, which is useful if you just want a quick coffee before heading into the forest.

Le Galerie des Pains – Seriously the best pastries and breads around. Be sure to stock up here for all your pain au chocolat and baguette needs. They open bright and early – get it while it’s hot.

Charcuterie-Traiteur – This is a really tiny little butchery with fresh meats, some ready made salads, meals and other locally made delights. We stopped in here for some quick picnic style foods to take with us for lunch.

Au Revoir!! xx