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Clot dels Caragols, Montserrat

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A typical Montserrat barranc in the heart of the Agulles, the descent of the Clot dels Caragols torrent is accessible and not too difficult. A 40m abseil and another in a "speleological" chimney, all with splendid views over the Cova de l'Arcade area, where there are also some sensational climbing sectors: la Desdentegada, el Vermell del Xincarro. Very well and recently equipped, it can be combined with the descent of the torrent del Lloro, a little further east, or you can return on a ferrata route to join the way back. In short, a varied and enjoyable route.

Technical summary

Location ✦ Can Maçana, Bruc
Region ✦ Montserrat, Catalunya
Country ✦ Spain
Type ✦ Dry canyon
Vertical rise ✦ 200m
Difficulty ✦ v3-a1-II
Duration ✦ 1h30 to 2h
Max abseiling ✦ 42m

Access to the place

From Barcelona, take the A2 towards Leida and exit at junction 570, after passing El Bruc, towards Montserrat and Manresa. Immediately afterwards, turn right at the petrol station and take the small, winding road up to the Can Maçana pass, where you can park.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 45'

Take the G.R 172 towards Santa Cecilia via the cami de la Roca Foradada. Fork right further on (10′ walk) to take the Col de la Portella path. The markings are yellow and white. Once over the Portella pass, continue downhill towards the Vincenç Barbé refuge. Continue along the cami del pas del Princep, leaving the path leading up to the Ampla canal on the left and 100m further on, on the right, a tiny path leads into the woods. A kairn indicates the start of the descent of the torrent.

Course 1h30 à 2h

The dry canyon faces south. The equipment is very good (parabolts). You'll need an energy dissipater if you return via the mini-ferrata.

Abseil 1 (15m)

The path descends gently through the woods. The path is poorly marked, but just follow the stream bed. A few kairns indicate that you're on the right track. Then it gets narrower and after another 10′ of walking, you pass under a large boulder across the path to arrive at rappel 1 (15m).
Abseil 2 (42m)

It's all downhill now and looks like it's going to get steeper before long. The 2nd abseil is much more impressive. Advertised as 42m long, it's easy to do with a 70m rope, as at around 35m you touch the ground (the last few metres can be unclimbed without difficulty).
Rappel 3 (10m)

Another abseil can be avoided by unclimbing without too much difficulty, then the view opens up and you dominate the valley of the Torrent del Tambor. Splendid views of the Cova de l'Arcada and the Torrent de les Grutes. Abseil 3 lands in a sort of cave from which the chimney starts in the rock.
Abseil 4 and 5 (12m, 15m)

Via 2 abseils, the first in the chimney and the next to finish on the path leading to the Desdentegada climbing area and the Vermell del Xincarró.

Back

Take the narrow path along the walls to the right. The passage is narrow and leafy and after a few minutes you arrive at the 3 stacked boulders of the torrent del Lloro. 3 return options:

North loop (1h30)

Descend to join the Chemin de la Cova, then climb up to the Torrent de les Grutes, then turn left to Coll de Porc (indicated on the rock). Climb up to the junction with the cami del Pas del Princep to turn left towards the refuge and then La Portella to the parking lot.
Ferrata from the north (1h15)

Go around the 3 boulders to find an equipped wall just on the other side. Climb 25m vertically and then follow the ridge to join the path described above (1h15′).
South loop (2h30)

Passing Coll del Xincarró, then looping further to the right along the path that passes between Gerro and El Timbalet, which is what we did. It's a very long way. At Era dels Pallers, turn left to return to the parking lot.

Map & topo

Photos

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