TOPO Climbing

Lapónia a la Portera Gran, Montserrat, Spain

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L1 spéléo !

Montserrat, Agulles sector. The route begins with a highly original first pitch, which starts in a sort of chasm but is very physical, with several artificial steps (A0 and A1e) that set the tone for the rest of the climb. Exiting on the west ridge of the Roca Gran de la Portella, due west, and after a more relaxing 2nd pitch, the rest is super tonic with, at the top of L3, a big A1e passage and a rather tense overhanging exit. Fortunately, the scenery is superb, with an aerial panorama and an arrival on the summit where you can see the cirque des Agulles from the front. In short, a route to take for the cash or to (re)train your hand and arms in artif'.

Technical summary

Access to the place

From Barcelona, take the A2 towards Lerida and exit at Hotel du Bruc (no. 570), then turn right immediately after towards Montserrat and Manresa. Park at Col de Can Maçana (parking lot below).

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 45'

Take the G.R 172 towards Santa Cecilia along the cami de la Roca Foradada to Coll de Guirló. Here, take the right-hand path to the Sant Barbé refuge. Just before climbing up to La Portella, pick up the tiny path that descends to the right towards the base of the needles (there's actually a tree trunk in the way). Keep zigzagging down to finish near the cliff, at the foot of a deep fissure that forms a cave in which the start of L1 can be found.

Course

This west-facing route was opened in 2005. 160m vertical drop in 5 pitches (35m, 45m, 35m, 30m, 20m). Equipment is good, but you'll need 17 quickdraws and a ladder for the artificial passages. Approx. 3 hours to complete with 2 people.


L1 (35m, V+/A0)

Nothing easy to start with! We start off in the rather extraordinary cave and quickly take our first steps in artif' for the traverse (make sure you lie down). We cross over to finally find ourselves out of the cave and pass another 2 or so steps in A0. The 2nd part is tricky in V+ in a very vertical dihedral, before finally going right and finding the comfortable R1 belay. A physically demanding length (17 quickdraws).


L2 (45m, 6a/A0)

Exit straight upwards on easy terrain, even if the hollow-sounding plates are just waiting to fall... so avoid them, which makes the route more difficult. Higher up, a lip to be climbed in 6a or A0, then the end of the route on an inclined plane with virtually no belay point until you reach belay R2, standing under the upper part of the needle (7 quickdraws).


L3 (35m, 6a/A1e)

Physical 3rd pitch. Exit the belay to the right and immediately attack the plate, which verticalises to arrive under the bulge. It's better to take the ladder out and, with what's left in your arm, take the few steps to A1e. It's obviously athletic (not what we prefer) and the exit before the R3 belay is very tricky, with a step in 6a that's not to be missed... (11 quickdraws).


L4 (30m , IV+)

3 nails at the start to get around the rock to the right, then nothing. Climb straight ahead upwards, passing 2 small jumps and arriving under the "head" of the rock. The R4 belay, not easy to find, is very close to the void on the north-west face.


L5 (20m, V°)

Start off to the right of R4, there are 3 parabolas to take off, then continue up the fissure (friend easy to place) via the sabine (longe) to reach the summit. Stunning view of Les Agulles.

Back

At the summit, on the north-east side, a belay allows you to rappel 50m (can be cut in 2 at the tree on the platform). You're now almost at La Portella. Simply follow the approach path in the opposite direction back to the parking lot.

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