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The first stop of the cable car going to the Sugarloaf, Morro da Urca is a smaller mountain that offers fantastic climbing options for beginners, climbers that are new to multi-pitch and those learning to lead climb. It is a very popular training ground, not only due to the quality and variety of its beginner-level routes, but also due to its stunning natural setting, easy access and gorgeous views that are the trademark of climbing in Rio de Janeiro

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Recommended routes

For those that are looking for beginner level multi-pitch routes, there are options on both the north face and the south face of the mountain. The routes on the north face are shorter - generally two pitches, and terminate directly at the summit. One excellent option is Augusto Ruschi (5.4/3-, 60 meters). Another great option is a similar, but more demanding route Mesmo com Sol (5.8/4+, 60 meters). They are a fantastic experience for first-time climbers and offer gorgeous views of the Sugarloaf and Guanabara Bay! The south face of the mountain offers longer, but equally accessible options for new climbers. Amongst our favourites are Vermelho (5.7/4, 120 meters) and Infravermelho (5.5/3, 95 meters). These routes terminate at a trail that leads to the summit

Beyond beginner multi-pitch climbing, Morro da Urca also offers more challenging sport-style climbing found on its north face. The routes range from 5.8/4+ to 5.11d/7a in difficulty and are great for top-rope practice. At the end of your session, you can finish the day climbing to the summit of Morro da Urca

Planning your climb

In the summer months (December to February) both the north and the south face of Morro da Urca are best climbed either very early in the morning (7am or earlier) or in the late afternoon (after 5pm). If you are planning on climbing on the north face, keep in mind that it takes about 30 minutes of trail hiking to get to the base of the routes. Getting to the routes on the south face is considerably quicker, as they are accessed off a ramp that starts at the Pista Cláudio Coutinho. During the winter months, the south side stays in the shade almost the entire day

Regardless of the face climbed, you will finish your climb at the top of Morro da Urca. From there, return is typically by a well-established trail (same trail that is used to get to the north face base). You could also plan to take the cable car from Morro da Urca to visit the summit of the Sugarloaf

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Would like more options? See other rock climbing destinations in Rio de Janeiro

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