Climbing in Santa Luzia Walls

Climbing in Santa Luzia Walls

By Daniela and Paulo

Thanks to our wonderful friends and Alpkiteers, Daniela and Paulo, who sent us this story of climbing in Santa Luzia Walls.

Thanks to our wonderful friends and Alpkiteers, Daniela and Paulo, who sent us this story of climbing in Santa Luzia Walls.

It was the year…well, I don't remember, but it was somewhere between 2005 and 2007. There were many, many walls to open new climbing routes, some of them, our eyes never even saw, nor our brains imagined them.

On a gray and rainy day, on one of those car rides that fill days that could otherwise be empty, we passed by the Sta. Lúzia water dam. I no longer remember how we ended up there, but the two quartzite walls on the side of the 76m of concrete that form this dam, built in the narrow gorge of the Unhais River, never again left our imagination.

climbing in santa lucia
climbing in santa lucia

Two huge quartzite walls with several perfect cracks that few daring hands had touched before. There was only one documented route and some rumors that Paulo Alves and some friends had climbed there. However, at that time no topos were drawn, so resorting to the memory of the first ones who climbed there, we were left without knowing which lines they opened. Therefore, the feeling of “everything is yet to be climbed” was overwhelming!

For long months we were addicted to those walls and weekend after weekend we headed to Sta. Lúzia with the intention of climbing new routes, many new routes!

In a short span of time, we opened around 30 routes there, the vast majority running through linear cracks measuring 100 to 150m.

After climbing all those we considered “logical lines” and with the passage of time, other unknown walls got in our way and it took us a while to return to Sta. Lúzia, or rather, we returned very sporadically.

With a short period of good weather between the autumn rains, the memory of those beautiful cracks arose in our minds. We left our “backyard” Serra da Estrela (meaning, we were looking for a warmer place to climb at this time!) and burned a few litres of gasoline (that precious liquid paid for at gold price) to return to the past.

The past led us to the present of two more happy days climbing two of the best routes on the wall, which we once called “Parede da Flexura” (“Wall of the Fold”).

climbing in santa lucia
climbing in santa lucia

On the first day, the option was for “Canto do Cuco” (“Cuckoo Song”), the classic of the classics. 100m of perfect climbing covering 3 beautiful pitches, of which the most beautiful – the middle one – was first climbed by Paulo. He wanted it and I…I wanted it too, but he took the lead! As he progressed along the linear crack - one of those where you can literally “throw” your cams inside it and they stay - I observed the second pitch of “Aventuras Hidroelétricas” (“Hydroelectric Adventures”) thinking “How hard can it be?”. I was willing to try it! Clearly, the first 10m of that pitch looked hard!

After a first day full of good vibes, we decided to return a couple of days later. The choice was obvious, as “Aventuras Hidroelétricas” didn’t leave my mind on the last days, so…

As expected, the pitch that I aimed was not easy, but it was…more or less ok to overcome it, between screams and laughter and finally “ON BELAAAAYYYYYYY”!

The present just mixed up with the past. The good feelings…those were the same, timeless.

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