This past Easter weekend was one of the year's busiest times for the boulders of Fontainebleau, and a crew from Black Diamond's European offices (along with BD athlete Nalle Hukkataival) were there, ready to make a difference. The group had self-organized a grassroots clean up and education event, which they dubbed "Chasin' The Rubbish." The group rocked up in the mornings to three of the forest's most popular areas (Bas Cuvier, Isatis and Trois Pignons) and rallied the 5000-plus boulderers there that weekend to help clean up the forest by handing out recyclable trash bags, as well as educated boulderers about how to care for the boulders. The plan: fill a trash bag, return the trash to BD in the parking lot, and the BD crew would dispose of it all. The result: more than 1200 bags handed out and more than 250 kilos of trash collected. Wow!
Below is a report from Nalle about the weekend's efforts, as well as this quick video with Nalle that captures the spirit of this fantastic grassroots effort to keep Fontainebleau's boulders beautiful.
I spent my Easter in Fontainebleau, helping out with a Black Diamond organized event called Chasin' The Rubbish. Fontainebleau is one of the biggest and best-known bouldering areas in the world and Easter is the busiest time of year there. Climbers from all over the world come to visit the forest and it can get very crowded at the boulders. One day we counted over 500 cars in the Trois Pignons parking lot alone. That's thousands of people in just one of the areas. With crowds like this, the impact on the climbing areas is big.
One of the biggest issues in Fontainebleau seems to be trash and so that was the main focus of the event. We wanted to get three messages across to people visiting the areas: - Don't leave ANY trash in the forest, and if you see thrash on the ground pick it up - Clean your shoes before climbing, because dirty shoes severely polishes the footholds - Brush off tick marks and chalk, so holds won't get polished For most climbers these things are, and should be, obvious but it's good to remind people (for example, not everyone was aware that climbing with dirty shoes is bad for the rock). The purpose of this event was not so much to directly go clean up climbing areas, but more so to educate people to do their own part in keeping the forest clean. However, with the help of a lot of people we managed to remove about 250 kilos of trash from the climbing areas over three days!! Bas Cuvier, especially, was looking cleaner than I've ever seen it!
Luckily there haven't been any area closures in Fontainebleau yet, but the traffic can be seen on polished holds and worn through footholds everywhere. We can all do our part to keep the areas open and in good condition also in the future. It's important to remember that YOUR impact on the areas is just as big as anyone else. Happy climbing to everyone!“
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