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Montserrat

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Can Jorba 
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Gorros 

Montserrat 


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Elevation: 100,900'
Lat, Long: 41.5995, 1.8177 Map Incorrect?
Page Views: 17,841
Administrator: Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Monomaniac on Jul 18, 2009
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The South face of the Cavall Bernat is literally j...

Description 

Perched fortress-like atop the surrounding wine country sits Spain's largest climbing area, and the spiritual cradle of Catalonian climbing. The magical blunted spires of Montserrat hide literally thousands of excellent routes, with a variety of length & commitment sure to intrigue climbers of all tastes & abilities. Located only 30 miles from the bustling metropolis of Barcelona, the Parc Natural de la Muntanya de Montserrat that contains the climbing area is a popular destination for locals & tourists alike. The main attraction for tourists is the aesthetic Benedictine Monastery located among the cliffs on the East end of the park, which offers access to many of the more popular climbs.

A funicular provides access to the Southeast portion of the park, reducing the daunting approach to a meager stroll. Beware there are two funiculars, one that goes up (St Joan), and one that goes down (Santa Cova). Be sure you are in the correct station before you buy your ticket.

There are a number of Refugis in the park that provide cheap accomodations for climbers. The Monastery also offers rooms and a campground.


The Rock 

Montserrat is composed of excellent cobblestone conglomerate, not unlike the rock found at El Rito, Castlewood Canyon, or Maple Canyon in the US. The primary difference is that these formations reach heights of over 1000 feet, offering a world-class multi-pitch climbing experience. Although the cliffs may appear chossy, the rock is generally very solid, and highly featured, with many protruding knobs and sinker pockets.

The rock of Montserrat is high-quality cobblestone conglomerate.
The rock of Montserrat is high-quality cobblestone conglomerate.


Routes range in difficulty from 3rd class scrambles & via ferratas to 5.14c. Lengths range from the ridiculously short 2-bolt power route, to multi-pitch adventures in excess of 10 pitches.

The vast majority of lines are bolt protected, but many of these are runout, and there are opportunities for intermediate natural gear placements. A small rack of nuts will prove useful on most lines. Helmets are a good idea here, and seem to be favored by the vast majority of local climbers. Although these routes see nearly constant traffic, pockets of loose rock remain.

First-time visitors will be drawn to the Gorros formations that tower above the Monastery. More accomplished climbers should not miss the imposing Cavall Bernat, 'the half-dome of Montserrat', and its imposing East face. Countless high-quality single-pitch sport climbs are spread throughout the park.


When to Visit 

Montserrat is a year-round crag, but like most "year-round" crags, spring and fall are best. Shade is at a premium in the warm summer months, and in the winter many of the most challenging multi-pitch lines will be too cold to enjoy. If you are here in the winter, the Gorros get morning sun and are bear-able on warmer winter days. Additionally, the south-facing slabs of Panxe del Bisbe & other formations around L'Elefant are relatively sheltered from the wind.


Beta 

English-speaking visitors will want to check out the excellent e-guides available from RockTopo These are "supertopo"-style guides with detailed introductions, text descriptions, and high-quality topos available for download.


Getting There 

"The Loop Road" surrounds the cliffs of Montserrat & provides access to all of the climbs. There are multiple ways to reach this road, but for direct access to the Monastery area, take the A-2 out of Barcelona to the C-55. Take the C-55 to the small town of "Monistrol de Montserrat". Here get on the winding BP-1121, which joins the loop road a short distance North of the Monastery.

The parking situation at the Monastery can be troublesome, particularly on weekends. Arrive early or expect to waste a good bit of time looking for a space. There is a ~5 Euro fee if you are lucky enough to get a spot in the parking lot.


13 Total Routes


['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',2],['5.7',1],['5.8',3],['5.9',4],['5.10',2],['5.11',1],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Montserrat:
La Que Faltava   5.6 4c 14 V S 4b     Sport, 4 pitches, 360'   Gorros : Magdalena Inferior
Badalona   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c R     Trad, 5 pitches, 700'   Gorros : Gorro Frigi
Browse More Classics in Montserrat

Featured Route For Montserrat
Crux 2nd pitch traverse on Cavall Bernat's Via Normal

Via Normal 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c PG13  Europe : Spain : ... : Cavall Bernat
The original route and a historical accomplishment, the Normal route on Cavall Bernat is the easiest way to the summit of this fine spire. This route is a classic moderate with airy and enjoyable climbing on the shortest side of the spire. Start: locate the low angle ridge that leads to the single tree on the shoulder below the main bulk of the spire. Pitch 1: scramble the low angle ridge up to the shoulder and ascend the steeper face to the belay anchor below the memorial plaques. A cam o...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Montserrat Slideshow Add Photo
catalonian conglomerate
catalonian conglomerate
A typical route of Agulles (Laponia, well bolted), one can see the conglomerate, with small cobblestones...
A typical route of Agulles (Laponia, well bolted),...
Some short sport routes along "The Stairs" approach to the Gorros.
Some short sport routes along "The Stairs" approac...
Montserrat: north face. Routes ranging from 300 to 900 feet. Trad or bolted. Slabs or crags...
BETA PHOTO: Montserrat: north face. Routes ranging from 300 to...
Deep Valley . . .
Deep Valley . . .
Classical "Easy rider" route. 6a- In this shot, Tha´s in the second pitch (V+) of seven pitches. It goes app in the middle of the anterior photo
Classical "Easy rider" route. 6a- In this shot, Th...
Lotus route. About 100 mts to the right from Easy rider. Hard bolted route (6b+). <br />800 feet.
Lotus route. About 100 mts to the right from Easy ...
This photo shows the St Joan Funicular (in the center) and the two stations.  The Santa Cova Funicular goes the wrong way (down the hill).  You want the hidden St Joan Funicular (the smaller looking building just below center).
This photo shows the St Joan Funicular (in the cen...
Just a stop on the way to climb
Just a stop on the way to climb
Nice hotel . . .
Nice hotel . . .
L'Elephant (L) and the Monastery from the top of Gorro Frigi.
L'Elephant (L) and the Monastery from the top of G...
Agulles: West part of Montserrat, lots of spires (agulles) with hundreds of routes
BETA PHOTO: Agulles: West part of Montserrat, lots of spires (...
From the summit of the Frare (the highest summit of the region of "Frares" we have this view of the "Lloro"
From the summit of the Frare (the highest summit o...
...but before, we have climbed this route (6a+) with the friends you can see two shots before
...but before, we have climbed this route (6a+) wi...
The NW end of the Park from the summit of Gorro Frigi.
The NW end of the Park from the summit of Gorro Fr...
The rock of Montserrat is high-quality cobblestone conglomerate.
The rock of Montserrat is high-quality cobblestone...
The bustling Monastery, with the Gorros formations high above.
The bustling Monastery, with the Gorros formations...
The NW end of Montserrat from the South.
The NW end of Montserrat from the South.
Shirley nearing the top of pitch 5 of the Punsola-Reniu route (6c or 6a A0) on Cavall-Bernat tower.
Shirley nearing the top of pitch 5 of the Punsola-...
The intimidating & chilly North Walls of Montserrat.
The intimidating & chilly North Walls of Montserra...
montserrat illuminated
montserrat illuminated
Panxa del Bisbe offers sunny moderates.
Panxa del Bisbe offers sunny moderates.
Pretty sunny . . .
Pretty sunny . . .
L'Elefant (the one that looks like an elephant) and La Momia offer long, warm slab climbs near the Monastery.
L'Elefant (the one that looks like an elephant) an...
The absolutely stunning monastery of Montserrat, peep the beautiful cobble behind the building.
The absolutely stunning monastery of Montserrat, p...
Comments on Montserrat Add Comment
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By adam brink
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 1, 2011

Does anyone have beta on the best places to stay around Montserrat? Are there local huts or guesthouses? Thanks!

By Alec Korba
Oct 4, 2011

I'll be traveling around this area (and Barcelona) alone from October 20th - 30th

I have a full trad and sport rack and would LOVE to find someone to climb with. Can anyone suggest a good way to find a climbing partner or even a guide here? I can't haven't found anything so far!

If anyone wants to climb while I'm out there I'd do anything from trad multipitches to bouldering.

Thanks,
Alec

By Nathan Ellis
Mar 9, 2012

Staying in Barcelona next week and need a climbing partner. Would like to find someone who knows the area. Any ideas where else to look? I can speak some Spanish.

By Ben Caruso
From: Blowing Rock, NC
Aug 19, 2012

Climbing around here during all of September- happy to link up with other climbers. Hit me up!

By bayouclimb
Feb 1, 2014

I just tried to buy the topo from rocktopo but it seems like the page is no longer available. Does anyone know how/where to purchase and guidebook to montserrat in english?