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.