American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Angavoa Wall, Mahagaga

Africa, Madagascar, Ambohimahamasy

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Sean Villanueva
  • Climb Year: 2015
  • Publication Year: 2016

In mid-September—after I climbed in Tsaranoro Valley in July and August—a local Tsaranoro climber from Madagascar named Rakotomalala Herynony Samuel (a.k.a. Henry) raved to me about an unclimbed wall a few hours away, in the little village of Ambohimahamasy. “Just as big and as impressive as Karambony,” he told me.

I was skeptical. But just like a man getting married for the second time, hope prevailed, and I had to go and check it out. Sure enough, Angavoa Wall (Malagasy for “bat”) is not quite as impressive as Karambony (few walls are), but it’s a nice-looking wall nevertheless.

Henry (who had very little big-wall experience, especially at this difficulty) and I made the first ascent of the wall on September 13. It turned out to be quite the challenge. It’s an excellent climb and, even though it has bolts, it is not to be taken lightly. We encountered loose rock, poisonous plants, bat guano, a lot of lichen and moss, jungle scrambling, and a little bit of bird shit. So it was right up my alley! We called our five-pitch route Mahagaga (250m, 7c+). The pitches are as follows: 7a, 6a+, 7c+, 6b+, 6c.

A special thanks to the kind people of Ambohimahamasy for their hospitality and great energy!

– Sean Villanueva, Belgium

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.

Photos and Topos Click photo to view full size and see caption