Mount Corcovado is Rio’s main attraction and one of the seven wonders of world. With 710 m (2,329 ft) above see level, this mountain supports the statue of Christ the Redeemer. The 38 meter (125 ft) high statue weighs 1,145 tons (1,262 net tons). It was constructed between 1922 and 1931 considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world.
The way to get up there to see the statue and the incredible views of Rio is by taking a little train ( one of the oldest in Brazil!) then a bus to the top where you walk 222 steps to the statue. - And pay lots of money!!! ($30) - out of my budget ...
My friend Marcelo and I had better plans to get up there, by climbing a classic rock climbing route K2 on the south face of the Corcovado. After Marcelo got home from work, we packed our climbing gear and jumped on my motorbike to get to the base parking lot. ( avoiding the little train ride ) we then walked up the road to get to the trail head. Endless amount of busses were flying by us on the windy road
taking hundreds of people up. Half hour later, we were off the main road walking the deep forest bushwack to the base of our route. Even before climbing we had a killer view of Rio, the sugarloaf and crazy maze of Favelas scaling along the mountain sides.
Marcelo agreed to let me lead all the pitches for the onsight. At Brazilian grade 4sup ( 5.9 ) it wasn't hard climbing. The first pitch was a pure fun corner crack with a slabby finnish. The next couple of pitches were mostly slab friction climbing always with great views and exposure under your feet. The last pitch was the crux with a more technical short face climb and again incredible views and exposure.
We climbed the route in less then 2 hours. We sat on top of the climbed and enjoyed the views. It felt like we were in a war zone with helicopters flying constantly over Corcovado. (The more expensive way to see Rio and the statue - tourist pay over $100 to fly 6 minutes from Sugarloaf to Corcovado ) In Rio, rich people take private helicopters to work!! so helis here are a little overwhelming! With the price of fuel in this country, I can't understand why they have to fly so much and burn so much fuel! It's a sad thing to see...
It was now time to get to the top to see the sunset and start making our way down before dark. (walking down the dark long windy road) As I was walking up to the top, I came out of the forest and next thing I knew, hundreds of people were staring at me snapping photos of me with my climbing gear dangling on my harness and rope to my back like if I was an alien that just come out of another world.
I was shocked! Marcelo had warned me about coming to the top. I knew there would be people, but I didn't expect that many people and that many staring at me. I didn't know what to do so I just jumped over the cement wall and tried to get amongst the crowd. Now Marcelo came out of the trail and once again, flashes from cameras where flashing at him.
We got to the top at the exact moment when the sun was setting over the mountains. Our timing couldn't have been better, the full moon was also rising. I walked around the hundreds of people with the climbing rope tied to my back, people were still snapping photos of me and Christo. I think I could of put a hat on the floor and posed in front of Christo with my gear and make a few bucks!
I took a few photos, enjoyed the incredible view and then we started to make our way down the road... trying not to get smoked by a crazy bus driver coming up the hill without lights. Only one thing was on our minds now, to drink a nice cold beer and cheer over a great day of climbing in Rio....
First... lets find the trail!
Careful with the long green spiky things! they hurt...
Pitch one, awesome corner crack with a slabby finnish, runout, exposed and always with a killer view.
Posing at the crux!
my last protection... 30 feet down
Marcelo on the layback flake, 2nd last pitch.
Topping out the last pitch, again with a view, nice thin technical climbing to end the route.
The *crux* of the climb was getting threw the crowed!
Full moon rising over Rio.
Cristo over looking the world... Thank God for another beautiful day!