TOPO Climbing

G.A.M a la Portera Petita, Montserrat, Spain

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dans le pas en 6a+ en L3

The aiguille de la Portella Petita is part of the large west wall in the Agulles sector of Montserrat. A fairly short but aerial route, the G.A.M. can be climbed fairly quickly, in the V for the most part, but with 2 more difficult pitches in 6a and 6a+ at the start of pitches L2 and L3, which can pose a problem, but which fortunately can also be climbed in artificial A0 without difficulty. It is an impressive way to enter the cirque des Agulles, and then follow up with another route a little further on. The view is splendid, opening out onto the Catalan plain. Opposite, or rather behind us as we climb, we can admire the monumental Portella Gran, a sort of immense pyramid crenellated with cracks and real horizontal corridors carved into the middle of the wall, and consider embarking on the via Senda dels Angels!

Technical summary

Access to the place

To Can Maçana, on the western side of the Montserrat massif. From Barcelona, take the A2 towards Leida and exit at Le Bruc, junction 570. Pass the large hotel at Le Bruc and turn right immediately afterwards towards Manresa and Montserrat. After a few hairpin bends, you'll reach the pass and there's a parking lot on the right where you can leave your car.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 20'

Take the G.R 172 towards Santa Cecilia via the cami de la Roca Foradada. Turn right further on at the Collet de Guirlo (10′) to take the path leading to Coll de la Portella and Refuge Vicenç Barbé, marked in yellow and white. The path goes off at an angle and climbs up the mountain. Just before the entrance to La Portella, you pass the foot of La Portella Petita, on the left. Go up a few metres to reach the foot of the path.

Course

The route faces southwest and is 100m long in 3 pitches (35m, 25m, 40m). The equipment is correct, although 8 quickdraws are required for the 2 difficult passages. Mandatory level V+ for active climbing, otherwise 6a+ for free climbing.


L1 (35m, III+)

This is an easy climb on an inclined plane. Climb more or less straight up to reach the first belay just below the first horizontal fault that cuts the needle across. There are no belay points, although a stave can be used halfway up to secure the pitch.


L2 (25m, 6a/A0)

It's best to use the first quickdraw from L1 to protect the start. A fine step in 6a in free climbing. A 2nd point very close to the top then climb straight ahead in a sustained V to belay n°2 set up in the hollow of an indentation on the right under a large rocky bulge. Here too, it's best to go straight to the first quickdraw for L3, located to the left of the belay above the overhang.


L3 (40m - 6a+/A0)

This is the most difficult step of the route. It's an aerial overhang with few handholds, apart from a fault at the top that you have to grab to get out. The pitch, on the other hand, goes very well in A0. You can equip a buril 50cm above before going over. However, the exit above is unprotected. Go on for almost 7m before finding an intermediate belay. The rest is easy IV+ with only 2 points to reach the summit.

Back

20m of abseiling on the east face to find the path to the Agulles ridge. Descend the path to La Portella and retrace your steps to the Can Maçana parking lot.

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