Welcome to Brazil on the Rocks, a small series dedicated to helping foreigners explore some of the many options for rock climbing in Brazil.
While travelling around the world I heard many times people saying they heard there´s great rock climbing in Brazil, but most of the time they couldn´t name a single spot. But hey, this is what this series is for.
While I am on a break from high altitude mountaineering and all its associated suffering, I will be traveling around some areads of Brazil and documenting the info and putting it here to help gringos plan their trips. The grades used are the YDS system and French system (5.xx/0X format), and please remember seasons in the southern hemisphere are the opposite of the seasons in the northern hemisphere. If you have any questions, don´t hesitate to send a message on the About Me section. Enjoy!
Lapa do Seu Antão is one of the many high quality limestone crags near Belo Horizonte, one of the largest cities in Brazil, located in the county of Pedro Leopoldo.
Climbing in the area began around the 90s with things going pretty quietly until about 2010, when a local climbing club, Clube Montis, started working the area with the permission of the land owners (most if not all of the climbing crags in Brazil are located in private land). The area has 225 routes from 5.6 to 5.13d/4a to 8b.
Because it is inside private land and a private natural reserve, there´s many rules to follow, but once you see how organized and clean everything is, it won´t be hard to collaborate. The area is open from 8 am to 6 pm, and there´s a fee of 10 reais (about 3 dollars/euros) per weekend per person.
Bring a 60 m rope and quick draws, lots of water, food for the day, garbage bag and insect repellent. DO NOT leave any trash in the crag!
Please also note the area closes usually around year´s end to open late January in order to allow for the flora to recover. The area also has lots of poisonous snakes, so attention to the paths is a must, and taken all the trash out is also mandatory, as well as other “rules of use”. Please consult with the guardians at the entrance of the crag if you have any questions.
This is a beginner´s and intermediate´s area for bolted sport routes. Although is has many routes of harder grades, it is a great place for people who already have a hand on climbing, but aren´t yet climbing super hard. Routes tend to be short face climbs with very concentrated cruxes, and many aggressive overhangs and roofs of all grades.
- 5.6 to 5.10b/4a to 6a+: 39 routes
- 5.10c to 5.11c/6b to 6c+: 87 rooutes
- 5.11d to 5.12c/7a to 7b+: 60 routes
- 5.12d to 5.13c/7c to 8a+: 31 routes
- 5.13b and above/8b and above:7 routes
As in most climbing areas in Brazil, winter, that is, June through September, when temperatures are lower and there´s not much rain. During the other seasons it can rain a lot and routes will take a long time to get dry.
The area is notorious for sightings of rattlesnakes so keep your eyes open and try to walk in between sectors in closed shoes. Bring a strong mosquito repellent as well, in any season.
You can get to Fidalgo (the town where the refuges are) by bus from Belo Horizonte.
WHERE TO STAY
Abrigo Lapinha has 2 units, one closer to the entrance of the area than the other. There´s private and shared bedrooms and shared kitchen, as well as parking area. In one of the refuges you can also have your shoes resoled. They´re about 15-20 minutes drive from the climbing area.
IN THE TOWN
There´s about 2 small markets in town with very limited options. If you´re a picky eater bring most of the stuff and watch out for the time as businesses in town close pretty early.
A really nice guidebook was published recently and can be bought directly at the entrance or by mail. Contact Clube Montis for more info.
Here´s some cool links with pictures a lot better than mine:
- Lapa do Seu Antão on Facebook
- Old guidebook (only half of the routes there´s nowadays)
- Naoki Arima´s page (really good pics)