Archive for April, 2012

The route through Peru

Posted: April 29, 2012 by Ben Weber in English, The Journey
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<—– Bolivia and the “Death Road”

Entering into Peru from Bolivia at the border town of Desaguardero (a short 100km cycle ride through the Andes from La Paz), we will work our way north for over 2,500km until we reach the border with Ecuador.

None of us have spent much time in Peru – Natalia and I spent a couple of days or so in Lima about a year ago, where we enjoyed the Cerviche by the sea along with the views of the paragliders and the surfers – so we are not completely certain about the route that will be taken, and after we have cycled along the edges of Lake Titicaca and proceeding to the Cotahuasi Canyon, we have three options:

  1. Continue going north through the Andes
  2. Go north along the coastal route, via Lima
  3. Go north along the eastern lowlands

Each route will present their own challenges. Whilst the altitude up in the Andes for the first option will be high at over 3,000 metres, we should be nicely acclimatized after our time going through Bolivia, so this would most likely be the easiest of routes physically speaking, though the weather may be temperamental (we will be in the country during April, so just as the rainy season in Andes there begins to dry off).

Going along the coast and we will be presented with a completely different scenario with the weather in the southern and central coastal region being largely dry and cool, though as we go north towards the border with Ecuador, temperatures can reach up to 38C or so and the amount of rainfall increases. We get the added bonus of cycling down from the Andes, which could be quite fun…

Then the third route, going down from the Andes into the tropical low lands, where the weather is much more equatorial. It would be interesting to see the diversity between the more tropical forested areas and the arid mountainous regions, though we would have to keep in mind that we would have to cycle back up into the Andes before reaching the border with Ecuador near San Ignacio. Roads look less reliable in the eastern areas with occasional breaks in them – not yet fully certain as to whether fully possible.

We will be confirming the exact route as time goes by, though in the mean time we would be really interested in hearing from anyone who has cycled (or travelled by any means) from south to north (or vice-versa) in Peru, or has experiences of the different regions. I imagine that option three would be the most interesting (maybe even adding on a bit more too include some time along the coast in the north – just to see more of the diversity in the country). It would be great to hear about your experiences in the country, and your thoughts about the possible routes. Please feel free to drop us a note!

We have just subscribed to a Brazilian outdoor adventure magazine Aventura & Ação, which provides articles which interviews explorers, adventurers and photographers, and provides information about different adventure or travel destinations which are a little out of the way than normal. One of the places that caught our eye in the magazine was the Chapada das Mesas in the state of Maranhão in the north-east of Brazil.

The national park in the region looks to be pretty spectacular, with scenery that wouldn’t look out of place in the southern states of the United States and large rock tables sticking out of the arid flat terrain, though at the same, more lush areas with waterfalls and clear pools to swim in. Though it is not the easiest of places to get to – from São Paulo you will need to get a flight to Imperatriz and then rent a car to a town called Carolina, a couple of hundred kilometres away – it looks like it would be worth the journey.

Plenty of hiking can be done in the region, though you will still need to drive some more to get to the main hikes.

  • The Cume do Morro do Chapeu hike is a brisk two hour walk (in the extreme heat, so remember to bring lots of water and start the walk quite early), though will reward the hiker with a view from one of the highest points in the Park, almost 400 metres high.
  • The São Romão and Prata hikes are walks near the Farinha River, where there are a couple of pretty impressive waterfalls and swimming spots as well as small caves behind the falls. It is about 56 km away from Carolina, so a bit of a drive.
  • At the Pedra Caida, you will find plenty of adventure sports from rappel to tree climbing as well as an ecological sanctuary and further walks to do.

Apparently you could spend a good couple of weeks at the Park and not get bored, which is a pretty reasonable period. If you can’t stay quite so long, try to spend at least five days or so – especially as it is quite tricky to get to.

We will see if it shall be possible to get here for training for the expedition – whilst much of the training will be conducted in relation to altitude, polar weather and climbing/mountaineering, acclimatising to difficult hot weather conditions will also be important.

Oh, and from a personal point of view, I associate these hot arid climates with snakes – there are normally plenty of Coral and Cascoval snakes in these regions (am not sure if I said this before, but am terrified of snakes… and am sure that there are plenty of snakes in hot moist environments as well…!) so I would try not to wander off the trails… but that’s just me!

Nada como viajar, acredito que essa seja a melhor coisa no mundo. Porque não existe viagem ruim, pode dar tudo errado: o avião perder a sua mala, pegarem seu dinheiro na mochila, te tratarem mal na imigração ou até mesmo perder um dos aviões num mochilão. Pelo menos pra mim nada disso estraga a viagem por inteiro. Já passei por coisas parecidas e no fim da viagem ainda me senti feliz.

De certa forma ao sairmos do nosso habitat natural devemos estar abertos a novas experiências e o mais importante estarmos dispostos a aprender. Nada como dar algo errado para aprendermos.

Melhor do que voltar a um lugar é descobrir algo novo sobre ele e essa semana mesmo sem sair de São Paulo tive o prazer de descobrir e querer voltar para um lugar: o Maranhão.

Li uma reportagem da Aventura &Ação sobre a Chapada das Mesas e fiquei impressionada como nunca havia ouvido falar sobre esse lugar espetacular.

A beleza dessa área maranhense é bem diferente do que poderíamos esperar desse estado. Aqui você encontra muitas cachoeiras, lagos e reservatórios de água limpa e natural, diversos chapadões areníticos num ambiente que lembra uma savana.

Para chegar lá não é tão fácil, como a região fica na parte sul do estado a capital fca bem longe. Você deve pegar um avião até Imperatriz e de lá alugar um carro para ir e se instalar em Carolina. Aqui tem diversas opções de pousadas e hotéis.

No Parque Nacional  da Chapada das Mesas você vai encontrar dversas opções de trilhas a pé e de carro, as principais são:

Trilha do Cume do Morro do Chapéu – uma caminhada de mais ou menos 2 horas de ida e volta num calor de rachar, por isso não esqueça de levar bastante água e de iniciar a trilha cedo. Por ser um dos pontos mais altos do Parque (378 metros de altura) você tem uma vista panorâmica da região.

Trilha do São Romão e do Prata: próximo ao Rio Farinha existem duas quedas de água, para quem gosta de cachoeiras é uma ótima opção. Para chegar aqui você vai precisar de um carro 4×4 para ultrapassar os 56 km de estrada de areia fofa. Da queda de São Romão é possível caminhar por dentro de uma gruta que está atrás da queda, e se prepare ao fim da caminhada você vai encontrar diversas andorinhas que abrigam seus ninhos ali. Lindo!

Pedra Caída – fora do parque você tem ótimas opções também, a melhor é o Santuário Ecológico da Pedra Caída. Trata –se de uma reserva particular com diversas trilhas pelo cerrado além de opções de esportes de aventura como rapel, arvorismo e tirolesa.

Então fica a dica, se você quiser uma aventura diferente  e com muita beleza natural ao redor, vá para a Chapada das Mesas, se conseguir separar 2 semanas no mínimo das suas férias seria ótimo, senão vai  conhecendo aos poucos.

Segue link com fotos pra você olhar, se deliciar e se surpreender


Fomos pra rocha a primeira vez há mais ou menos 2 meses atrás,  depois disso  tivemos a oportunidade de irmos mês passado, mas por um desencontro acabamos ficando em Sampa.

Domingo passado fomos  para Salesópolis mais uma vez desafiar a pedra.

Foi um dia de muito aprendizado, a comecar pelo clima.

Foto: Lucas do Nascimento

Encontramos o grupo na Casa de Pedra às 7h30 da manhã, nos dividimoss nos carros disponíveis e partimos. Foram 110km e 2 horas de asfalto e estradas de terra, no caminho muita chuva e garoa, nada de sol.

No carro íamos pensando que provavelmente a escalada não rolaria mas seguimos em frente até chegar na casa da galera da Kaiporah.

Todo mundo pegando as coisas e notava-se no rostos de todos a ansiedade de escalar e o receio de cancelarem a atividade.

Subimos ao pé da rocha, ouvimos uma palstra do Fabio sobre os cuidados e perigos e depois cada um pegou uma via.

O Ben foi logo na segunda mais complicada. O crux (parte mais difícil) ficava bem no comeco da via. Acredito que a pedra úmida aumentava as dificuldades, mas ele ficou lá, não desistiu. Depois de 30 minutos, um joelho ralado e as posntas dos dedos cortada ele passou o crux e depois disso virou um passeio.

Minha vez, eu comecei  por uma via não tão difícil e pra ser sincera só me deparei com uma dificuldade na quinta via, que por um acaso foi essa que o Ben comecou.  Eu fiquei também uma meia hora e nada, eu estava quase desistindo quando o Fabio e o Mineiro resolveram me ajudar.

Eles me ensinaram a subir no “batman”:

A ideia é a mesma do começo desse video, e na verdade apesar de ser considerada uma roubadinha eu gostei muito de ter aprendido. Mesmo assim não consegui mandar a via inteira, porque estava muito encharcado e em aguns trechos formaram poças que não permitiam a aderência dos pês.

Para o Ben  a via mais difícil foi a mias difícil mesmo, uma 5 grau que exigia posições de mãos e muita força das pernas para conseguir passar o crux.

Ele gastou mais uns 40 minutos para passar o crux, passando isso teve que desistir por causa da rocha encharcada e da falta de força nas pernas.

Em um determinado momento as pernas dele tremiam muito, o Fabio comçou a falar que o Ben “recebeu” o Elvis, as pernas dele tremiam tanto que até parecia a dança do rei do Rock.

Ao fim do dia cada um não mandou uma das vias e desceu para a casa com aquela vontade de voltar em breve.

Dicas

Se você quiser experimentar escalada na rocha entre em contato com o pessoal da Kaiporah e converse com eles sobre os próximos passeios. O e-mail deles é kaiporahescalada@gmail.com

Foto: Lucas do Nascimento

Foto: Tatiana Pedra

Foto: Tatiana Pedra

Foto: Tatiana Pedra

… In the wet…

It wasn’t raining very hard: it was what Brazilians call “garoa” – a soft drizzle which got a little harder every now and then, but also occasionally had a few breaks in for a bit of soft sunlight to come through the clouds. Difficult conditions, especially for newbie climbers like Natalia and myself: we have been going to the climbing wall on plenty of occasions but on the rock itself is something else.

Ben, on the way up...!
Photo - Tatiana Pedra - Thanks!!!!

Up nice and early at 6am, we got to the cliff face at about 9am where we met with the Fabio, our trainer, and the guys from the gym who were organizing it. They had arranged six climbs along the cliff of varying difficulties along the face: with a few “grade 3” climbs and then a 4, 5 and a 6. Climbing grades differ depending on where you are – Wikipedia (as always!) has a good guide to the grades, but to be quick, in Brazil, grades 1 to 3 are very easy, 4-6 are “easy”, and then the hardest is 12 (for US-Brazil conversation ignore “5.” and subtract 4. (5.10=6)) At the gym, after four months or so, Natalia and I are at grade six and slowly but surely moving our way up! But yes, on the rock, things are different. On the rock, your fingers hurt more when you are holding on; you don’t get the big protruding rocks to grab hold on; and you will get cut and grazed a bit more than in the artificial environment! Even the grade 3 on this particular rock was technically quite challenging – they were grade three because they were positive angle making life easier, though if it wasn’t for this, they would have 5s or 6s – basically because of the lack of good holds for your feet and hands.

But in the wet, things were even harder. Rock climbing is normally done when there is good weather for a good reason – you don’t slip so much. In the wet, and on the positive aspects of the cliff, the water clings on and cleans your hands of any magnesium chalk pretty quickly. On granite surface your hands can slip much more easily, making the climb much more challenging. Even Fabio, when he was dismounting the grade 5 climb, had difficulties going up in the conditions.

In spite, and even because, of the conditions, however, I felt it was a pretty good day. For me at least, I found myself depending even more than ever on my feet in order to get myself into good positions – my hands were only useful to provide a bit of support – and I was pleased with this. Learning to trust in your feet is part and parcel of climbing. The grade 3 climbs all went well in spite of the conditions, and after a few minutes or so working out how to get past the grade 4 route, I managed it all right – slowly but steadily. Also I could feel my body being able to reach further than the last time we went outdoor climbing: my feet reaching up to just about where my hands were in order to get into a nice balance; looking for closer points to put the feet with more calm rather than panicking to get up and away… And we have to remember that the weather isn’t always going to be our favour when we finally leave São Paulo on this expedition.

I wasn’t able to do the grade 5 climb: it had stopped drizzling when I attempted it, although it was still a bit slippery; I must have tried about half an hour or so at one of the sections, though eventually after a fair few falls, scratches, cuts, and burning finger tips, I admitted defeat. It would have been nice to have been able to rest for half an hour or so and tried again, as I felt that I had just about worked out how to do it and I was almost reaching the key points, but the weather closed in and we were forced to pack up. But ah well! Am pretty confident that I will be able to manage it next time, and having that climb there waiting for me is a great reason to go back!

For the first eight years of my life, my family lived on the Orkney Islands, on a small island called Stronsay and then on the “mainland” in the fishing village of Stromness. It could probably be considered a pretty idyllic place for kids to grow up as we could wander around everywhere and always be able to get back home, and there were plenty of things to keep curious and adventurous children quite active. One day, my sister Lesley and I went to the beach with one of our elder brothers, Mark. When we got there, somehow we got separated from Mark near a grave-yard – Lesley and I thought that ghosts or something got him and made our worried way back home to tell mum what had happened. Mark came back hours later even more worried about how he would tell mum about how he had lost us!

Being the youngest of seven children, I would often wander off and get myself into bits of bother here and there (though I wasn’t the only one). I think it was Mark (I can’t remember, this is only what I was told) who had to wade into the sea after me when I had gone in and got a bit out of my depth with the sea dragging me away from the land. At another time, my parents had taken their eyes off of me and before they knew it, I was half way up a six foot wall (which had a ten foot drop on the other side). Apparently when my dad saw me, he almost panicked, but my mum stopped him from shouting at me for fear that startling me would make me lose my confidence and fall. So he rushed to get a camera and take a couple of photographs instead… Not sure as to exactly how I got down, but I survived to tell the tale.

These formative years of my life were when I started to be told tales of Scott of the Antarctic (watching the 1948 film on our old black and white TV), and the ascent of Everest by Hillary and Tenzing, and though we can be quick to dismiss childhood dreams of wanting to be explorers and the like (afterall, I imagine that so many children have these dreams), I remember distinctly saying I that I wanted to reach the South Pole and I wanted to climb Mount Everest. These dreams faded as we went away from the islands to England and the larger towns and cities, though I guess always lingered, and for me it’s great to have finally re-discovered them and to be in a position to work to make them happen. Hopefully it will all work out!

Have you any forgotten dreams that would love to make happen? Just curious to know…!!

Ode to the seconds

Posted: April 24, 2012 by None Smith in Climbing, English
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In almost any outdoor excursion, whether it be a big expedition, a day hike, or a climb, the overall outing is divided into sections. Each section has it’s set of leaders and followers. This can happen in a day hike where the front person is switched out every x number of miles. In climbing, each climb is divided into “pitches”, and each pitch has it’s follower and leader. Being that I spend most of my time climbing, and climbing has one of the clearest depictions of leaders and followers, I will relate mostly to that outdoor sport. This is, my ode to the second. In honor of the followers.

Quick trad climbing lesson! A climbing route is divided into pitches. At the Gunks, the most pitches I’ve encountered is 3-4, but to give you perspective, El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, California has routes with over 30 pitches! A pitch can be determined by either: running out of rope, a convenient belay ledge, an convenient place to create an anchor or pre-existing bolted anchors.

Each pitch then has a leader and a follower. A leader is on the “sharp end” of the rope. As they climb they place gear (protection for themselves if they were to fall) and then clip the rope into that gear. The leader has a bit more precarious of a job, which can be stressful! If the leader falls they can fall quite a bit. Depending how far they are above their last protection, how much slack is in the rope and other factors, they could be halfway up the pitch and still hit the deck! (This is rare and probably evidence of not the strongest leader.) The leader also has the stress of setting quality gear. These SLCDs and nuts must hold if the leader were to fall on them. Falling only to have your protection pop out of the wall is never a situation you want to be in.

Once the leader reaches the belay ledge, they tie into an anchor, get taken off belay, and pull all the rope up until the second’s (who is still on the ground) side of the rope becomes taught. The leader then belays from the top of the pitch and the second climbs up and takes all the gear out of the wall. When all is said and done, it’s as if the climbing team weren’t even on the wall (a beautiful thing for conservation and the environment!).

The second’s job is relatively safe. They are essentially on top rope (for those who’ve climbed top rope at the gym you know how safe this is as opposed to lead climbing), and they must take the gear out of the wall and put it on their harness. Pretty simple right? Without a doubt the stress is reduced as is the responsibility. But is it? It’s a big misconception that the follower is “without responsibility” as the safety of the team is on the shoulders of both climbers.

An efficient and well versed second (hopefully with some knowledge about leading) can make the biggest contribution to the overall climb.

So, to all those seconds who re-rack alpine draws mid climb, thank you! To those who are busy flaking out the rope while the leader is busy racking up, thank you! Those seconds who keep all the nuts together when giving them back to the leader and who place cams strategically on their harness, thank you! To all the followers who bring extra cordelettes, nut tools, locking carabiners, thank you! To the seconds that know what a clove hitch is, use it to tie themselves into the anchor and carry their own leashes, thank you! And to all those seconds who know what gear they should have on their harness before the leader sets up the pitch… thank you!

The list could go on, but the point is there… efficient followers are an integral part to any expedition. And with enough knowledge, both climbers will probably be swapping leads – creating an extremely efficient climbing team.

From Wednesday 18th until Saturday 21st April, the 13th Adventure Sports Fair was held at Ibirapuera park in São Paulo. With a host of different adventure / sports companies exhibiting at the fair, Natalia and I took the opportunity to go on Friday night and all day on Saturday to do a bit of direct marketing…

The event was reasonably good – a fair few attractions for kids and anyone interested in sports from climbing to slacklining and canoeing: there was a big pool open with canoes in it; a 10 metre tall climbing pillar (only enough space for one or two people to climb simultaneously); a high line and a normal slackline along with a few other activities. The kids on the slackline were pretty impressive: jumping up and down on it and retaining complete balance with their acrobatics…. hopefully we will be like that soon!

At the same time, companies such as the Brazilian sports equipment firms Snake, Curtlo and Kailash were there at the same time as other established multinational firms such as Timberland, Salomon, Deuter, Hi-Tec, and Contour. There were a number of other companies there as well, though we thought that considering the growing adventure sports industry in Brazil that the event could have been larger – there was an entire floor of the building which was left unused for the event. But at the same time, armed with our printed folders and information about the 360 Extremes Expedition, we were able to make some good contacts with people with these companies. Obviously not going to be the fastest process in the world, but definitely encouraging, so here’s hoping!

Momento prospecção

Posted: April 21, 2012 by Natália Almeida in Português
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Como já dissemos antes a parte do patrocínio anda sendo a parte mais difícil. Fazer contactos e vender o projeto não é o ponto forte meu e do Ben, mas a cada dia que passa sinto que estamos entendendo melhor esse negócio de fazer marketing pessoal.

Esses dias dei uma lida em textos da internet para entender como podemos e devemos usar o marketing. Nessa pesquisa entendi o que era o marketing direto, ferramenta essa que já nos falaram para usar e nunca entendemos direito como. Se você é leigo no assunto como eu, já explico :

O marketing direto consisti em contactos diretos que ocorrem individualmente entre a empresa e um cliente, deve ser utilizado para conseguir uma relação personalizada, de forma a conhecê-lo o suficiente para poder oferecer a cada categoria os bens e serviços mais adequados. No nosso caso é fundamental na fidelização dos possíveis patrocinadores e na conquista da confiança pelo projeto.

O obstáculo que estávamos encontrando era a de fazer o contacto em si, de ir conhecer cara a cara. Essa semana encontramos a oportunidade perfeita: Adventure Fair.

Ontem fomos a feira que acontece na Bienal do Ibirapuera aqui em São Paulo e conferimos quais marcas estão expondo. Chegando em casa estudamos quais seriam nossas melhores opções e abordagens e hoje estamos voltando para botar em prática um marketing direto, e um tanto carudo.

Estamos confiante nessa tentativa. Enquanto vamos lá conquistar apoios e patrocínios, vocês ficam aí de dedos cruzados e torcendo por nós.

It’s been so long since I last wrote a blog post. I’ve been going from busy with work to busy with personal

Busy Climbing! Leading Horseman's at the Gunks.

matters and back and forth again. All while trying to keep up with this project, which, as Ben has mentioned, is a full time job in and of itself. Regardless, what have I been up to?

With Easter and Passover last week, local schools had a week of vacation. So where did parents bring their children to keep them entertained? To the rock gym of course for a week full of “Spring Break Rock Camp” and more. Needless to say it was wild. 12 hour days dealing with some of the best and worst of kids trying to pull all sorts of shenanigans on the instructors.

On Friday, we had a line out the door, three belay classes and two kids parties of at least 15 kids in each all going on at the same time. Chaos doesn’t even begin to describe the scene. I was instructing one of the belay classes while this was all going down. As I was giving my students the final test and watch them tie in and belay, I literally had kids running in and out, weaving between me and my students. I had to yell instructions to the belay class while they were still on the ground.

For anyone that’s worked with kids – they can be exhausted. I would get home at night and just want to sleep. But sleep only goes so far. People need a buffer, an activity to break up thoughts from work. Since spring has fully unloaded itself on the north east (70+ degrees F days!), everyone at the gym has been planning trips to the famous Gunks. The topic I write about all the time.

A friend topping out on Easy Overhang - her first Gunks climb!

We went on Sunday. I went today. We’re going tomorrow. Going back to the gym just doesn’t seem worth it…

Following up on Ben’s post about the importance of knots, I always like to think about the importance of mental clarity while climbing and how it will play an important role in our long expedition. I’ll give you an example. While climbing Easy Overhang this morning with a friend of mine, I passed through a section on pitch 2 in which I couldn’t find any suitable cracks or openings for placing protection. In trad (short for traditional) climbing, as you climb you place protection (camming devices, nuts) into the rock to protect

A spring loaded camming device in a rock - that's protection!

you if you fall. I could find no spots for suitable protection. I look down and notice my last protection is around 15 feet below me. On pitch 2 we’re now 140 feet off the ground. At the American rating of 5.2 I don’t think I’ll fall, but a fall would be a long drop with a potential for hitting other rocks.

Keeping a cool head is key. Focusing on the next solid hand hold and foot hold is important. Keeping an eye on where to place your next protection is your goal. As we bike for hundreds of miles or slog across frozen tundra and ice, keeping that calm and focused attention will be vital to our success. The large goal is attained by focusing on doing the next step successfully.

Tem dias e dias…

Posted: April 18, 2012 by Natália Almeida in Climbing, Training, Uncategorized
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Desde o dia que começamos a treinar com o Fábio ouvimos várias lições que ele não cansa de repetir a mais comum seria “ …Na escalada tem dias e dias. Em uns você vai chegar cansado e desanimado e ao pegar na agarra tudo isso vai embora e você vai mandar a via super bem, em outros vai chegar na academia super motivado e vai acabar indo embora frustrado por não conseguir mandar nada…”

Sexta-feira foi o dia de sentir na pele isso e eu diria que foi exatamente isso. Enquanto o Ben chegou exausto do trabalho, eu estava super empolgada para fazer o treino, em compensação não mandei nada e o Ben fez tudo com muita facilidade.

Lendo assim deve parecer fácil, afinal de contas ouvimos várias vezes do Fábio que isso aconteceria mas não, tem coisas que não adianta você ouvir para a cabeça assimilar.

Depois de 3 tentativas frustradas de subir vias que eu até tenho dificuldades mas faço a cabeça já estava pesada de tanto tentar entender o que estava acontecendo. Na metade da quarta via travei de novo, e por mais que eu estivesse tentando controlar a frustração eu não conseguia. Fechava meus olhos, respirava fundo e voltava a tentar e a cada segundo que passava as agarras pareciam se afastar e os movimentos mais impossíveis. Aí a frustração ganhou, não conseguia compreender como essa via podia hoje me exigir mais do que em outros dias. Não fazia sentido algum. Fechava os olhos e tentava me concentrar, mas minha cabeça parecia ter um ponto de interrogação gigante que não me deixava acalmar, visualizar, pensar direito… De repente olho em volta e me vejo nesse ginásio gigante, vejo a escaladora da via ao lado me dando dicas e a força já nem existe, nem força muscular nem mental. Minha vontade era de gritar, chutar a parede, arrancar a agarra da parede e jogar longe… Nada disso era possível, por isso acredito que a reação foi o choro. Um choro bravo, pra dentro, de raiva mesmo. Raiva de mim mesmo, raiva de falhar, raiva de não entender e raiva de desistir.

Chegar ao chão nesse estado não foi nada bom, acabei assustando o Ben e o Fábio que entendiam menos ainda o que havia acontecido. Ambos me perguntam se estava tudo bem, e o medo de eu ter me lesionado estava claro no rosto deles.

Falei que chorava de raiva e que estava frustrada.

O Fábio já me lembra que na escalada é assim mesmo, tem dias e dias.

Mas o que eu queria que ele entendesse naquela hora era que a dor desse desgaste psicológico era maior que de qualquer torção.

Enquanto o Ben fazia a sua via, o Fábio me acalmava, tentava entender, tentava me consolar… Para ser sincera acho que eu e ele ainda seguimos tentando entender.

Nos meus dias de treino  acredito ter sido sempre calma e de certa forma racional. Nunca fui de me abalar por conseguir ou não isso ou aquilo. Sempre tentei conseguir enxergar onde posso melhorar e tentar ver os pontos fracos da minha escalada. Na sexta não foi assim, mas agora sei mais um ponto que preciso trabalhar e esse eu sei que vai ser mais difícil de trabalhar do que a falta de confiança na perna dobrada ou em acreditar que alcanço a agarra se esticar bem o corpo… Hoje tento ver que acontecer isso agora foi bom e importante para o que nos espera na Bolívia e em todas as vezes que formos para rocha. Então é isso força na cabeça, confiança, sabedoria e paciência para lidar com as dificuldades.

A knotty question

Posted: April 17, 2012 by Ben Weber in Climbing, Training
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Not just physical climbing last night but also a good half hour or so learning basics about knots… and why not? Considering that our lives are going to depend on good secure knots, we thought it better to start sooner rather than later, especially with our Bolivia expedition looming in less than a couple of months.

First thing’s first and the basic Figure of Eight knot and double Figure of Eight which you use to tie into your harness so that you are secure when going up.  In summary, you need to measure the rope up to the top of your harness, taking the bite in the rope and looping it round across the front before going down and round the back, and then back up through the front of the loop at the top… sounds complicated but after a couple of tries it all becomes quite simple. Then, you tie it in through your harness and do the same knot again, parallel with your original knot. What’s great is that, inspite of sounding difficult when reading or hearing someone speaking about it, it is quite simple, can take a massive amount of strain and then, when you are finished, is pretty easy to untie.

One of the other knots we looked at was the Prusik knot, which is a really clever… Basically you use an accessory rope to loop around your main climbing rope three times to create a loop that will lock into place when weight is put onto it. You can use double combinations to use for your feet as well as body, so you can “prusik” your way up cliffs. If you slip, it will take your weight as it will lock. And, it hardly damages the rope the knot is attached to.

So yes, these are pretty basic, and there are others to learn, but essential knots to know, and we will be practicing them for sure to make so they are of second nature to us as soon as possible.

Resolvi escrever críticas sobre os produtos que estamos comprando e começando a usar. Acredito que essa avaliação ajude vocês na hora de escolher equipamentos de trekking, escalada, pedalada, entre outros esportes.

A primeira avaliação que fizemos foi  essa com as botas Salomon modelo Wings Sky DTX, eu usei as botas com meias Wigwan Coolmax e foram três dias entre caminhadas curtas e longas em terrenos diversos.

A bota é super confortável e leve, só de pegar ela na mão e comparar com outras do mercado você sente a diferença do peso. Outro ponto forte é em relação a impermeabilidade, pisei em diversas poças e fiz trilhas bem molhadas para chegar a piscinas naturais e cachoeiras, e mesmo nas poças mais fundas não entrou água dentro e ao tirar o sapato percebi que ele permitia o pé respirar e o suor sair. O cano foi outra coisa que impressionou, sua altura e firmeza não permitia torções de tornozelos, e olha que eu sou ótima para testar esse tipo de coisa, sou um tanto desastrada e sempre entorto o pé ao calcular mal uma pisada.

O ponto baixo é solucionável, o problema é o cadarço que fica soltando o laço. Mesmo fazendo dois laços com o tempo ele vai afrouxando o nó e soltando. Outro fato que vale apontar foi uma bolha no meu pé depois do dia de longa caminhada (+/- 15km). Não sei se foi culpa da bota ou pelo fato de ter usado apenas uma meia grossa ao invés de uma grossa e uma fina. Mas vou continuar usando e testando diferentes formas se a bolha persistir aviso vocês.

Avaliação* Botas Salomon Wings Sky DTX

Conforto – 5,0

Leveza – 6,0

Design – 6,0

Qualidade – 6,0

Preço – 4,0

*Notas de 0,0 a 6,0

<— The Canastra Mountains (Day 1)

The second day at the Serra da Canastra was slightly less tiring, though from standing up pretty much entirely at the back of an open-aired 4WD truck going 80km or so over some pretty tough roads, it was nonetheless tiring on the body.

We went with the Central de Turismo (+55 37 3433164) on the journey into the Serra da Canastra national park itself (the previous day, our hike had been outside the park boundaries) – a journey which itself is not able to be done by foot simply because of the distances and because camping is prohibited in the park (which is a shame – they say because campers can damage the park and, which I can imagine happening with fires, pollution and going away from established trails and disturbing the wildlife (this can be dangerous as there are snakes… coral snakes… tropical rattle snakes (cascavel)… not things I would particularly like to encounter… but they are there). At the same time, the park authorities do seem to let vehicles in which have no pollution standard requirements speed through the park (there is a limit of 40km per hour though…). But ah well.

So standing at the back of the vehicle for the distance was quite tough, being thrown from one side to another with my camera (with a canon 70-200mm F2.8 L II, and a 2x II extender) weighing quite heavily around me, trying to focus on things. Our guide, nicknamed “Boca” (literally: “Mouth”), was great though as it seemed like he had a radar for everything which we passed, and he pointed us towards the laughing Seriemas we had heard on the previous day, owls, caracaras (though these were hard to miss as there were so many of them) and also towards a group of ducks (Pato Mergulhão) which he saw swimming in one of the rivers – this is a duck which is almost extinct as they require pristine clean an unpolluted habitats, and the Serra da Canastra is one of the last remaining such places they can live. So it was pretty special being able to see a family of seven ducks swimming along even though they were about 400 metres away from us (can just about see them in the photo below but in no great detail unfortunately).

It was ultimately a good day in spite of the lack of walking – good to swim in the streams and go under the waterfalls; see some of the wildlife (we didn’t see Onças (Jaguars), ant-eaters, or the wolves in the mountains though which was a shame though these are slightly harder to come across).

In terms of comparing this mountain park to the Intervales Park, which distance-wise is closer to São Paulo, I would recommend the Serra da Canastra – there are many more trails that go to great parts of the mountain outside the park which you don’t need guides to see. Being more open, I think it is easier to get pictures and see the wildlife as well, in comparison to the closed-in forests of Intervales. Ultimately, though it is a good 7 hours or so bus ride away from São Paulo, being able to get a bus at 10pm and arrive early in the morning is great so the longer distance doesn’t matter so much. And, unlike Intervales, if you are dependent upon public transport, you won’t need to spend a fortune on a taxi to get you to and from the park areas.

 

<— Serra da Canastra: Dia 01

O segundo dia foi menos cansativo. Fechamos um passeio com guia na Central de Turismo (37 3433-1641) com a Dani. Às 9 am saímos de lá com mais dois casais e o nosso guia o Boca. O Passeio dura o dia todo então se esqueça de levar lanches e água pra aguentar o dia. Dentro do Parque da Serra da Canastra não existe lanchonetes ou conveniências então saia despreparado. Outra coisa boa de se falar é que é cobrada a taca de R$6,50 por pessoa para entrar no parque e essa taxa não está inclusa no passeio fechado com a Central de Turismo.

Da caçamba do jipe pode mos ficar de pé e observar os animais de cima. No caminho até a nascente do Rio São Francisco – nossa primeira parada – vimos muitos caracará, corujas toucadeiras, águias cinzentas e siriemas.

O Boca tem olhos de águia e ia nos avisando de tudo. Ao passar pelos campos abertos ele parava o carro e apontava para os veados campeiros, parava e apontava os caracará do outro, assim seguimos a viagem a procura de tamanduás, lobos guará, coatis, emas e outros animais.

Ao chegar na primeira cachoeira descemos do carro e fizemos uma trilha bem curta que nos dava diferentes pontos de vista, estávamos na Casca d’Anta parte alta. Ao fim da trilha chegamos em um mirante onde é possível ver muito longe e a vista é muito bela. Lá o Boca falou pra eu deitar sobre uma pedra pra ver a queda da cachoeira. A altura é incrível, são 186 metros de altura  Depois de tirar uma foto à la SuperMan, desci a trilha e fui mergulhar um pouco nas piscinas que se formam. A água é gelada mas relaxante. Algo com o clima todo do lugar que mesmo na correria da viagem de dois dias me sentia relaxada como há tempos não me sentia.

Ao sairmos da cachoeira para ir para o jipe para a próxima parada vejo  o Boca acenando e nos chamando com pressa. Ele apontava para a direita e eu já imaginei que devia ter algum tamanduá por ali… Corremos eu e o Ben, e ao chegar onde o Boca apontou vemos uma família de patos mergulhões, essa é uma espécie que está em extinção, onde o total de indivíduos tem diminuído de forma rápida devido a poluição pluvial, estima-se que a população atual seja de menos de 250 patos. Uma pena só termos tirado fotos de longe.

Próxima parada foi a Cachoeira dos Rolinhos parte alta, aqui é irresistível não entrar na água. A cachoeira forma verdadeiras hidromassagens naturais. E todas as quedas são muito gostosas de se banhar. Atravessando a primeira cachoeira chegamos a outra logo em seguida a Cachoeira Rasga  Canga aqui nessa parte é possível sentar embaixo de uma escada que se formou ali, assim dá pra relaxar sentado e com as quedas menores batendo nos ombros.

No fim da tarde é hora de voltar, porque afinal o parque fechas ás 17h. De volta a São Roque, comemos uma deliciosa comida da roça no Restaurante Vivá, já aviso que o restaurante é um das únicas opções abertas aos domingos e a comida é um banquete.

Saímos rapidinho para Piumhi pra pegar o ônibus de volta pra São Paulo que saiu às 22:30.

Se me perguntar se cheguei cansada em casa. Não, nada cansada, mesmo depois de encarar uma viagem de 8h e de ter ido trabalhar praticamente direto da rodoviária.

Por isso recomendo pra você ir conhecer, seja só por dois dias ou melhor ainda em uma semana.  É tanto sossego, natureza e cachoeira que a gente volta renovado de lá.

Para quem quiser saber mais:

Nesse site tem a lista de atrações do parque e avalia cada uma delas (http://www.serradacanastra.com.br/atracoes/outras_atracoes.html)

Parque Nacional da Serra da Canastra: (37) 3433-1840

Central de Turismo: (37) 3433-1641

Restaurante Vivá: Av. Vicente Picardi, 446 (tem a opção de comer a vontade e a comida é servida direto no fogão a lenha ou a la carte)Central de Turismo –

Para dormir indicamos a Pousada Barcelos (http://ecoviagem.uol.com.br/brasil/minas-gerais/sao-roque-de-minas/pousada/pousada-barcelos/)

<— Serra da Canastra: Dia 01

Se tiver dúvidas ou quiser saber alguma coisa pode perguntar que respondemos.