Low Gravity Week In Fontainebleau

Low Gravity Week In Fontainebleau

Someone apparently flipped the low gravity switch last week in Fontainebleau…

Only a couple of days into his first visit to the Horse Pens 40 of France Font, Jimmy Webb wasted no time putting his other-worldly compression skills to work by making a 1 hour ascent of Khéops Assis (V14) according to his 8a scorecard.

Webb wasn’t the only climber to make a fast repeat of Khéops Assis last week as Sean McColl also managed a 1 day ascent of this boulder. In a sign of the times, his ascent was aided by the fact that he could watch footage of Paul Robinson trying the line while he was actually at the boulder:

I was happy to say that my flash go was very satisfying. I did the first 5 or so moves and fell exactly where I thought I might, from sloper to sloper. I didn’t even come close to doing the move, but it still felt good. I then figured I’d just try that one move until I got it. I spent the next 20 or so minutes trying to figure out that move but after 7-8 tries, I just couldn’t do it. After that many tries, I sat down and studied Paul’s movie again. I was just looking for where he put his right foot for the hard move. After watching the movie for probably 5 minutes, I suspected that he was putting his heel unusually close to his left foot right on the arête.

I saw how I assumed it would work, and put my shoes on pretty fast. The first time I tried the move with that magical heel, I did the top! I was psyched and as I was running down the backside of the boulder, I already knew that Kheops Assis was totally possible, and today!

Also enjoying the prime conditions in Font was Nalle Hukkataival. In a single day he did the FA of a recently cleaned project he’s calling Realist (V14) and he repeated Gecko Assis (V14).

Nalle Hukkataival on his new problem in Font called Realist (V14)

And lastly, Guillaume Glairon-Mondet repeated Satan i helvete bas (V14) according to UKClimbing.

So yeah, that was a pretty good week, no?

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10 Responses to Low Gravity Week In Fontainebleau

  1. Bert February 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Great title and writeup!

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  2. Dylan February 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Props to Sean for the super fast send, which I might point out is extremely impressive, with or without the video help.  God knows a bunch of my harder bouldering sends were the result of beta whoring from internet videos. 

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    • Narc February 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

      For this reason I only boulder in areas with good internet service…usually

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    • Brianh February 7, 2012 at 12:01 am #

      Seeing the holds and understanding how to move between them is a
      fundamental skill of rock climbing.  When we beta whore we are cheating ourselves out of the thinking part of the game.

      Still fun, and still goddamned impressive to climb V14 in an hour.   But “on sight” and “flash” are different things, and there’s a reason we find one more impressive than the other.Can you imagine James Litz on the second ascent of Esperanza?  Did he think… how did Fred climb this?   I wonder how much beta he had.   Must have looked daunting, but he climbed it.    I would like to hear the stories of the first and second ascents.   Now you can watch a handful of people send it before you get to Hueco.

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  3. Scotty Vegas February 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Watching video of a rock climb in order to “figure out” a rock climb is a lot like using a game guide to “figure out” a massive role playing game.  Why figure it out on your own when you can just watch video of someone else who probably did?

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    • TheDanDan February 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

      If I were on a trip to font, I certainly wouldn’t want to waste hours figuring out beta when I could be sending and moving onto the next classic problem. 

      For most people, trying to repeat a problem during a climbing trip in a foreign country isn’t really the time to get into the whole ‘figuring it out’ experience.

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    • Justin February 8, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

      Totally, but like using a game guide doesn’t it take away from some of the fun?

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      • Tommy Wilson February 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

        its a different game.  flashing with internets beta is different than onsight is different than projecting an FA is different than working an enduro route. but all are still fun in totally different ways.  

        that said, i’m sure Jimmy has experienced enough problem solving highs that he’s not going through withdrawal when he sends v14 in an hour.  

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  4. Gelu February 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    V14 is the new V13.

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  5. rjbaum February 9, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    jimmy webb must have received a misprinted guide to font.  he’s making all those v14’s look like v4.  man is a beast on sandstone.  best sandstone boulderer in the world?  southeast boys do it right.

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