TOPO Via ferrata

La Gorra Frigia, Montserrat

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This is a short, easy via ferrata, ideal for beginners. It also overlooks the Montserrat massif, with superb views of the south face and the Sant Benet area above the monastery. Gorra Frigia is the most westerly of the group of gorras (Catalan for "bonnet") and is easy to spot, even from a great distance. Very well equipped and easy to access, it can be reached either from the south (San Joan) with a good approach walk, or from the north by combining it, for example, with the ascent of Canal del Cavall, between the monastery and Santa Cecilia. It would appear that this route is currently closed (2018).

Technical summary

Type ✦ Via ferrata
Location ✦ Montserrat
Region ✦ Catalunya
Country ✦ Spain
Vertical rise ✦ 100m
Length ✦ 150m
Difficulty ✦ K2
Duration ✦ 2h30 to 3h

Access to the place

From Barcelona, take the A2 in the direction of Leida and exit at Le Bruc, junction 570 (at the Grand Hotel du Bruc). Just after, turn right at the petrol station to take the road to Montserrat and Manresa. After a few hairpin bends, you'll reach the Can Maçana pass. After the pass, turn right onto the road to the monastery, which runs along the north face of the massif. Park on the side just before entering the monastery grounds.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 45'

Walk up to the monastery and cross it to the end, where you'll find the start of the GR4. Climb through Els escales dels pobres to Plaça de Santa Anna, where you turn left to follow PR C-19. The path heads south, then uphill to join a first path. Turn left, then immediately right, to find the cami nou de Sant Jeroni above. Turn right. The path skirts the Gorra Marinera, then continues to the foot of the Gorra Frigia (the westernmost of the Gorres). At the corner, before starting to go around the Gorra Frigia, take the little path that climbs to the pass between the Frigia and the Magdalena Superior. It's a steep climb, and there's some equipment to help you get over the inclined slabs, before you reach the narrow pass. The ferrata starts on the right, just after the pass.

Course 30'

The route is south-facing and runs along the top of the Gorra Frigia needle. 150m ascent with good equipment. Not difficult.

The ferrata starts with a short, easy traverse (except for the first step), which takes you partly around the Gorra to the south. Then follows a short rocky slab to be climbed with the aid of a chain. Higher up, follow the path through the trees before arriving at the foot of large walls leading to the summit. 3 pitches to climb with the aid of a cable, then a chain at the end. The route gains height and you soon overlook the valley on the south side. The passages are not very difficult, as you can find good footing and the wall remains sloping. Gloves may be required for greater comfort when holding the iron cable.

On the last pitch, you have a plunging view of the monastery before reaching the summit at 1152m to admire the whole Sant Benet area and its characteristic needles: l'Elefant, la Prenyada, la Panxa del bisbe, la Momia. There's also a distant view of Cavall Bernat and the Sant Jeroni viewpoint, Montserrat's highest point.

Back

The descent is on the same path in the opposite direction. Unclimb the ferrata and then the pass to the path and retrace your steps to the monastery. Allow a good hour for this, as the descent is no easier than the ascent, particularly on the cabled sections or on the equipped path leading to the pass.

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