Essential Fontainebleau

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Essential Fontainebleau cover artwork (Stone Country Press)

Essential Fontainebleau from Stone Country Press is a select guide covering bouldering in the Fontainebleau forest. This pocket sized book strikes me as another attractive book from Stone Country Press that follows a simple formula of photo topos and photography to wet the appetite.

Every climber should visit Fontainebleau at least once in their life. The beauty of the forest and the myriad sandstone boulders attract climbers from around the planet keen to test their climbing ability. This guide is a selected tour of 350 essential problems, from classic circuit problems to the famous test pieces. Above all, it will help you enjoy the atmosphere of the forest and start you out on the journey to becoming a bleausard

Areas within the book are introduced with a short description and plan of the blocs covered. From here individual problems are marked with a small colour picture (four per page) and a topo symbols. Over the old Font guides I've used I like this format as it gives an ideal indication of what to look for rather than relying on a plan view alone which can be confusing amongst so many boulders. Each problem has topo keys indicating classic status, whether its part of a circuit, if its sequency, requires strength, good friction and finger strength, technicality, dynamics and if its high or committing. I liked these as they give more info from experience than a picture alone can provide. Historical notes are also covered in the introduction. In all the book is an essential buy for any first timer planning a visit to Fontainebleau

An electronic preview is available here.

Essential Fontainebleau sells at £9.99 and is available from or from most good high street climbing stores.

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