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Brazilian climber Felipe Camargo has bolted a multi-pitch route and made the first ascent in the largest cave mouth at Gruta Casa de Pedra. SKALOLAZ.PRO asked him to answer some question about that fantastic project.

How did you know about Casa di Pedra?

So I first know about it when I was 15 or 16. I did a trip with my school just to see the caves. I had just started climbing for a few years and when I was looking on it I did not even imagine if it was possible to climb or not. I heard that it is the biggest cave in the world and it was amazing but I never thought about climbing it. Until I joined Red Bull. This company gives crazy opportunities for crazy projects. So I proposed this project. I needed to find out was I allowed to climb in the park. We worked to make it possible to climb there and also tried to open climbing for everyone in the park. So it became an idea. It was hard work to make it happen, and it is really cool. Something, that I have in my mind for many years and then it happen last year.

Was it hard to get there?

The place is really remote, about 5 km hike to get the cave. It’s not an easy hike, it’s pretty uphill and downhill on the last part to the cave. The cave is so big and so steep. It never rains on the rock, so it was really dirty. It was hard to clean. Some layers on the wall was lose rock as well. It took about 20 days to bolt the route. We were a group of five people who did it. Almost 200 bolts, 600 m of fixed ropes to go up and down easily. So it was a hard work that paid off with the really amazing route.

Please tell us about the route.

It is awesome. It’s eight pitches long. The first two pitches are easy, like 7a, and then it starts 8b, 8b+, 8b again and then the crux pitch, the six one, which is 8c. After that we have 7c and 7b+ to the top. For sure it’s one of the best multipitches that I’ve ever done and I really happy to be the one who have find it and to do the first ascent.

Please tell us about your crew.

The people that helped me to bolt it, it’s people that have a lot of history. They have bolted a lot of hard routes in Brazil. They are important people on a climbing scene here and in my career. It was really cool to invite them to the project like this. It was the best crew to make such a hard work.

How did you start climbing?

I started climbing in sport center in my city. I went there to swim and play football with my older brother when I was 10. It was a little climbing wall there and I started checking it out. Then I felt in love with this sport and never really stopped.

Please tell us about the milestones in your career.

I have climbed 8C boulder and 9b route in Spain. In competition I have won the Brazilian Championship a bunch of times. I won South American bouldering competition in Chili. I had some good results in World Cups, made semifinals; I think my best result in the World Cups was 18th place. But I always like the rock more than the comps.

How did you join Red Bull?

I joined Red Bull in 2016 which was incredible for me. It’s something I have never had even in my most optimistic dreams. We’ve done some really cool crazy projects together. My first project with Red Bull was climb with Sasha Dijulian. We did a multipitch in Brazil. It was about 600 m up to 8a+ route. After that we did Pont Xxxx project, it is the biggest bridge in San Paolo close to my house. It’s an iconic bridge. I never imagine I could ever climb there. Now we made Casa de Pedra.

Is climbing a popular kind of sport in Brazil?

Climbing is growing a lot in Brazil, it’s getting more and more popular. There a not many climbing gyms in the country still but it’s growing every year. Compare to the time when I started climbing when there were only 4 gyms in the whole country I think now we have 20-25 gyms. Here in San Paolo for example we have 7 gyms and any of them is full of people any day a week. It’s great moment for the sport.

What’s your favorite crag?

It’s Uba Tuba for bouldering. It’s bouldering area right by the ocean. It’s really amazing and unique. For sport climbing is Saha de Sipo, it’s the most classic place. It’s pretty well known and it has really well lines to climb.

What are your plans for 2023?

I’m recovering from a few injuries and I hope that I finally shall be able to climb without pain. I want to travel around Brazil and try to make first ascent of some hard projects that my friends have been bolting. I also want to go to Europe again try to climb something hard, maybe another 9b. I also have some crazy project with Red Bull but it is still secret.

Text: Yury Birilov

Photos: Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool

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