Climbing in Mervent Forest

When choosing Chateau locations, one of the first things I checked were the climbing maps. Hobbs, Katie-Alice's partner did the same. Then we exchanged emoji filled watsapp messages and lines of exclamations, he found the perfect location. 

One of the great things I love about our Mitsubishi Outlander, is how adventure ready the car enables us to be. Also, it can seat 7 people and a whole load of outdoor gear. 

We piled into the car. As the shortest, I clambered into the back, Jordan saw to the soundtracks and Andrew handled the narrow lanes and hairpin bends. 

Winding our way through Mervent Forest, I was in awe, it was all so beautiful. So different to our usual bouldering destination in the forest of Fontainebleau

climbing in mervent forest

We arrived, unpacked the cars, loaded up with the backpacks, then followed the path winding along the hilltop and down a long winding set of steps to the river side. 

The calm waters were beautiful, the rock was enticing, and we were so so excited to get started. 

As we geared up, I looked across the river, hidden in the trees was a perfect dream home... 

The routes were bolted and the group of mixed abilities, my abilities slightly hampered by the red wine evening before... 

Anyway, we were pretty excited to say the least! 

Ready, set, go! 

CiCi geared up to the route that Hobbs had top roped... 

climbing in mervent forest

While there was a lot of laughter and giggles of happiness, we take safety seriously and if in doubt always check. 

climbing in mervent forest

Then, off she set... 

Clambering up and fondling our way over aretes...  

The great thing about the rock, it is that the puzzles are yours. When it comes to a challenge, it's just you and the rock up there to get over it. 

But don't hang around for too long... the eagles were showing uncomfortable amounts of interest in us! 

Katie-Alice was up next, the thing about top roping is that you can reuse the route and run up and down it as many times as you want! 

She chalked up... 

And off she went... 

climbing in mervent forest

The boys shimmied up the rock face, all doing fantastically! I didn't capture any images of Jordan but instead recorded it all on video - with his height he had us in awe, taking minimal steps to reach the top of the rope! 

climbing in mervent forest

Everyone did fantastically! It was such a perfect location, lying out beside the river, watching your family shimmy up and face spectacular challenges. 

I was so proud of the team, they did fantastically. 

There's something amazingly personal about the rock and being outdoors exploring your world around. I've been reading the Urban Monk recently and I can't shake some of Pegram Shojai's take home messages really resonated true while out there beside the flowing waters. 

One of the key messages I've taken with me is the process and importance of breath, when things get chaotic or scary, there's that silent place in each of our breaths, and it's always there... the hard part is remembering how to get back to that point.