BLOG: Fontainebleau and Orpierre by Kevin Avery

Just back from a week of climbing in France. Spent the first 3 days  on the impeccable sandstone boulders of Fontainebleau with James Foley. The weather was fantastic, being cool, dry and mainly clear. We sampled the delights of Apremont, Cuvier, Cuvier Rempart and Cuisiniere, ticking many classic problems along the way.

Kevin Avery nearing the top of a classic Bas Cuvier highball, Fontainebleau, France


An Icon?! James Foley at Cuvier Rempart, complete with full bouldering attire!


The darker side of Fontainebleau. A 'crack pipe' at Bas Cuvier. NOT suggested bouldering kit!

I headed south on Wednesday to (slightly) warmer climes and the pretty village of Orpierre with it’s superb limestone sport routes. Whilst driving down I was slightly perturbed by the fact that I encountered roadside snow and an outside temperature of 3 degrees, but fortunately it did warm up on arrival and I even managed to give my shorts an outing!

Meeting up with Alison Culshaw we enjoyed a few excellent days, climbing on the single pitch routes of Le Chateau as well as  some multi pitch action on the impressive South-East face of the Quiquillon. Fleur de Lotus is a superb 5-pitch F6b, giving delightfully varied and interesting climbing; a route I would highly recommend to anyone.

Orpierre offers a beautiful  and peaceful setting with routes for all. An excellent campsite within walking distance of the crags, friendly bar, supermarket and climbing shop, means everything is close to hand; I strongly recommend a visit if you have not already been.

Alison Culshaw enjoys superb limestone climbing on Fleur De Lotus, Orpierre, France
Alison Culshaw on pitch 4 (F6b) of Fleur De Lotus, Orpierre, France

Sadly, it was back to Britain on Sunday however the next trip will hopefully not be too far away. We may even see the arrival of winter soon? Fingers crossed!

Essential Kit:



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