Avg: 3.8 from 11 votes
|Type:||Sport, Alpine, 750 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||M. Punsola & J. Reniu 23/5/1971|
|Page Views:||3,330 total · 70/month|
|Shared By:||David Shuey on Feb 25, 2014|
DescriptionThe Cavall Bernat is a true gem of the Montserrat mountain and the showcase attention grabber when viewing from the north. The free standing spire features long 7 pitch classics around its north face while the original "Normal" 2 pitch route climbs a corner section on the southern face.
The Punsola-Reniu route, first climbed in 1971, follows a 230m (750ft), fairly direct line up the NE face. Completely re-equiped with generously spaced bolts, the line goes free at 6c (5.11b) or aided at 5b-A0 (5.9-A0) with help of a bolt ladder on the top few pitches. Being a popular route, a wise party would begin early in the day to beat other groups. The route has sun exposure from sunrise to noon, which is important whether climbing in winter or summer as the region experiences hot summer heat and frigid, windy winters.
Pitch 0: Scramble up a 4th or easy 5th class section to the base of the route. A couple options for cams/stoppers in flakes if you choose to rope up. (30m, 5.2)
Pitch 1: Follow the line of bolts directly up a well cobbled path for the longest, yet easiest pitch of the route. (50m, 5.7, 5 bolts--small-to-medium cams are useful to supplement these. 4 bolt anchor w/ 2 rap rings)
Pitch 2: Pass two bolts to a left facing flake where you are able to clip a fixed piton or place a stopper. Continue up and slightly left passed 2 more bolts, until another left facing flake. Clip a bolt and climb right over the flake to a bolt before again climbing up and left passed 2 more bolts to an anchor above a small ledge. (30m, 5.8, ~8bolts, 4 bolt anchor w/ 2 rap rings)
Pitch 3: As the route gets a bit steeper the climbing gets more fun! Climb up and slightly left passed 6 bolts towards the left side a large flake system. Once under a small roof, clip a bolt, surpass the roof and follow the flake on good holds for 2 more bolts before reaching the anchor on a comfortable ledge above the flake. (30m, 5.9, ~9bolts, 4 bolt anchor w/ 2 rap rings)
Pitch 4: If planning to aid the top few pitches, this is a good pitch to push yourself climbing free as it is a real gem of 5.10 climbing with plentiful bolts for protection. To keep to the 5.9-A0 rating, an aider would be helpful to surpass difficult portions with 5.9 moves between reachy bolts. Climb/aid up a direct line of good, yet somewhat polished cobbles. (20m, 5.10 or 5.9-A0, ~8bolts, 3 bolt anchor w/ 2 rap rings)
Pitch 5: Climb/aid up and slightly left passed a few bulges with a definite crux two-thirds the way up the pitch surpassing a steep, overhanging bulge. The bottom and top thirds go free at about 5.10b with the crux about 5.11a. The whole pitch can be aided almost entirely with only short 5.9 moves and/or some top-stepping. (30m, 5.11a or 5.9-A0, ~21bolts, 4 bolt anchor w/ 2 rap rings)
Pitch 6: The last major pitch and the routes crux. Although shorter than the previous pitch, the line gets steeper and the holds get smaller. Follow the bolt line straight up, with the last two moves left to the anchor. If aiding, the bolts are closely spaced and you rarely need to step higher than your waist to reach the next one. (18m, 5.11b or 5.9-A0, ~13bolts, 3 bolt anchor w/ 2 rap rings)
Pitch 7: 3 bolts of exposed 5.10a, or some aid help, move directly right and up from the anchor passing around the corner to the north face. From here follow 2 bolts of large, welcoming cobbles at 5.8 to the top. You can belay off 2 old, rusty bolts here or surmount the short summit block and belay off the statue. (25m, 5.10a or 5.9-A0, ~5bolts, 2 bolt anchor w/ 2 rap rings)
Retreat: With a 60m rope, you can rappel the route from any point via each anchors rappel rings (Pitch 1 has a rap ring located half way to allow a single rope retreat.)
Descent: Rappel off two large anchor rings on the south side, 5m south of the statue. Be sure to aim towards the Normal route towards the right (when looking off the back side). A 20m rappel places you at the Normal route belay anchors. An additional 30m rappel from here barely places you at the Normal route start, where you can down climb the exposed slab to Cavall's notch. If using 2 ropes, you the second rappel can place you directly on the flat notch, skipping the exposed down climb with a 55m rappel. From the notch, decent towards the valley to hike down to the Monastery or follow the fixed ropes towards the north face routes base.