Author: Nick K
The last couple of years have put so much on hold that the new normal has shaken off a lot of the old normal so much that certain traditions (ironing 5 shirts of a Sunday night and shaving every day) have somewhat fallen by the wayside. The MMC has changed somewhat too in terms of its membership, committee and also in the way it has had to adapt to the increased demand on campsites. So, like some long dormant piece of machinery being reluctantly brought back to like the indefatigable Bleausards of Nick, Simon and AG, with debutant Satish dusted off the bouldering mats, beanies and bottle openers and trickled down through the bible-black Picardy autoroute to La Musardiere campsite.
Despite an absence of a couple of years not much had changed, the bread van still arrived at 8 AM, the office still had a big white dog and the MMC still planted themselves in the same section of the campsite. What more to say of the bouldering? Well since the Bleuasard alumni seem to have largely left the club the names of yore so familiar such as Milly-la-Foret, Barbizon, Apremont, Trois Pignons, Roche au Sabot and Bas Cuvier will be of little significance to most. One thing that had changed was that nearly everyone seemed to be clutching a copy of the latest Bingo-Jobbly font guide so I suppose Mr Atchinson-Jones finally has a winner in his iconic guidebook series.
For the record the weather was absolutely gorgeous with 20 degrees and sunny each day which brought back memories of other Easter trips where rain, wind and even snow had driven people to shelter in the cafés of Fontainebleau or even to make premature departures. No such problem this trip though the excellent weather and sudden reopening of travel opportunities saw a huge increase in popularity of the area. On the Friday AM the team went to Bois Rond. This is normally a fairly quiet area but not so this time as the parking had spilled all the way back up the main road. Still thanks to the French authorities exercising a lot more liberte in their parking restrictions this was no problem and the number of boulders and problems meant that despite the increased popularity it never felt crowded.
And so the days passed, croissants and pain-au-chic for brekker, bread and cheese for lunch and a hearty serving of vegetable strew for dinner, washed down by a surprisingly moderate volume of 4 euro wine (whatever happened to Neville?). Cooking facilities being restricted to Simon’s Trangia as AG’s MSR broke at the first time of asking. For the record the following days were spent successively at Franchard Isatis, Rocher Guichot and finally Bas Cuvier where Simon tried and failed to repeat his triumph over the Marie Rose (classic problem and first 6a in the Forest).
All in all it was a great trip and you can see some of the pictures below. For those who were caught on the horns of a dilemma between font and Cornwall there will probably be a return fixture to Font in September which used to be a regular occurrence. September is if anything an even better time to go as the weather is decent, not too hot and it is not nearly as crowed as Easter.
Thanks to Simon for organising, driving, paying, supplying cooker and basically doing everything.