Monday, 1 October 2007

Blue No. 9 - 3c

Here is a good example of the grade madness that exists in Fontainbleau. Has anyone tried (and can recall) the Blue (or Ultramarine, as the purple book calls it) circuit at des Gorges d'Apremont? No. 9 of said circuit is graded 3c. Here are some pictures:

It starts right of the tree in this picture, then you have to hang with your right hand from the chalky white slopey pocket just to the left of the tree. Then you make a strong move (well, for me at least) left. Cross over with your right, then take a tiny finger pocket with your left hand while you sort your feet, which are tucked well under the rock.

From there, reach up with your left hand to the right-most of the two top pockets, which are also slopey. From here I can't keep my feet on and reach up for the top crimp, so I have to cut loose before going from there to the good holds on the slopey top out above.

So, sounds easy enough; the grade is easy enough. But the holds are so shiny you could apply your mascara using them as a mirror. I did all the moves, and was very close to linking them until I came flying off backwards as I went up for the top pocket, just landed on the mat and jarred my wrist where the mat wasn't quite big enough. Even without the polish of 50 years of sweaty hands, it's pretty powerful.

So why does it get 3c when other things, which I can do without encountering near death experiences (!), get 6a? Needless to say we abandoned circuits and grades, and resorted to using the guidebook purely to locate ourselves (which isn't exactly straightforward, is it!? More on maps in another post...) It's definitely a better way to go in Font.


DaveR said...

Maybe it was the wrong problem (theres so many)? Or like you say its harder when sweaty and polished :(
I'm sure there are 7a's you'll find easier :)

alpinedreamer said...

it was definitely the right problem, but I think the polish (and my pixie status) makes it much harder. No idea where to look for 7a... Font is SO BIG!!