Jonny Kydd – Au Revoir Fontainebleau

By The Climbing Academy

Black Diamond Hero Jonny Kydd looks back on his last few days in Font...

The conditions in Font were looking suboptimal with a mix of rainy days or +20 degrees. This, along with insurance policies, meant that it was the right time to head back home. But before leaving the forest I had a few more days to enjoy myself.

The only problem that I felt I had unfinished business with was “Big Boss”. After my first session on it I had dropped the last hard move a number of times and was sure that if I came back fresh I would be able be able to seal the deal… Sadly I was mistaken and their are no freebies in font. After dropping the same last hard move countless times, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get it done this trip.

(Looking up wondering what I need to do to top Big Boss. Image: Jamie MacLeod)

The next day I was feeling a bit demoralised and wasn’t up for fighting through the crowds to climb. The car park at Isatis was completely rammed so I headed to Gorges du Houx. This was a complete contrast to Isatis as I had the crag to myself, other than the occasional walker (probably due to the walk in being more than 5 mins!). Unfortunately I only managed to get in a flash of “Gargantoit” (7A+) before the rain came in and stopped play.

(The track into the Isatis car park being used as a car park)

I had 3 days left and it looked like there could only be one day of good weather. However on the day that it was supposed to be the wettest I woke up to find it dry with no rain forecast until mid afternoon. I packed up my stuff and headed to Cuvier as the short walk in allowed for the most time to climb. I had intended to get on “la Bérézina assis” but the boulder was packed so I decided to get on “La Balance”.

The last time I tried it I didn’t know where it started and later found out that I had tried to start it too low down. I was hopeful that starting in the right place I would have more luck. I managed to figure out a sequence for the lower section and was getting close to the top when a few spots of rain started to fall. I quickly jumped back on and reached a new high point and sadly fell but felt confident I could do it but the rain started to fall… With help from some friends we managed to cover all the holds and keep the boulder dry hoping that it would only be a short shower and I would get another go. Fortunately this turned out to be the case. I got one more attempt and that was all I needed before the rain really started to fall and climbing was done for the day.

(La Balance 7C+, Bas Cuvier)

My last day in Font had come about and after the rain a quick drying crag was needed. It looked like another rematch with “Big Boss” was going to be on the cards. After a decent warm up I waited until the late afternoon / early evening to let the boulder come into the shade. I quickly got back to my high point and had a couple of promising goes where I got close to doing the move but then I had a string of attempts where I struggled to do the lower crux. I started to feel as though I had ran out of energy and my chance to do the boulder was gone. But with it being the last day of the trip I couldn’t just walk away! I pretty much ate all the food I had with me and chilled out for a good rest. I then had my best go but still fell short and felt as though I maybe had enough in me for one or two more goes. Thankfully only one more go was needed and I finished the trip off on a high!

(Trying hard on Big Boss 7C, Cuvier Rempart. Image: Jamie MacLeod)

I’m currently back home rehabbing my ankle before heading to Switzerland. I can find it difficult to enjoy climbing when I’m not able give it my all so I think giving my ankle a little bit longer to heal should pay off in the long term rather than rushing back into my travels to be limping through the rest of the trip.

(Trying acupuncture to rehab my ankle)

During my time back I have also put together a video of my time in Font check it out!

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