In July, Horacio Gratton (Argentina) teamed up with Lucas “Jah” Marques and Gustavo Fontes (Brazil) to climb a new route up Tabuleiro, a 400m wall in the state of Minas Gerais. Tabuleiro can be reached from the town of Conceicao do Mato Dentro; from there, it’s one hour of driving by dirt road and then a one-hour hike to the base. The wall is overhanging for 250m (at an average angle of 35°) and a waterfall runs down the center. Both Brazilian climbers knew the wall from a previous ascent of one the most difficult routes: Smoke on the Water (9 pitches, 8a+, Bean-Cuca, 2012).
To begin, they climbed the first two pitches of Smoke on the Water to reach a ledge, an excellent point for their camp. From that point upward, breaking left from Smoke on the Water, the overhanging climbing begins, leading through a big roof. It took two days to climb the first two pitches above their camp. The first one is believed to be 8b/8b+, and the second ascends a 30m near-horizontal roof, which they called the Pac Man Roof (8a), due to a rock with resemblance to Pac Man.
Above this, two more hard pitches—7c+/8a and 8b—lead to a 7a pitch connecting the new route into the final pitch of Smoke on the Water. A final short traverse allowed the team to finish at the point from where the waterfall begins. They called their variant Para Temprano es Tarde (400m, proposed 8b+). The route hasn’t been free climbed in its entirety.
– Marcelo Scanu, Argentina