TOPO Via ferrata

Joc de l’Oca, El Bruc

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Please note that this route has apparently been de-equipped and is therefore impassable. It is (was) more a question of the equipped ascent of a small barranco to the south of Montserrat. Quite short but rather sporty and committed, varied and fun, the route is ultimately difficult as it requires a lot of arm pulling on ropes or chains, with little clear support for the feet and slippery (polished) and often vertical rock. It's impossible to use a ferrat-type absorber to secure yourself, so you have to keep going (or else with a cow on the links). The jumps to be negotiated are not very high, often 4 to 5m (but no more than 10m). The barranco can of course be descended, but given the series of short abseils, it's much more fun to do it the other way round. Ideally, it can be combined with the descent of the Canal Roja, just next door, to make a nice 3-hour loop. At the top of the canal, a little before exiting to the left, there's also a great route, Drac Gos (6a+, 100m) for a more sporty but more than perfect combination.

Technical summary

Type ✦ Via ferrata / equipped trail
Location ✦ El Bruc
Region ✦ Catalunya
PaysvSpain
Height difference ✦ 140m
Difficulty ✦ K4
Duration ✦ 1h to 2h

Access to the place

From Barcelona, take the A2 towards Leida and exit at Bruc. Cross the olive groves to the Can Jorba parking lot, from where the path leads to the start of the route.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 20'

The path to the foot of the via starts behind the building. It takes 15 minutes on a narrow, leafy path that runs flush with and even under rock, to reach the start of the route, which in fact runs up the bed of the Migdia torrent. We arrive at the foot of the first wall, in a sort of high, fairly narrow cirque, the starting point and first pulls in prospect!

Course 3h à 3h30

The canal is south-facing and climbs 140m. The equipment consists of chains, ropes and nails, some of which are old but safe. Many exposed passages. Don't forget a 40m safety rope and a pair of gloves, because it's hard work!


A knotted rope is used on the 1st small wall, about 5m long. The rock is polished and rather smooth, making it difficult to get a foothold. You have to pull mostly on your arms to get up to the first platform, which clearly sets the tone. The route is naturally traced and weaves its way through the hollows of rocks shaped by the waters, forming basins, gullies and faults to be crossed. On the ground, you can still see the damage caused by the last passage of water, which carried branches, stones, foliage and even a few trunks that stopped in its path. In other words, this barranco can only be climbed in dry weather. The route is logical, natural and challenging. There are a few not-so-easy overhangs to negotiate at the end, and the torrent bed widens out a little until you reach the junction with the return path.

Back

Take the path on the left as you leave the canal towards Coll de Mosset and then down again to find the track leading to Can Jorba. With time, it is also possible to descend via the Roja o Tres rayas canal, parallel to the Joc de l'Oca canal to the west (2h in this case).

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