A hidden gem in the middle of nowhere, closer to Uruguay than to any capital of Brazil, for those who love isolation, completely wild camping, in conglomerate rock, surrounded by magical looking woods. And best of all: absolutely NO CROWDS.
Casa de Pedra (House of Stone), also referred to as Bagé – the county in which it is located – is a group of large rock formations of up to a little over 100 something meters, sitting in the middle of an immense private property with absolutely nothing around but pastures, trees, bees, some harmless wild animals, and the eventual farmer´s truck that passes nearby once very two days. It sits about 60 km north of the town of Bagé, and about 350 km from the capital, Porto Alegre, in the southernmost state of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul.
My incompetence in taking decent pictures persists, so click here for a quick look at what´s around the web.
The grades are presented in YDS/French format (i.e. 0.00x/0x).
If you have any questions, don´t hesitate to send a message on the About Me section. Enjoy!
Casa de Pedra is one of the conglomerate climbing areas in the very south of Brazil, such as Caçapava do Sul and Minas do Camaquã (haven´t been to either but heard wonders), but different from those, it offers many different disciplines of climbing in almost complete isolation. You can find athletic sport routes on immense roofs as well as delicate multi pitches and a few cracks as well. Route opening activity in the area is strong since the potential for new (and hard) projects is big.
The first ascents were registered during the 70s and from then the local climbing community, especially the Netto brothers (who are also very active in Patagonia), have been actively adding new amazing climbs to the spot. Today it has about 90 routes on 12 sectors, not counting boulders.
This area is inside both private land and rules are applied and self regulated by the local climber´s association along with the owner, and these rules must be respected in order to keep the area open for all climbers. A small fee of R$ 7 (2-3 euros/dollars) is payable in the farm house in the beginning of the dirt road.
Bring a 60 m rope (70 m even better for rappelling multi pitch routes) and 15-20 quick draws, helmet, a small cam rack (not many trad routes though), all of the water you´ll consume, food for all days, garbage bags to pack all your trash out, all camping equipment. DO NOT leave any trash in the crag or camping area!
A democratic area that has a little bit of everything, from easy sport routes, to V10 boulders, to super overhang endurance sport climbs, but mainly moderate multi pitch. Rock is conglomerate with pebbles that break easily (except for the sport routes on the roofs which are very solid), so climbing here tends to demand lots of balance and body awareness as it´s not very wise to weigh in on any holds for too long. Very interesting nonetheless, and great mental exercise.
From 5.7/5a to 5.13c/8a+. Most multi pitches are in the moderate range.
Autumn only, from September to November. Not much rain, pleasant temperatures. In the summer there´s too many wasps and bees hanging around.
Guess what, you need a car. And if it´s rainy season, it must be a 4×4 in order to pass the 8,5 km dirt road from the highway to the actual climbing spot (tracklog here). Otherwise you might have trouble getting to the highway.
WHERE TO STAY
Awesome! You may camp. No electricity, water, or bathroom structure though, and being it private property, you need to act respectfully. Take out everything you bring in and practice leave no trace ethics (that includes burying your poop). Camping area is quite large amidst trees but unless it is rainy season, you also must bring drinking water. Days and nights can be very cold in the winter, so bring a good sleeping bag and warm clothing. Remember you´re in the southernmost part of Brazil, it does get cold.
No guidebook but many of the links bellow have good and up to date topos.
Here´s some cool links with extra info and pictures a lot better than mine:
- Escaladas en Sur (Nettos brothers website with topos and info)
- AGM Montnahismo (Climber´s Association that oversees the area)
- Naoki Arima´s page (really good pics and downloadable small PDF map of the area)
- Another website with topos
- Escalada nos Pampas (details on the area and topos)
And a few videos: