Friday, February 20, 2009

5 Questions for Chris Schulte

Chris Schulte has been tearing it up in Fontainebleau recently. Here's an interview direct from Font:

1. How long are you in Font? What's the weather been like?

I've been here since mid-January, and we're scheduled to fly back on the third of March, which should be the case, but I'm considering extending my ticket to allow for more time should I need it to finish up a few more things. The weather has been typical Font (from my experience, anyhow) : mostly good, with some scattered showers on some days and some days are so good you can't hardly bear it. We have had maybe two forced, unplanned rest days due to weather. The forest is really big, so oftentimes you can just try other areas when one gets rain. Sometimes, though, you get run all over the forest, getting rain as soon as you arrive at the next crag...

2. What attracts you to Fontainebleau besides the climbing?

Hmm. As with most areas I've visited, there isn't a whole lot to do when you aren't climbing, but, I'm kind of a homebody when I'm not in the woods. For most folks, being within 45 minutes of one of the most amazing cities in the world is really noteworthy! For me, I like the grocery stores. I love to cook, and the stores here are packed with the goods. All the really fancy grub that costs loads at home, like cheese and desserts and so on; it's the cheapest food here. There are some really interesting folks around here too, pretty friendly. Chance encounters in bars and restaurants with every type of folk from air racers to foreign legionnaires ( no kidding )

3. How should a visiting climber from the US prepare for the climbing in Font?

Work on your footwork. Climb slopers; worse slopers than you think. Slabs, too. Core tension, but not the type for roofs, is really important. For climbing, you really just have to jump in and be willing to get schooled, pretty hard and for awhile. Prepare to climb as hard as you can at a noticeably lower grade level, which in Font means even less than you've ever known. I've done v9's here that are DEFINITELY harder than any v11s anywhere, Font included. There are v5s I may never climb! It helps to learn a little french, like for beta and directions. Many people appreciate the attempt! Other than that, bring some books to read, movie to watch, and a rain jacket. And chalk. Most chalk here is pretty bad or expensive..

4. What makes a classic boulder problem for you?

A line, like a feature. Not so much a line of holds up a wall, though there are many that are just that I appreciate, too. It's a shifting thing, a sliding scale, I guess. Setting. A feature like an arete, or prow, or a beautiful tombstone of a slab, or an amazing dyno from perfect holds on an overhang in the mountains.. I guess a lot of things make a classic boulder problem for me, but I favor compression aretes on slopers with awful feet, anywhere from below vertical to well overhung.

5. Any planned projects at home in Colorado?

Millions. There are a lot of things I have avoided, 'cause I gotta climb really often, and there are many SHARP problems in the front range. I have a few projects I've cleaned in Mount Evans I'd like to do, and I've never done No More Greener Grasses, which is mighty fine... I have a really hard sit start project in a secret area I'd like to try as soon as I get back to the states.. I did a stand for it a while back, and the sit is there, but maybe like 8b+ or 8c.. And only like four moves, too! Hard! I got a few things on granite.. I was close to Midnight Express before I left, and I wanna do some classics in the Park.. Mostly new stuff, though. Lotsa FA's out there "hiding in plain sight"...

Thanks a bunch Chris! Make sure to visit his website--good video, photos and writing.

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