First I'd like to thank SummitPost.org and Parofes for the information provided here which enabled me to arrive at the summit of Mount Caratuva. Secondly I'd like to say that I was deeply saddened to find out that Parofes had passed away. Therefore I thought it would be fitting to leave a note inside the box of each of the summits, indicating that I had arrived there with his help; despite the fact that we have never met in person and that I only read his account online of this mountain and others in the region after he had already passed. The first time I attempted to do this was on August 15th, 2015 when I reached the summit of Mount Camapuã; unfortunately the summit box was missing. Luckily this time the summit box was there. This time we would be able to leave our thank you to Parofes, however due to the lack of a log book we improvised and wrote on the back of a topographical map; which indicates all the trails within the region, described in Parofes accounts here on SummitPost.org. It turned out to be a very fitting medium to write a thank you note. We also left a few labeled photos; which might educate others who reach the summit on the names of each of the mountains, the location of sources of water in the region and hopefully aid in orienting any who might get lost there.
We arrived at Pico Paraná Farm on Friday October 16th, 2015 late in the morning where we parked our car and gladly paid the R$10 per person fee that goes towards maintaining the trail (if you arrive later in the afternoon / night you will pay R$15 per person). After registering and chatting with Dilson (owner of the farm) to gather valuable up to date information about the hike we took to the trail at 12:20pm towards Getulio hill. We reached Getulio hill at 2:25pm and decided to rest from the heat and have lunch. It was extremely hot, therefore the going was slow and we wouldn't find much of a relief until we reached the intersection to the trails leading to the summits of Mount Caratuva & the peak of Paraná at 3:15pm. We conquered the summit of Mount Caratuva at 6pm via the NW route.
We quickly put-up our tent since rain was imminent. The sun was setting and the temperature drops quickly with sunset in this region and at this altitude (We went from 33C at the farm and lower trail to 15C at the summit during sunset). We were lucky to only get a light drizzle. We had clouds above and below us but not much wind. As the night progressed thunderstorms in the distance passed from SW to NW. We watched the light show while contemplating a descent if the thunderstorms got any closer. However we never saw a bolt break out of the distant clouds and never heard the thunder. By 12 am the sky began to clear while the lower level clouds remained; as a sea of clouds below us. By 2am the sky above us was clear and we could see stars. Since we were fortunate not to get much wind at the summit the night was peaceful; free of the sounds that other hikers claim to come from the radio antenas as the wind whips through them. We were alone on the summit.
We woke the next morning, with dew on the tent, to watch the sunrise to blue skies above us and a clear view to the peak of Paraná and her sister peaks União and Ibitirati. These giants as well as Mount Ciririca, Taipabaçu, Ferraria and the three peaks of Camelos rose from the sea of clouds below as if they were islands. After taking in the views, having breakfast and breaking camp we began our descent at 9:30am via de SE route, a ridge line, that leads to the first base camp to Peak Paraná. This is a seldom used trail and therefore nature is reclaiming it (expect spiders). It is however well marked with yellow tape (keep a good eye out). After arriving at the first base camp, to the peak of Paraná, we looped back. Now following the trail that leads from Paraná's peak returning to the Pico Paraná Farm along the southern slope of Mount Caratuva and passing through the intersection with the trail that leads to the summit of Mount Itapiroca. Prior to this intersection we stopped to refil on some much need H20.
The only sources of water on the ascent to Mount Caratuva are; at the very begging shortly after the intersection to the trails leading to the summits of Mount Caratuva & the peak of Paraná and the intersection to the summit of Mount Taipabaçu and Mount Caratuva.
There are no sources of water on the descent of Mount Caratuva along the SE ridge line. There use to be an old trail that matched this trail initially and later split to a steeper gradient which would lead to a stream. However you will encounter this stream later on when you loop back. If it is your intention to carry on to the peak of Paraná upon reaching the first base camp; I strongly recommend that you loop back to this stream to fill up (it is not that far) since there is another source of water on you way to the peak of Paraná but there is no guarantee that it won't be dry.
The loop back descends and then ascends as it travels along the lower part of southern slop of Mount Caratuva. We arrived at the intersection with the trail that leads to the summit of Mount Itapiroca and took a shot break. From then on it is all down hill back to the intersection of the trails leading to the summits of Mount Caratuva & the peak of Paraná. Before arriving at this intersection you will have to tackle the descent to an 8m rock-face with man made iron rod steps. If you have heavy packs I recommend lowering them with a rope rather than taking the risk of loosing your balance and suffering and injury (specially if it damp).
Arriving at the intersection of the trails leading to the summits of Mount Caratuva & the peak of Paraná we knew we were home free. We quickly made it to Getulio hill where we celebrated with a very nice last meal to rest our legs, lighten our loads and give us that extra energy to get back to the farm safely. This also gave us a chance to watch the sunset and pull out our headlamps. We would make it back to the Pico Paraná farm just as darkness fell with our headlamps on; arriving there at 6:45pm on Saturday October 17th, 2015.
This trek can be accomplished in less time. Besides the heat our pace was slow due to; heavy packs, stopping to take pictures and document the trail on Wikiloc. If you wish to see the trail and view the waypoints photos visit: http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=11149011
Trail summary in Portuguese / Resumo do percurso da trilha em português:
Pico Caratuva partindo da Fazenda Pico Paraná e via Morro do Getulio.
Conquista pela face noroeste e descida pela face sudeste, completando uma volta circular por sua encosta sul e passando pelo acampamento 1 do Pico Paraná e pelas bifurcações Pico Paraná / Pico Itapiroca e Pico Paraná / Pico Caratuva.
Se quizer ver a trilha completa e seus pontos marcantes visite: http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=11149011
i reached its summit, and i'll be back more and more...
I was there with a friend, and we have sleeped on the farm, and the next day mornings we have climbed. We were one night over there, and it was cold (for Brazil, of course) and very windy. The wind generator had cried all night!!! But the next day, morning, the sunrise with "clouds sea" was unforgettable!!!
At day was many people there, but at night we were alone.
April, 21 - 22, 2006.