giovedì 16 aprile 2015

The Forest. Third part.

The Forest at Elephant, Fontainebleau. Photo Giulia Paoletti
After 40 days, the last part of my stay has been characterized by twisted emotions and contradictory feelings. On one hand, I reckoned how many days I had left, thinking about home, projects, resting and resetting my mind from the hard stuff. On the other side, the climate of the environment was continuing to make me feel good and I didn't want to leave the paradisiacal setting which surrounded me. I felt melancholic and bored at the same time.

I anyway had some goals I wanted to reach during the last period, despite my two main "projects" (The Realist and Illusion du Choix) were accomplished. Max came up for one-week visit in the forest and I was really glad to share some moments with him, climbing in some of the hidden areas. I climbed few days with Neil Hart as well. He filmed me in one of the best example of "Font in a nutshell" boulder, "Paddy" 7C+ and also in  "Magic circus" 8A, a double jump in the southern part of Bleau. Both these problems present a really heinous mantle, where you have to smear your body and try to rock over without thinking about the consequences of the fall. A true crap. On Magic circus, after the first fall on the mantle, I got the upper part with a positive feeling I found myself almost over the lip. I unfortunately got into the shocking situation where you are too high to come down, but also too low to be save. I was locked. My hands started to touch rock in every angles, with the results to get mossy and find no useful slopers. I couldn't jump down and I couldn't go up. I prayed Neil to give me a help with the hands, he was stood at the top while filming. He didn't understand at first; he went on filming. On the second call he gave me the saving hand and he pulled me out of the terrible situation. The little fear vanished into copious laughs from every of us. A bit smarter I brushed the rock around that zone and I found some slopers where I put some chalk on. The third go I said to Max to be focused on the spotting. I trusted him a lot. Neil stayed upon the stone, to film what we hoped to be the good go. I stuck the dyno for the third time and I fortunately rock over without Neil's hand. Great.

When Max Left I went for the first time to Opium boulders, where in two different days I was able to climb "Narcotic Direct" 8A+/B and "Jour de chasse" 8B/+. After this, only 5 days were left. I opted to leave all the projects away. It didn't matter to climb them at this point. I just wanted to climb as much as I could, go out and climb with relaxed mind in some areas where I had never been to. I climbed easy stuff from 5+ till 8A, and they were probably some of the best days of my trip. I was enjoying a lot. I also asked to myself why I would have not done more days like these and I took note for the next trip. The last day was also ending. At half past six I drove to Boissy Aux Calais ( I am a fun of this area) and I went alone to climb "Les Nobrilistes" 7A+, one of the most aesthetic Font's slab. It required me some goes until the sunset, when I reached the edge and I said goodbye to Font.

Here is the list of the line I climbed in the last part (beauty order)

Hotline 7C
Le chainon manquant 7C
Magic circus 8A
L'aplat du Gain 8A
Paddy 7C+
Rencontre du troisieme type assis 7C+
La theorie du chaos assis 7B+
Le Tailleur de Mansonges 7C/+
Chasseru de prises assisi 7C
Return d'Ariane 7C
L'art de la Fugue 8A
La Baleine 7C+
La Chose 7C+
Rencard 7C
Full Metal Jacket assis 7C
Jour de Chasse 8B+
Prise d'Otage 7C+
Narcotic Direct 8B
Millenium 7C+
Apotheose assis 8A
Infidele assis 7C+
Opium 8A

Paddy 7C+, Fontainebleau. Video still by Neil Hart

Narcotic Direct 8B, Fontainebleau. Photo Neil Hart

Appartenance 7C, Fontainebleau. Photo Stefan Kuerzi

Elephunk 8B, Fontainebleau. Photo Stefan Kuerzi
Illusion du Choix 8B, Fontainebleau. Photo Stefan Kuerzi
Living in Font for 2 months has been  an excellent deal; I probably wrote and said these words countless times, but the area is actually one of the best ring where the bouldering should take place. It is flat, it counts tons of hidden rocks, the holds are awesome and, moreover, it is one of the scarce place where you actually learn to climb and not only pull damn like a rude. In Font, you can see how the climbing should be understood and enjoyed beyond the simple action to grab holds and pull them. This is why my trip had to be special and, in the end, these are the main reasons for which I got a lovely stay. It has been a simply wonderful school of climbing in a kind of paradise forest. I hope to have make the idea clear enough. 

Some people also said that my trip has been gorgeous for the problems I climbed and the bunch of “hard” stuff I sent. Basically I am pretty disappointed on this side and what I managed to do; the bummer is not actually related to the fact that I wanted to climb more, but in a deeper analysis, to the reasons that gave me troubles in trying hard and doing what I desired more.

At the base of everything I have my skin statement which is giving me serious problems because they are excessively sweating. The story is pretty long, but I try to make a summery. Since before 2014 I have always had an ideal and fitting skin for bouldering. I went to the gym, to granite, to sandstone, to woody fingerboards and it was always hard, solid, compact and suitable with what I was going to grab. I could crush the pen’s tip into my upper fingers and they kept its mold for quite a bit; that was what happened during winter days at school. I knew I could have no issues from this part, and the fact let me serene.

Since I came back from US (March 2014), I started to sweat more and more and the good feelings began to change into a kind of obsession. In June I had to stop for injury, I came back climbing last September. The first days were pathetic and annoying. My tips pulled out water from every part, after a couple of moves they were literally wet. I tried to understand the issue; I mean, it was warm and it was months that I didn’t climb, so the problem was understandable. My shapes was going higher again, but the problems persisted. I started to use a mix of Alcohol and pine resin, before the good goes on my projects. It helped me a little bit for 3 attempts or so, since the sweat didn't come out for a while; without it, everything would have been thousand  times harder. I tried to accept the situation and not complaining too much. Then I got into the training mode from December until mid Feb. I knew the alcohol wasn’t the best solution; I knew that an abuse or an excessive using wouldn’t have been so good; I hence opted to stop for a period since I wanted to train only. During Christmas Holiday I went out climbing in Ticino; It was the same story once again: with alcohol it wasn’t good but even not  terrible; without the lotion it was almost impossible to attempt something hard. The stiff skin tissue of years ago was only a memory  and this made me disappointed. The issues didn’t get better.

I went to Font, being quite relieved because sandstone requires usually soft tissue. I probably got into a good shape and the physical benefits could compensate the bad skin. In fact, this was what happened. The temperatures after Feb started to increase a little bit (they were always good but my conditions perceived this changing a lot). Now, analyzing the whole trip, I could honestly say that most part of the ascents I did and all the failures I got, were only accorded to my skin statements. My physical shape was good, my mental approach got a little step ahead, the friction was most of the times perfect, the mood was positive and many things seemed to roll in the best ways like rarely happens. This is sad and frustrating, since almost everything was depending on the skin and this made me sliding many times.

At some point, the issue also started to attach my mental approach and my motivation as well. I started to be more nervous under the boulders and the patience was always less and less. The motivation and the desire are starting to turn off, especially in the last part of my stay. Now that I came back home, I need time to rest and to recover them in order to try some products which can dry it a little bit. This can help the issue, but on the other side I would not understand the drastic change and the true causes. I think I will also make analysis and see if it can be linked to metabolism or alimentation. Meanwhile, if someone has some advice I would be glad to hear.

Since I was telling about the dark side of my Font’s trip, I also reckoned the boulders I tried which have eluded me. This is not too bad since it can be source of motivation to come back in the Forest more prepared and with a good skin that I hope to get soon. Below it, some pictures I made.

Surplomb de la mee direct
Toute peines confondues
Delire Onirique
La toupie carnivore assis

Giuly on "Le voie michaud" 6C, Fontainebleau.
Max trying "Pancras", Fontainebleau.
Mont Pivot, Fontainebleau
Giuly on "Heir Hencore" 6B/+, Fontainebleau.
Trying la Baleine, Fontainebleau.