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Via del Cabra a la Panxa del Bisbe, Montserrat, Spain

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Panxa del Bisbe is a large, pot-bellied needle at the foot of the Sant Benet sector, close to Elefant, Momia and Prenyada. Suffice it to say that the setting is superb and the route friendly and accessible. It seems to have been completely re-equipped recently, and the hardest passages (V+ then 6a) are well protected. The rest, and in particular the last 2 easy pitches in III and IV, follow each other almost without nails (only 1 for 80m), but that's the classic spirit! As a result, only the first 3 pitches are really worth climbing, but the last 2 allow you to reach the summit, admire a lovely viewpoint and enjoy a 30m abseil. The route starts just to the left of the Pel davant i Canaletes. Be careful, it's a local classic and there may be a queue...

dans la 3ème longueur

Technical summary

Access to the place

From Barcelona, drive to the Montserrat monastery either via Monistrol (north) or around the massif to the south and west (Can Maçana). Park before the entrance to the parking lot.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 20'

Cross the Monastery parking lot and then the monastery to the end, to take the stairs (escalas dels pobres) up to Sant Jeroni. After a few strenuous flights of steps, you come to a flat area (Pla de Santa Ana) where you must continue straight on, leaving the path leading downhill. La Panxa soon comes into view. Follow the path to the foot of the rock. Go along the base of the Panxa and, after descending the stairs under the trees, to the point where the wall turns north, where the route starts. To find your bearings, there "s a shrub about 10m away, and the route passes just to the right. It's not easy to see the first nail, which is 7 or 8m away.

Course

The southeast-facing route is 165m long in 5 pitches (35m, 20m, 30m, 40m, 40m) and has recently been re-equipped.


L1 (35m, V+)

We start off unbelayed, but on an inclined ramp with no worries. We reach the 1st pad a little below and to the right of the 7/8m bush, but we can easily use a medium friend hole just before it. The wall quickly becomes almost vertical and we're in very fine V then V+. You have to look hard for your route. Comfortable R1 belay.


L2 (20m, V)

Exit from the belay straight up, then slightly to the left. The 2nd part is easier, let's say IV, with far fewer belay points. Relay R2 is just as comfortable.


L3 (30m, 6a)

Exit to the left to pass the low wall with the aid of small holes and small scrapes and climb up with the right foot on a large brown stone. A good, well-protected 6a pitch. The next step is a V, then suddenly nothing. We end up on a very steep slope and the level drops to IV, finishing in the same way, almost walking up to R3. The route is now finished in terms of difficulty. All that remains is to reach the summit.


L4 (40m, III)

Climbing diagonally to the right, there's a nail in the way and that's it. We reach the R4 belay (green cord) to the right of the earthy vegetation.


L5 (40m, III)

Go straight up to the summit without belaying. At the top, use one of the belays (rappel) on the ground to belay the second.

Back

Do a 30m abseil on the west face to land on a small col between the Panxa and its neighbor. Nice, aerial abseil. Then head down the slightly decomposed canal to find the starting point at the bottom. All that remains is to climb the steps in the opposite direction back to the monastery.

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