Threatened Area Info

Region: Minas Gerais
Access Issue Types: Cultural and Historic, Archaeological Site, User’s Misbehaviour
Regulations: Climbing is only allowed on Sundays between 9:00 and 16:45. Climbers need to sign a waiver. Max: 40 climbers/day. Climbers need permission from the Park's administration to first ascent, retro-bolt and re-bolt routes. Only a few areas are opened for climbing, some are still closed. These rules are valid for the experimental period. Climbers' compliance is fundamental in order to have Lapinha reopened on a permanent basis.
placa Lapinha

Sign at Lapinha

In Minas Gerais, a state with many climbing areas, some of their great sport climbing crags have been closed to climbing, being the Parque Estadual do Sumidouro (Lapinha) the most famous one.

The Gruta da Lapinha was once the most important sport crag in Minas Gerais State. From 1993 to 2002, climbers have set many  routes in this beautiful limestone. In 2002 though, a City Decree closed the area because of the number of users and how they behave (that included not only climbers). In 2005, the State Administration “remembered” that the area is, in reality, a State Park and now manages the area. The area is still closed for climbing, now because of the lack of a management plan. Since then, the AME – Associação Mineira de Escalada has been involved in the development of the management plan. They have also been promoting many educational events in order to promote conservation and leave no trace among climbers in Minas Gerais.

In March 2010, there was a meeting between climbing organizations and the State Environmental Agency. In this meeting, many climbing activists advocated for the development of a closer relationship between climbers and managers. The event was a success, a MOU was signed and Lapinha was re-opened for rock climbing in May 2011.

Chronology in a glimpse:

  • 1993 – First routes are set up.
  • 2002 – A City Decree forbids climbing in the area.
  • 2005 – The State Administration “remembers” that the area is, in reality, a State Park and starts to manage it.
  • 2007 – AME – a Local Climbing Association – gets a seat on the Park’s Consultative Council and starts helping to write the climbing section of the Park’s Management Plan.
  • 2008 – The Park’s Management Plan is concluded.
  • 2010 –  Meeting between climbing advocates and the  State Environmental Agency (I Seminar to Organize Adventure Tourism: Climbing and Mountain Hiking in Protected Areas).
  • 2010 – A MOU is signed between the IEF, the State Environmental Agency, and AME. A group is designated to create the climbing regulations and guidelines for Lapinha.
  • 2011 – Access to Lapinha is liberated with restrictions during 6 months (“trial period”).
Regras Lapinha

Lapinha - Regulations

Lapinha map

Climbing areas restrictions - Lapinha