Monday, September 29, 2008

Montserrat Cavall Bernat

Montserrat is mainly known to tourists as the mountain where the 11th century abbey of the Black Virgin is. It is also a climbers´ paradise to the North of Barcelona that is filled with Aguilles of various shapes and sizes, with walls of up to 300 meters. The rock is a very compact conglomerate, that in places reminds of Riglos de Mallos, and in places looks like pure yellowish limestone.

There are supposedly over 4000 climbing routes in Montserrat and several guidebooks. Still following the 100 best routes in Cataluña guidebook, we chose the first one on the list - going up the most outstanding Aguille in Montserrat called Cavall Bernat (picture of Cavall below).

The route is called Punsola Reniu and is truly very enjoyable. It starts with a couple of easy pitches to get one into the conglomerate spirit, and than ends with outstanding 6b pitches on the top vertical part. The exposure gets tremendous very quickly as Montserrat is a stand-alone mountain (similar to Montagne Sainte Victoire in France for example), and the view looks something like this:

The surroundings offer numerous possibilities for exploration, hiking, mountain biking, and certainly more climbing - view of the conglomerate labyrinth below:

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