TOPO Climbing

Via Cervera-Raül a la Talaïa Gran, Montserrat, Spain

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en haut de la Talaïa

It's finally here! It's been 5 years that we've been seeing it, far and near, passing underneath, taunting us. Well, it's finally here! The Talaîa needle is the most recognizable of all, looking like a large finger placed exactly in the middle of Montserrat on its north face, dividing the massif from east to west at the Migdia canal. To the east is Sant Jeroni, to the west Les Ecos. The route climbs the south ridge for 195m, ending on the tip of the finger, on the edge of the great void on the north face. The equipment is uneven, improbable in places (!), but the 6a and 6a+ passages in the first part are correct, and the artificial length can be climbed without any problem, if you're not too fussy about moving stuff... The end has little or no equipment, but we'll go for it anyway! The atmosphere is obviously great, with gas, emptiness and the sun back out: what more could you ask for? A new challenge on Montserrat?

Technical summary

Access to the place

Preferably the north face, which is closer, faster but steeper... Park at the Santa Cecilia refuge parking lot, a little before the monastery, coming from Can Maçana.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start

Quite long and physical. Take the GR westwards to reach the Font del Llum canal. From here, the path climbs steeply upwards, ending at the collet at the top of the Migdia canal. Descend a little to the south and quickly fork left on a small path (yellow markings) which passes a little further on and a little higher up under the base of the Talaïa (easy enough to find by sight). The start is either to the right or left of a slightly detached boulder under the woods.

Course

The south-facing route is 195m long and can be climbed in 4 pitches (50m, 45m, 30m, 50m), some of which can be linked with a 2x50m. There is a wide range of equipment from all eras. Provide a few small or medium-sized jammers and/or friends to complete the set.


L1 and L2 (50m, 6a+/A0)

Expo start! but 2 small friends (0.3 or Metolius 1) can be placed as best you can. The 6a passage is well protected, even if the 1st nail moves. The exit, on the other hand, is again exposed, so place a new stopper and exit to the right, skirting a shrub. R1 is optional, but you can continue to a second low wall in 6a+ (A0), well equipped, and then climb in V to R2 directly. The advantage is that you can do it all in one go, but beware of the draw for the second.


L3 (45m, V)

Exit to the right in a steady, aerial V. Then the nails become spaced out, but it's easier. A 2d bulge and we finish on a slope to R3, on a small summit in front of the artificial wall.


L4 (30m, 7b/A1e)

Acrobatically descend between the 2 needles to grab the 1st nail and place the pedal. A 1st sequence on a slope, with nails high enough to pass on artif' and some quite rusty, but it passes (2 movements with a ladder, useless afterwards). Free-fall exit in V+ to follow a second, easier and better-equipped section in artif' (A0). Gas, the view starts to give. The exit is rock'n'roll in free with nothing but quickly in V then IV then III up to R4. Phew!


L5 and L6 (50m, IV+)

No nails to finish, except after 30m where you find an optional belay. Finish by passing a low wall on the right, easy but super-exposed. No R6 belay on the summit apart from a buril head on the ground (the belay

Back

It's not an easy climb! First abseil north face (30/35m) to land on a tiny col between the Talaïa gran and petita. Then a second 30m abseil on the west face, also in a decomposed canal. You'll then find yourself on a flank that you'll have to follow to the left to reach a small pass under the woods. This leads to another, wider but completely broken-down channel which joins the foot of the route on the south side. All that remains is to descend the Font del Llum canal and then the GR in reverse.

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