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Ful de Sac al Setrill, Agulles, Montserrat, Spain

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In the heart of the Agulles, on the western side of Montserrat, this route is well worth a visit. Easy and quick to access from Can Maçana, it offers good climbing conditions in a magnificent setting. The rock is very good and the equipment enables us to climb in complete safety, except at the end of the 3rd pitch, where - a great Montserrat classic - there is no belay point for some twenty meters (in IV/V, but still!). The first pitch is by far the most difficult. The 6a pitch is quite difficult (can be done in A0 with no problem, though perhaps it's worth more, 6b?) and the rest in V+ is very vertical and sustained.

In short, a nice route, quick to get out and interesting to climb, in a thunderous atmosphere, in the middle of a needle forest.

départ 3ème longueur

Technical summary

Access to the place

From Barcelona. Drive to Can Maçana, to the pass that crosses the massif at its most westerly point (A2 freeway towards Leida from Barcelona and last exit at Le Bruc). Park in the parking lot just before the pass, where the approach hike begins.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 40'

Take the GR 172 north towards the monastery and climb to the Col de Guirlo. Turn right to follow the path to the San Barbé refuge. You then pass the wall of the west face of Les Agulles via La Portella before descending and then ascending to the refuge. After the refuge, continue on the main path towards the ampla canal. Before reaching the canal, turn right under the trees at the first bend (100m after the refuge) and climb left into the torrent. There's an ill-defined path with a few blue paint marks on the trees. We pass the first needle on the right, the Maquina del Tren. Continue upwards to find the foot of 2 needles on the right: el Setrill and el Broc del Setrill. We'll start from the one on the left. We can spot the start with the first 3 nails clearly visible and an orange crack at around 10m (the 6a pitch). The route starts there, and to its right there's another, less well-equipped route, the Salvado-Alava.

Course

The southeast-facing route is 110m long in 3 pitches (40m, 30m, 40m). The equipment is good except for the end of L3. Provide 9 quickdraws.


L1 (40m, 6a or V+/A0)

Very nice, sustained and vertical pitch. It starts off strong and when it's cold you can feel it! The first few meters are fine, until you reach the edge of the crack in 6a, which is quite tricky, all off-balance, with few handholds to help (if not, switch to A0, at least to carabiner the next nail). The rest is also very good V+. There's plenty to grab hold of, but it's still very vertical and you have to look left or right to find your route. The end of the pitch is a little easier in V but still sustained (9 quickdraws including one long one for the point in the crack and to avoid friction).


L2 (30m, V+)

Straight up on the V to reach the V+ pitch on a slightly cambered overhang. It's a good climb as there are good, straight holds and it's well protected. The end of the pitch declines in difficulty to reach the R2 belay.


L3 (40m, V+)

Similar to L2. A climb in IV+ to reach a new bulge that can be climbed on the left to reduce the overhang. Small holds, but very easy to climb. A little less well protected, the exit nail a little far for our taste. Then, well, there's a good 20 meters to go in IV+/V with 1 point in all! The R3 belay is on the summit. Magnificent views.

Back

Descend north to reach a small earth platform and further down on the right a large tree with 4 ropes and a quick link. Abseil about 35m to reach the ground on a small col on the north side. Then continue to descend, walking right into the canal and joining the Ampla canal, which you descend again to the south. You soon come back to the main path leading to the refuge (turn left). Reverse route to Portella, Col de Guirlo and Can Maçana parking lot.

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