TOPO Climbing

Ivan al Timbaler del Bruc, Montserrat, Spain

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départ 5ème longueur

Montserrat south. El Timbaler del Bruc is the figurehead of this southern face of Les Agulles. It is the first route from the west, and on its right is the fantastic Vermell del Xincarro sector, a large cirque of sheer cliffs that are home to a multitude of routes in size 7. Easy to access from the small Vermell parking lot, the Ivan route is very varied, with cracks, dihedrals, slabs, athletic pitches and finer pitches, and a nice artif' finish. The setting is superb, of course, and the equipment varied but generous enough for safe climbing. With its south-easterly exposure, it's an ideal choice in winter or, alternatively, on a summer's morning before the sun hits too hard.

Technical summary

Access to the place

From Barcelona, take the A2 towards Leida and exit at Bruc. Go up the village's main street and turn right at a small fountain (seems to me the only possible street), go down to the bottom and then left again, all the way to a hairpin bend towards Can Salses. Follow this road, then take the track when the street bends sharply to the right. Follow this track, which heads straight for the cliffs. A little further up, at a signpost on the right, there's a space at the edge of an olive field where you can park. You can also see a wide path leading off to the north.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 20'

Take this path and head north. Leave the forest and head straight for the Timbaler, which is easy to spot. Higher up, take one of the small paths that will take you to the foot of the needle. The start is on a small ledge.

Course

The route is 110m in 5 pitches (20m, 30m, 10m, 30m, 20m). The equipment is correct and varied (parabolts, nails, pitons, etc.). Bring 12 quickdraws and a pedal for the A1e.


L1 (V, 20m)

The first nail is quite high, but there's no difficulty in reaching it. Then follow the successive cracks to find 2 of grandfather's pitons and reach belay 1 above the tree and at the foot of the huge L2 crack. Beware, however, of a few dubious plates that just need a nudge to get out of the way.


L2 (30m, 6a+)

A beautiful pitch that starts by climbing up a wide crack to be exploited. The route then changes direction to cross to the left (under the bulge). To climb back up, there are 2 or 3 6a+ pitches, tonic and athletic but with very firm holds. We continue a little diagonally to the left and after a small ledge there are a few more V+ steps with a nail on the right. The R2 belay is located in a sort of hollow just above.


L3 (10m, III)

This is just a relay transition. Cross over to the left to grab a tree trunk that leads to the other wall under the trees. The R3 belay is here, but not very comfortable, so we can use the tree to belay L4.


L4 (30m, 6b)

Another fine pitch. The start is a little tense with a horizontal traverse to the left to reach the 1st nail. Then it climbs straight up and is vertical and then some. 2 or 3 fairly fine 6b pitches, but with no great difficulty as you find everything you need. Higher up, a final fine pitch (6a) to finish the pitch on more sloping ground. The R4 belay is placed just below the Timbaler's head, in the shade!


L5 (20m, V/A1e)

Great atmosphere with the Vermell in the background! Cross under the roof to the central crack. Here, 2 steps at least in A1e (you can also do A0 if you're towing well), then free-climb the V-shaped dihedral to the summit.

Back

From the summit, walk west, north-west along the slope to reach the wide, wooded Canal del Gerro, which leads back to the approach path.

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