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Barranco Canal Roja, Montserrat

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South-facing Montserrat, on the Can Jorba side. The barranco is best descended on the way back from the Joc de l'Oca. The descent is rather difficult, as the minimal equipment means that you have to pass through narrow gullies in opposition or by free-climbing small walls. Well-placed belays enable us to abseil through the difficult passages, and the canal ends with 2 large abseils of 30 to 35m, followed by a final aerial abseil that literally lands us right on the approach path, in the middle of brambles! Typical Montserrat barranco, steep and wild.

Traversée en opposition

Technical summary

Location ✦ Collbato
Region ✦ Montserrat, Catalunya
Country ✦ Spain
Type ✦ Torrential canyon
Vertical rise ✦ 250m
Difficulty ✦ v3-a1-II
Max abseil ✦ 35m
Duration ✦ 1h30 to 2h
Distance ✦ 900m

Access to the place

From Barcelona, take the A2 towards Leida and exit at Bruc. Drive through olive groves to the Can Jorba parking lot, on the track between Vinya Nova and Collbato, where the approach road starts.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start

Head due west up the large track to catch the path that climbs to the right towards Coll de Mosset. Turn right at the top to find the torrent bed and take it downhill (there are no signs). You'll soon find the first ropes and chains pointing the way. You can also get there by passing through the canal del Joc de l'Oca and returning to the start on the left.

Course 1h30 à 2h

The canyon is south-facing and has 13 abseils, some of which can be avoided by de-escalating. The equipment in place is good, but a 70m minimum is required. Avoid rainy weather.

Descend the torrent bed and a few metres further down, the path narrows to enter water-polished rock. Equipment is minimal, and with the help of a few knotted ropes or rusty chains, we quickly cross the first sections, sliding from one side to the other over small natural pools still filled with rainwater.

After the 1st abseil over a ten-metre wall, the torrent bed becomes ever narrower, weaving its way along the water's path. Some of the passages are free-climbing, on the rock face, saving us 2 or 3 abseils for the occasion. The canal is very narrow, and so begin the passages in opposition of support, foot-to-foot or more amusing hand-to-foot and even hand-to-hand with the feet in the void.

The second abseil is about fifteen metres longer, then the descent gets steeper and steeper. We can make out the exit on the large walls in front of us. After a good hour of various balancing acts, we finally arrive at the 2 final abseils, each about 30 metres long and magnificent, overlooking the valley and the southern plain of Montserrat. The last 10 metres are spent suspended above the return path, landing literally in the middle of brambles.

Back

Take the Joc de l'Oca approach path in the opposite direction.

Map & topo

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