Pico Cão Grande

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The Pico Cão Grande

The Pico Cão Grande (Portuguese for "Great Dog Peak") is a landmark needle-shaped volcanic plug peak in São Tomé and Príncipe, in the south of São Tomé Island in Obo National Park. It rises dramatically over 370 m (1,000 ft) above the surrounding terrain and the summit is 668 m (2,175 ft) above sea level.[1] The volcanic plug was formed by magma solidifying in the vent of an active volcano.[2] The volcanic mountain range of which it once formed a part is now extinct.[3] It is the 37th tallest mountain in São Tomé, and the 42nd tallest in São Tomé and Principe.[4]

The volcanic plug was first climbed in 1975 by a Portuguese team of climbers, and the first summit was completed by a Japanese group of climbers. In June 2016, climbers Gareth Leah, from England, and big wall veteran Sergio "Tiny" Almad, from Mexico, established the first rock climbing route on the peak. The route is both extremely long and technically very demanding. The pair spent four weeks on the peak producing a route which they named Nubivagant - ascent into the clouds. The new route the duo established is a bolt protected climb. The route is 15 pitches (455 metres) in length and is graded F8b (5.13d). They climbed all but three pitches clean. Their climb was plagued with various difficulties, including snake bites and blown battery chargers. The most difficult portions of the climb are in the first 100 meters, after which the difficulty drops considerably.[2] The moss growing on the rocks due to high moisture content make the climb more difficult. In addition, snakes live on the volcanic plug, making the traverse even more difficult.[3]


  1. ^ United States. Naval Oceanographic Office (1969). Sailing directions for the southwest coast of Africa, from Cape Palmas to Cape of Good Hope. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "São Tomé, new climb up Pico Cão Grande by Sergio Almada Berreta and Gareth Leah". Planet Mountain. Padova. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "The Pico Cao Grande: Sao Tome’s needle-shaped volcanic plug peak". When on Earth. March 27, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Pico Cao Grande". Retrieved November 10, 2016. 

Coordinates: 0°7′4.64″N 6°33′58.83″E / 0.1179556°N 6.5663417°E / 0.1179556; 6.5663417