Go back to South America.

Passagem dos Olhos

Passagem dos Olhos.

Dedo de Deus

Dedo de Deus.

What a fantastic climbing trip this was! Probably our second favorite to date, edged out from the top of the podium only by Mali. We’ve been wanting to go climbing in Brazil for some 12 years. Initially, other climbing priorities got in the way and later, as we started becoming more serious about the trip, we realized that the logistics were a little more complex than it seemed initially. Sure, if you were to limit yourself to climbing in the city of Rio, all you’d really need is a guidebook and an Uber app; though even there a bit of local knowledge would be highly advisable in order to avoid some rough areas. However, venturing beyond the city presents the usual logistical challenges (arrangement of permits, transport, lodging) which would be difficult to wade through particularly on a limited time budget. And so we started looking for the right “enablers” who’d remove all those obstacles for us and yet let us climb stuff on our own.

Agulha do Diabo

Agulha do Diabo.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro.

This was not a trivial task as most climbing companies are reluctant to let you do your own climbing unsupervised. Finally, some 18 months ago we stumbled onto a new company that did not reject our proposal outright. The good folks at Dia Lindo (“Nice Day”) seemed willing to set this up. We’d find out later that their only stipulation was that their team would be somewhere on the route with us – either above or below but generally out of our sight. This was a non-issue for us – so long as we can climb as an independent team, we’re fine with it. We would usually join forces on the rappels though as we would have done with any other climbing team anywhere else. They put together an itinerary for us which included those climbs we absolutely wanted to try (Dedo de Deus, Agulha do Diabo, Tres Picos) plus a few of their own recommendations. The whole thing was finalized 10 months before our departure.

Details And Translations

Pico Maior

Face Leste, Pico Maior.


K2 on Corcovado.

  • Rio Rest Day
  • Pao de AcucarVia dos Italianos com Secundo (Vsup E2 D2, 265 meters = 5.10, 9 pitches)
  • CorcovadoVia K2 (V E2 D1, 140 meters = 5.9, 5 pitches)
  • Dedo de DeusVia Face Leste com Maria Cebola (IVsup A0 E3 D4, 240 meters = 5.9 A0, 8 pitches)
  • Agulha do DiaboVia Normal (V A0 E3 D3, 230 meters = 5.9 A0, 10 pitches)
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Pico Maior in Tres PicosVia Face Leste (V A1 E3 D4 670 meters = 5.9 A0, 16 pitches)
  • Pedra da GaveaVia Passagem dos Olhos (IV C E2 D2, 145 meters = 5.7 A0, 5 pitches)
  • Farewell Rio
  • Video Clips

    Agulha do Diabo

    Agulha do Diabo (click for full res.).

  • Video: Shirley midway up K2 route on Corcovado with Rio below.
  • Video: Shirley topping out on K2 (Corcovado summit).
  • Video: Views of Rio (incl. Pao de Acucar) from the very crowded summit of Corcovado.
  • Video: Summit panorama from Dedo de Deus including Didi belaying his partner Igor.
  • Video: Lower chimneys on Agulha do Diabo.
  • Video: Shirley entering the upper chimney on Agulha do Diabo – tight, suffocating squeeze (& trying to hold on to her breakfast).
  • Video: Shirley in the upper chimney on Agulha do Diabo.
  • Video: Agulha do Diabo from the hike down/out.
  • Video: Feira de Tradições Nordestimas street market in Rio with some traditional dancing from the north of the country.
  • Video: More from Feira de Tradições Nordestimas.
  • Video: Fully loaded Fiat, Tres Picos-bound.
  • Video: The last rap of a pretty complex descent from the summit of Pico Maior.
  • Video: And some cross country shwacking. Made the trail before the headlamps came out.
  • Video: Views of Rio from the summit of Pedra da Gavea.
  • Video: Rocinha Favela from the Dois Irmaos hike.
  • Some Beta

    Via dos Italianos

    Pao Acucar.

    Dedo de Deus

    Dedo de Deus.

    This really was a trip to sample what the state of Rio de Janeiro had to offer climbingwise. At a size just a bit smaller than the US, there are so many more great looking climbing areas to check out in Brazil. The Campanhia da Escalada sells some very nice guidebooks for a handful of those areas (as well as the 50 Classic Climbs Of Brazil tome – very nicely done and includes English translations).

    Rio de Janeiro

    A coati.

    Rio de Janeiro

    A marmoset.

    All the in-country logistics were taken care of by the good folks at Dia Lindo climbing. Check them out on Facebook and on their website. We cannot recommend these guys enough: professional, safe, fun and friendly, and we got exactly what we wanted!

    Lastly, we just missed the lifting of the visa requirements for US citizens. Brazil is now (June 2019) even easier to visit.


    Go to Rio Rest Day.
    Go back to South America.