Sasha Di Giulian, Felipe Camargo free big wall at Pedra Riscada, Brazil
American rock climber Sasha Di Giulian and Felipe Camargo from Brazil have made the first free ascent of 'Planeta dos Macacos' (8a+, 650m) up one of the main peaks in the Pedra Riscada massif in Brazil. The big wall climb is believed to currently be the only route up the peak.
Aware of this obvious, prime challenge, in mid-July Camargo and Di Giulian travelled to the huge granite domes described as the "Yosemite of Brazil", located close to São José do Divino in the southeast of the country, in order to claim the first free ascent of this open project.
The duo needed just two days to free the 14-pitch outing and, swinging leads, Di Giulian managed to onsight all the pitches she led. They spent a night in a portaledge at the top of the 8th pitch and successfully continued on to the summit the next day. The route is called Planeta dos Macacos - Planet of the Monkeys - and difficulties weigh in at 8a+ max, with the two crux pitches located in the middle of the route.
Talking to planetmountain.com after her ascent, Di Giulian stated "This big wall included its epics, as all big projects seem to have. We experienced four seasons while on the wall. Storms rolled through at night and we had no cover from the rain on our portaledge, making for some windy, wet, and cold conditions. Though, we laughed, drank whisky, and waited out the storm. Felipe was the perfect partner to succeed on this huge undertaking! I've never done the first ascent of a wall like this. So, the achievement, especially with Felipe who I have known for ten years now, feels extra special."
Although routes were climbed on Pedra Riscada in the past, the massif first drew international attention in 2009 when Germany's Stefan Glowacz, Holger Heuber and Klaus Fengler, Brasil's Edemilson Padiha and Argentina's Horacio Gratton made the first ascent of The Place of Happiness (5.12d / 7c), the striking 850-metre arête on the prominent main dome. In 2013 Divina Liberdade was forged to the left of Place of Happiness by Padilha, Valdesir Machado and Wilian Lacerda, while in 2015 Argentine climbers Ignacio Elorza, Horacio Gratton, María José Moisés, and Cintia Percivati established Viaje de Cristal that shares some pitches with Place of Happiness.