Positive Climbing

Font Boulder




The Fontainebleau Climbing Coaching Workshop with Adrian Berry, Sam Hunter and Amber Thornton.

April 20th - 27th 2019

The focus of this trip is climbing technique. Through the medium of bouldering we will spend five days getting back to the very essence of climbing: moving efficiently over rock.

Fontainebleau Coaching HolidayWho's it for?

This trip is suitable for anyone who climbs and wants to improve. There is no minimum ability, nor a maximum, whatever level you're at we can challenge you! Couples are welcome.

It doesn't matter whether you have only done routes - you'll soon feel at home, and if you've never been to Fontainebleau you're in for a real treat. All we ask is that you love climbing and want to improve.

How it works

During the week we will examine general movement skills such as foot-placement and body positioning, static and dynamic approaches, optimising hand and foot positions, as well as more specific techniques aimed at climbing features such as slabs, overhangs, aretes, cracks, slopers and rounded top-outs. We will also help you learn how to give 100% effort on the rock and how to learn from the times when it still isn't enough.

There will be plenty of opportunity to explore the wealth of problems available in the forest, and if you find something you could use some help with - we'll be right there with you.

Coaching will be delivered through a combination of presentation to the group and 1:1 coaching where needed. The approach will be very hands-on with demonstrations and video recording.

hueco pockets at Fontainebleau

How much is it?

£590 - £100 of which is taken as a deposit and the full amount is due two months prior to the start of the trip.

hiking into Font

Typical Itinerary


Arrive at accommodation


Spotting techniques and proper use of bouldering mats
Basic strategy for not getting worn out on your first day
Foot placements and learning to use friction
Topping out techniques


Aretes and heel-hooking


Dynamic climbing


Rest day - please do rest! You may feel like climbing, but we strongly advise against it as you will not last the week if you do.


Dealing with hard top-outs.
Working boulder problems efficiently


Steep rock technique


10:00 Leaving the accommodation and travel back - or stay on?

Demonstrating ring locks

Accommodation & Meals

A comfortable gite in the village of Arbonne, in the centre of the climbing area will be our home for the week.

A simple breakfast and food for lunch will be provided, in the evening we will eat out, or if someone has the energy to cook, we can eat in.

Font Gite

Getting there and getting around

As most people coming on this trip will be arriving by car, we have found the best way to keep costs down is to arrange for clients to share car spaces and costs. In the past pickups from local train stations have been easily arranged.

Font Gite

The coaches

The coaching ratio for this trip is 1:4 max. Should a coach be unable to attend the trip due to injury or ill-health, a substitute with equal experience and ability will be found.

Adrian Berry Adrian Berry has been climbing since 1988 and coaching climbing since 2002 when he began the planetFear coaching program. Adrian has coached numerous individuals and climbing clubs, including several clubs and operational units within the armed forces. He has delivered lectures and masterclasses at the request of the sport's governing bodies in Denmark and The Netherlands, provides instructor training at a major UK climbing wall, and has written two books (Sport Climbing+ and Trad Climbing+) which helped herald the new approach to the teaching of climbing. Adrian has climbed competitively internationally, sport climbed up to 8b+, trad climbed up to E9, and bouldered up to V10.
Adrian Berry Sam has been living as a full-time climber since 2011, along with his partner Amber, he has been based in the forest of Fontainebleau for the last five years and has been guiding and teaching professionally for the the last three. Being highly motivated by the unique Fontainebleau style has led Sam to boulder up to Font 8B / V13 in the forest and achieve several of the benchmark test pieces of the area. Sam (and Amber) regularly shares his knowledge and enthusiasm of Fontainebleau climbing through his YouTube channel RoadRamble - see video below.
Adrian Berry Amber has been guiding and coaching bouldering in Fontainebleau Forest for the last three years and works with Sam to help groups and individuals get the most out of the fantastic range of boulders. Before this she has worked as a climbing instructor in the UK. Amber has bouldered up to 7b+ / V8 and lives in Fontainebleau for much of the year, exploring other climbing areas around Europe for the remainder. Studies in Conservation Biology and Ecology have given her a particular interest in minimising climber impact in order to preserve the forest environment and promote continued bouldering access to the area.

Recent Feedback

"I've learnt more about technique in this past week than I have garnered by trial and error over all the years I've been climbing (if only I'd done it sooner)"

"The trip itself was really great, i felt like i was pushed just the right amount and as an outdoor newbie i feel like i have been given all the skills i need to build on it now and had really useful feedback."

"Thanks for putting together a fantastic trip - sitting here at my desk I'm suffering serious withdrawals, so much so that some of my newfound friends and I are already planning to head back to Font in November. Hopefully that tells you just how much we enjoyed ourselves. "

"I went with a pretty open mind, and it far exceeded any expectations. Font is a magical place, the weather and a great group of people made the whole experience fantastic."

"There is no magic wand to getting better, but the week certainly reinforced for me what I need to work on to achieve my goals. Would definitely go again and am strongly considering Kalymnos as well. Definitely exceeded my expectations."

"This trip to Font developed my climbing abilities beyond I thought it might be possible. Within my 20 years of climbing I got stuck in my self-set restrictions. Your confidence that I could do a good deal more, your patience with me and your insistency helped me to overcome these limits."

"In more than ten years of climbing in Font I was never able to climb harder than 5c and in the last week you helped me to push my limits to flash a 6b! Thanks a lot for this experience!"

"In terms of positive feedback, I would say the course was great. By the end of the week I was working on routes I wouldn't have started on without going on the course. I also think the course gave me the grounding to get real enjoyment out of bouldering outdoors in the future."

"Gaz was brilliant, he offered great tips and was very patient. A really great climber to watch too. You both work very well together, two different styles and approaches meant that everyone could see a solution for themselves. Its clear that you get along really well and complement each other as coaches."

"Regards the week, i thought it went really well. The choice of areas and problems was superb and challenged me as a climber. I found the coaching very helpful, particularly watching either you or Gaz climb, as well as the video feedback."

Adrian and Gaz holding a pad in Font

Terms and Conditions

1) Climbing is inherently dangerous! During the week you will be pushed to and beyond your limits, you will be encouraged to fall and there is a very real risk of injury during the coaching holiday which you accept when you attend.

2) There is a risk of death or serious injury from, amongst other things, rockfall, equipment failure, and human error, which you accept when you attend this coaching holiday.

3) The coaches on this trip are not climbing lifeguards! By booking on the workshop you are representing that you are an experienced and competent climber who does not require any supervision or instruction in the safety aspects of the sport. Further, you agree to take responsibility for your choices and actions during the week.

4) To secure your place we require a deposit of £100. This is not refundable and your place is non-transferable..

5) The remaining amount of £490 is required to be paid by bank transfer two months before the holiday begins. This is not refundable and we recommend taking out travel insurance that covers the risk of you being unable to attend for any reason.

6) Coaches are human beings who can get ill, injured, and so on, and on occasion it may be necessary to substitute a coach for another of similar ability.

6) Coaches are hired based on numbers attending.

Choose Workshop and Numbers


Once we have received your booking you will be given access to a google doc and you will need a google account to access this. The 'doc' has everything you need to know about how to get to the accommodation and what to bring. It also allows everyone to share information about themselves prior to the trip. If you have a google account associated with an email address different to the one used to make the booking, then please contact us.

Font 95.2

All photos courtesy of Lisa Bennett and Gyula Szathmary