Sílvia and I went rock climbing with some friends today. My first time!
We met up with people at Praia Vermelha, which is a little beach in the neighborhood of Urca that is nestled between Sugarloaf Mountain and some other hills the names of which no one really cares (but in case you’re curious, the main one is called Morro do Leme).
You can go rock climbing on basically all of the hills/mountains that surround Praia Vermelha, but we decided to rock climb some boulders that are located along a popular nature path called the “Pista Cláudio Coutinho.” Partially because it’s very easily accessible and not very dangerous, as opposed to some of the more serious rock climbing routes which are like you-might-die-if-you-don’t-have-good-gear-and-know-what-the-hell-you’re-doing.
To enter this path, you just go all the way to the left corner of Praia Vermelha (left facing the beach), and you’ll see the entrance. This path actually connects to the “Trilha da Urca” (Trail of Urca) which takes you to the top of Urca Hill, where the cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain makes a stop. The view from the top is beautiful, but that’ll be another post soon.. :)
This path, like many nature paths in Rio, had tons of monkeys (called “micos” in Portuguese)…
SO CUTE. I can’t. I just can’t. I want one so bad.. O_O
So I’ve never actually climbed a REAL live rock before (why, yes, I do consider rocks to be living things). …It’s a hell of a lot harder than climbing a rock wall at a rock climbing gym!
First of all, the holds are not man made, so very few of them are very helpful or easy to hold onto (unless you have spiderman fingers and the thickest skin in the world). Second of all, because the few holds that do exist have already been used by every other rock climber EVER, they’ve all already been mostly worn down and are not smooth and slippery like the surface of a pebble you might find on the beach.
Point is: I didn’t succeed in getting very high up on ANY of the routes that I tried.
…But it was fun to try. :)