Go back to Brazil.
Go back to Corcovado.
Dedo de Deus.
We departed Rio promptly at 4am and were hiking along the highway still in darkness some 2 hours later. That day we were joined by Didi and Igor who’d climb the route as a separate team. The goal for the day was the iconic Dedo de Deus (Finger of God) formation in the Serra dos Orgaos National Park. The formation has a special meaning to Brazilian climbers as it was deemed impossible by some visiting Italian alpinists in the early 20th century. In 1912, an enterprising team of Brazilians proved the Euros wrong and summited the incredible looking mountain; a stunt that involved multi-person shoulder stands and hauling up a large tree trunk to overcome the final summit pitch. This was also one of the Brazilian formations that got our fire going some 12 years ago. The short stretch of highway hiking was followed by an hour-long, steep uphill slog on a climbers’ trail. This brought us to the start of the approach cables that led up some slabs. The reason for such a ferrata becomes clear as you realize that the slabs are perpetually wet – so it’s either an A0 ladder several hundred meters long or some fixed steel cables. We simulclimbed the cables in stretched pitches (some sections are of questionable quality & hence the belay) interrupted by hiking. This was kind of a pain in the ass and took a while.
We finally reached the base of the route proper as the guys were about 2 pitches up. The first real pitch of climbing (3rd per topo) involved clipping a bolt down low followed by about 20 meters of unprotected OW climbing – physical and scary and made us think that we were in for quite a day. We’d find out after the climb that there was in fact a scramble by-pass to this section though I’m glad we did not miss this character builder. The rest of the route was quite a bit easier – aesthetic chimneys, a bit of crack and slab and even a fixed ladder (literal ladder) for the summit block. We joined the guys for the first rappel section of the descent down the north face. After that it was endless and alternating sections of hiking, sketchy wet slab/root down-climbing/sliding, short rappels and some long rappels. We finally caught up to our companions at the base of the ferrata. We were all back at the car by 4pm and tossing down some beers while admiring the stunning granite mountain we had just climbed. A satisfying day in the hills.
Leaving Rio at 4am (May 2019).
Short stretch of highway hiking to reach the start of the climbers’ trail (May 2019).
Start of the steep climbers’ trail up to Dedo de Deus (May 2019).
Not a switchback in sight (May 2019).
The complex approach: hiking, via ferretas and fixed ropes over slick slabs, followed by more hiking (May 2017).
Shirley on the initial pitches of the route (May 2019).
Leading pitch 4 – this is the start of the Maria Cebola variation (May 2019).
Shirley on the pretty 4th pitch (May 2019).
More pitch 4 (Maria Cebola) action (May 2019).
Leading an aesthetic chimney on pitch 5. Steeper than what the photo implies (May 2019).
View out of the chimney (May 2019).
Shirley in the pitch 5 chimney (May 2019).
Nearing the 5th belay (May 2019).
Shirley finishing up the 5th pitch (May 2019).
Leading the easy pitch 6 chimney (May 2019).
Looking back at Shirley from inside the pitch 6 chimney (May 2019).
Views form high on the route (May 2019).
Shirley finishing up pitch 6. Some more awkward wideness (May 2019).
Starting up pitch 7 (May 2019).
Views and wildlife (May 2019).
Exiting the pitch 7 chimney (May 2019).
Belaying Shirley on pitch 7 from a spacious sub-summit ledge. Photo by Igor or Didi (May 2019).
Shirley exiting the final chimney of the route; pitch 7 (May 2019).
Belaying Shirley on pitch 7. Photo by Didi or Igor (May 2019).
Shirley starting up the last pitch…yeah, a 20 foot ladder to overcome the overhanging summit block (May 2019).
The FA party dragged up a large tree trunk to overcome this section. Now there’s a steel ladder in its place. Photo by Didi or Igor (May 2019).
Dedo de Deus – summit pitch: ladder to an easy finishing slab. Photo by Didi or Igor (May 2019).
Following Shirley up the ladder pitch. Photo by Didi or Igor (May 2019).
Topping out on the summit. Shirley banged up her camera in the chimneys (May 2019).
The summit plaque commemorating the FA party a.k.a. Conquistadores (May 2019).
Summit views and the splendor of Serra dos Orgaos National Park. Click photo for a quick video (May 2019).
On the summit; photo by Didi or Igor (May 2019).
Signing the summit register (May 2019).
More of the dramatic summit views, esp. with the clouds moving in (May 2019).
Igor (left) and Didi on the first rappel off the summit in encroaching clouds (May 2019).
Shirley on the first double rope rap off the summit (May 2019).
Views from below the summit during the descent (May 2019).
After 2 rappels, you reach scrambling terrain. A mix of sliding down slick slabs, using some fixed ropes/via ferratas, and many rappels (short and later long) – pretty pain in the ass (May 2019).
On descent (May 2019).
There were many of those sections – a fixed rope down slick-as-snot wet slab. Some of those we opted to rappel as they were extra sketchy (May 2019).
Views from descent (May 2019).
One of many short raps we did (despite the fixed ferrata; May 2019).
Back on the climbers’ trail (May 2019).
Looking up at Dedo de Deus from the road below. Summit is on the right (May 2019).
Almost back at the beer (May 2019).
An amazing formation (May 2019).
A close-up of Dedo de Deus (May 2019).
Go to Agulha do Diabo.
Go back to Brazil.