Occasionally we all travel; whether it’s for adventure, family, or work these trips can bring us to flatlands or mountainous landscapes. This past week I found myself in Rio de Janeiro. I, like many of you reading this, will take any opportunity to experience new climbing/hiking/boating (whatever your flavour of adventure) whenever travelling somewhere new.
Rio is an amazing blend of city, culture, and granite. With an urban landscape built around mountains, islands, and beaches, Rio lends itself as a climbers paradise. In instances like this (travelling alone and on a tight timeline) it is worth the investment to hire a guide to help navigate the roads, approaches, and ultimately to have a competent partner on the other end of the rope. But the guys I ended up climbing with are more than just guides. I not only had the pleasure and privilege of climbing two amazing routes (Italianos and K2) with two amazing people, but also to learn about a great program.
Igor (day 1) and Eduardo (day 2), my guides and new friends, run the organization Centro de Escalada Urbana (CEU). They bring kids from a nearby favela (slum) with a granite backdrop up into the world of climbing. As beautiful as Rio is – they have their share of difficulties. But don’t let me confuse their words, Eduardo was kind enough to explain to me (and you!) a bit about their project.
The climbing was amazing the views unbeatable, but at the end of the day it was great to learn about the culture and climate of the people, and to be able to contribute to a program that helps kids see another path in life by using the sport that we all know and love.
Black Diamond recently uploaded a video about the project:
If you are ever in town I highly recommend hiring these guys http://www.climbinrio.com/. Or if you would simply like to contribute to the cause and get some sweet gear you can do so here http://store.gobeyondgear.com/ – an American partner of theirs who provides gear to fund the project.
Get out there and explore the world! There is a story at every topout.