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98 Octanos a la Magdalena Superior, Montserrat, Spain

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Ever since our 1st outing on Montserrat, when we saw a roped party on the north face of the Magdalena Superior, 98 Octanos had been on our radar, and we weren't disappointed: a great, top-quality route. Located on one of the Gorras, in the heart of Montserrat opposite the Sant Benet sector, the atmosphere is airy and the equipment impeccable. The route's main attraction is the more-than-vertical 3rd pitch, very well equipped, in sustained, homogeneous 6a, with a large void under the buttocks. The rock is excellent throughout and the L4 exit is mega-aerial, just the way we like it... In short, it's well worth the detour: a beautiful, elegant route, not too long, enough to keep you busy on a beautiful summer's day.

Fin de la 3ème longueur

Technical summary

Access to the place

From Barcelona, take the A2 towards Leida and exit at Bruc Hotel, no. 562. Immediately turn right towards Can Maçana and drive north until you reach the entrance to the Montserrat monastery, above the village of Monistrol. Park just before the entrance to the parking lot.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 45'

Cross the monastery to find the start of the GR4 at the end. Climb "les escales dels pobres", cross "El pas dels francesos" to reach the crossroads at plaça de Santa Ana. Leave the GR4 to the right, go straight on and a little further on fork left to take the PR C-19. Follow this path downhill, then up the other side to arrive below Les Gorras. At the first crossroads, turn left, then right again to wind up the cami nou de Sant Jeroni at gorra Marinera. Turn right, go around the Marinera, then pass under the Magdalena superior (north side) to reach the foot of the Frigia, where you climb left to the small pass between the Frigia and the Magdalena superior. The path is equipped with chains. A little further up, before the pass, on the left, you pass the foot of the needle in question. The 1st coloured signs are easy to spot.

Course

The route, opened in 1985, is north-facing and 140m long in 4 pitches (45m, 40m, 30m, 25m). The equipment is very good and generous, with ochre-colored bolts that are easy to follow. Allow for around fifteen quickdraws.


L1 (45m, IV)

A 1st warm-up pitch without any difficulties. All the more so as, for once, the points are close together. Follow the ochre parabolts.


L2 (40m, IV+)

2nd pitch, not too difficult either. Nice holds and a favorable incline. The pressure builds slowly. Relay 2 is a little before the vertical wall, the main dish of the day. Equipment still very good.


L3 (30m, 6a)

A few more meters of warm-up and a magnificent twenty meters, fine, demanding and really vertical. Perfect equipment for the lead climber. Relay 3 on a small ledge above the void.


L4 (25m, V)

Wow! A super aerial belay exit, with a slight traverse to the left. Let's call it a good V, given the gas and the commitment, but there are some great holds for a smooth passage. The exit to the summit is superb, with a view over the entire route.

Back

With abseils on the east face. The 1st about 15m to a platform. A 2d of 25m to the ground. Then pick up the path that leads down to the Miranda de Santa Magdalena, then past the ruins of the house of the hermit of Santa Magdalena. Join "Les Escales de Jacob", a narrow staircase between the Marinera and the Magdalena inferior, and at the bottom find the cami nou de Sant Jeroni. Then simply retrace your steps to the monastery and parking lot.

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