Soloing the Sugarloaf, in Rio
I kept running into things as I walked around wide eyed, jaw dropped, gazing up at all the rock in Rio de Janeiro. There are 600m big walls right in the city! Armed with some sketchy information garnered from a few blog posts I got the bus to Urca, the most developed local area. I was stoked to see some climbers right behind the cable car station, must be on the right track.
Pao de Acucar (the Sugarloaf) is a big tourist attraction in Rio. It has 360 degree views from the top oerlooking the Baia de Guanabara, Copocabana, the city and right over to the Cristo Redentor statue on the Corcovado. And there is a cable car to the top, no wonder the hordes of tourists are keen on it.
The climb for the day was called Costao and was the original route up the mountain, first climbed in 1817. Its really mostly a 4th class scramble, with a 20m wall halfway up.
I think they have had a few accidents with over zealous tourists falling off the climbing section of the route. Mmm…. sounds like me, but without the falling thankfully.
The only real issue was the heat. It was 30 degrees and I was sweating in the direct sun. The views were worth it though, just superb.
The quizical looks from tourists at the top were quite funny when I jumped over the hand rail with climbing shoes and a chalkbag. It easier not to try and explain.
The other faces of The Sugarloaf have some sweet looking routes, with climbers on them while I descended in the cable car. I’ve since found the guidebook for Urca so we might be sampling some of them soon, with a rope.