Climbing the roof of Pedra do Baú

Climbing the roof of Pedra do Baú

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 22.66194°S / 45.68559°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Jan 11, 2014
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Aid Climbing
Seasons Season: Winter


Baús roof as seen from the col
Bau's roof as seen from the col, where we did our approach.
When I first started rock climbing a little over a year ago, I set my eyes on quite a few routes that are absolutely amazing but obviously out of reach of a beginner, let alone someone who's a late comer to the sport.

"Teto do Baú" (Baú's Roof) was one of them. A classic aid line in the Mantiqueira range, this route seemed like territory for super experienced climbers, not only technically, but also on exposed routes, given that it is super aerial in 90% of its two pitches. The tip of Pedra do Baú, known as the "Roof", is obviously a result of erosion. Its lower part probably dropped as time went by, leaving this huge overhanging tip that is seen from all faces but west.

Given that sport climbing makes up for most of the rock climbing activity in Brazil, I thought I would never get to climb it, since it was hard enough finding partners for less commiting routes of lesser grades, or even a mentor to get me through learning everything I would need to know to get myself climbing similar routes until I could give Teto a try. It was one of those things that was just too out of reach.

Thankfully I've met a few trad climbers whom I've been hanging with in the past year, and especially Marcio, who'd been teaching me a whole lot about trad and aid. He knew this was a dream of mine, and when he suggested we did the route, saying "you're going to want to lead, right?" I just couldn't say no.

The route

Teto do Bau
A sketch of what the route sorta looks like. From here we see the north face. It starts at the south face.
Teto do Baú
About to turn to the other side.

Teto do Baú is an A1 5c french/5.9 YDS line that starts at a small plateau, following the south side tip of Pedra do Baú. After about 40 "Ps" (home made bolts very commom in Brazil shaped as a P, I'll refer to them here as bolts to make reading easier), you reach the first anchor station. From there to the top lies the A1 grade, for you need to climb a bit in order to reach two other bolts quite apart from each other and follow on with aiding. After this second bolt, the route turns positive and it's a 3rd class climb to the summit.

Because the bolts are from the 70s and the route is very exposed, authors of the guidebook have decided to omit it from the guidebook. In other words, there's no topo. I don't know if ethics wise I should put it here or not, although the route is quite obvious once you get to the base. There's a sketch to the right just to give a better idea of where the route is and its line.

There's not much consensus as to when the route was first climbed, or who opened it. Apparently it was a groud of climbers from the state of Rio de Janeiro, in the 70s, and all bolts were hand drilled and installed.

The climb

Teto do Baú
First placements.
Teto do Baú
An aerial section.
Teto do Baú
A nice shot that gives away the proportion and size of the Roof.
Pedra do Baú is filled with trad routes, bolted, mixed and clean, of a large range of grades, so there are several options to get to the base of the Teto route itself. You can join routes on each other on either face, and it all depends on your experience, weather conditions and time. Because we're at the height of summer season (very rainy) and it's been extremely hot aside from forecast that predicted storms at any time, we decided to french climb the shortest and easiest possible route to the plateau, joining "Normal" and "Cresta", skipping the middle anchor station. We did so in 30 minutes over about 55 meters of route.

We reached the base, I quickly set the belay station for Marcio, set up my rack, drank some water and started clipping the bolts. From the third to the fourth bolt the distance is a tad big, so you need to swing a bit in order to reach, but other than that bolts are quite close, within arms reach.

There were some ugly looking clouds above us as well as a pretty strong wind and I started the route figuring I'd have to retreated. But by the time I was about a third of the first pitch done, the clouds sort of disappeared and the wind turned to a breeze. 

From there I entered an airy part with pretty much no contact with the rock, then went bellow a small roof, and finally started climbing up again to the anchor station, where I set up belay for the second, and sat for about 40-50 minutes dangling my feet in the air and admiring that exclusive point point of view while he climbed.

In order to expedite the climb and because the sun was a bit hard on our skin, my partner came into the anchor station, switched to his climbing shoes and lead the second pitch to the summit. The summit can be reached by easy via ferrata, so there's always non-climbers up there surprised by climbers coming up from routes. This time we heard "look, there's people coming up from rappels!"

We then descended to the base of the route by trail, and from there did two rappels to the trail that led back to the parking lot. All of that took us less than 4 hours.

Teto do Baú
The classic shot from the dropping tip of the roof.

External links

The team
Myself and Marcio at the summit.
Because I have pictures of only myself guiding the first pitch, I figured I'd be interesting to show some videos of other people climbing the route for a better idea of how it's like.

Youtube video 1

Youtube video 2

Youtube video 3

A trip report with nice pictures from Pedro Hauck, brazilian climber. They chose 2 different approach routes to get to the base of route on the Roof (Learning to Fly + Anormal + Roof)


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-4 of 4

mvs - Jan 16, 2014 5:14 pm - Voted 10/10

nice variety!

We don't see many aid climbing reports! This looks interesting and fun, way to go!


Cissa - Jan 17, 2014 7:15 am - Hasn't voted

Re: nice variety!

Thanks! Fun describes it quite well!

Brian C

Brian C - Jan 17, 2014 10:51 am - Voted 9/10

Gotta love aid climbing!

Looks like a neat spot. and rather exposed!


Cissa - Jan 17, 2014 11:02 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Gotta love aid climbing!

Thanks Brian. Quite exposed yes, I'd say 95% overhang 90 degrees, but technically quite easy, so it's really a short and fun option for days with not so good conditions.

Viewing: 1-4 of 4



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