Pico das Agulhas Negras
|Pico das Agulhas Negras|
Pico das Agulhas Negras
|Elevation||2,791 m (9,157 ft)|
|Location||States of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, Brazil|
|Range||Serra da Mantiqueira|
|Easiest route||By car from Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo on the Dutra highway up to Engenheiro Passos; from there on BR-485 highway toward Itamonte; dirt road to Itatiaia National Park's north entrance and from there to Abrigo Rebouças mountain shelter; easy trek to the peak base; steep climb on rock afterwards.|
Pico das Agulhas Negras is the fifth highest mountain in Brazil, standing at 2,791 metres (9,157 ft) above sea level, making it one of the highest in the Brazilian Highlands. It is located in Itatiaia National Park, in the Serra da Mantiqueira range, on the border of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais states.
The climb to the top was first attempted by Franklin Massena in 1856. Further attempts were made by André Rebouças in 1878 and by Horácio de Carvalho in 1898, but the summit was only reached in 1919, by Carlos Spierling and Osvaldo Leal.
Its name means Black Needles Peak, because of the sharp dark rocks on its top, which give it a distinctive shape. The peak's massif is known as Itatiaia, which means "stone with many sharp points" in Tupi. The highest rock, with the summit, is known as Itatiaiaçu, or simply Açu (a Tupi suffix meaning "big") among Brazilian mountaineers.
Pico das Agulhas Negras can be seen to the northwest of Resende when driving between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro on the Via Dutra highway, but this is only possible at a few points on the road, because of a lower mountain range close to the road that stands in the line-of-sight at most close places. The peak can also be seen from the opposite direction, some 40 km (25 mi) away to the northwest, on the road from Cruzeiro in São Paulo to Passa Quatro in Minas Gerais, from the latter state's side.
A mountain shelter called Abrigo Rebouças is located near the peak base and accessible by a dirt road from BR-485 federal highway, via Itatiaia National Park's north entrance. At about 2,400 metres (7,874 feet), Abrigo Rebouças is the highest point one can reach on a regular car (as opposed to off-road vehicles) in Brazil.
For years, Pico das Agulhas Negras was thought to be the highest mountain in Brazil. The title later went to Pico da Bandeira, in the Caparaó range between the states of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo (now known to be at 2,892 m or 9,488 ft). In 1965, it was found that Pico da Neblina, in Amazonas state, was in fact the highest at 2,994 metres (9,823 ft).
Even then, Pico das Agulhas Negras was still thought to be the highest peak in the Mantiqueira Mountains, until a 2001 GPS measurement (later confirmed by an official joint expedition of the Brazilian army and the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics) showed that nearby Pedra da Mina was that mountain range's highest point. Pico das Agulhas Negras remains the highest point in Rio de Janeiro state.
- Brazilian blog (in Portuguese) with many photographs of the peak and the nearby Finnish settlement of Penedo. Includes pictures of Agulhas Negras covered in snow (a rare phenomenon).