TOPO Climbing

Via Aleix a la Punxa, Montserrat

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Back to our favorite playground, the via Aleix in Montserrat. A 1st ascent of the Aiguilles des Flautats, a series of fairly thin needles that pile up on the northeast side, just behind the imposing Momia. Moderate level for this repeat, but still an exceptional, aerial and panoramic view of the plains and Pyrenees. The route is well-equipped: good on the difficult sections (including a 6b+ passage announced as passable in A0), remote to very remote on the easier pitches. A small set of jammers can be useful for reassurance, even if the rock doesn't offer much to jam on... On the summit, only a few meters away, you can admire the panorama, which is hard to get enough of.

Technical summary

Type ✦ Large equipped route

Location ✦ Montserrat, North Face

Region ✦ Catalunya

Country ✦ Spain

Lengths ✦ 5

Vertical drop ✦ 145m

Difficulty max ✦ V+/A0

Interest ✦ ★

Access to the place

From Barcelona, take the A2 towards Leida and exit at Bruc no. 572 (hotel). After the abandoned petrol station, fork right and wind up to the small Can Maçana pass. Just beyond, take the road along the base of the north face, past the Santa Cecilia refuge and park a little before the monastery parking lot, at the Pou del Gat (and ami Degotalls) start.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 45' à 1h

Climb steeply and without warm-up to the Pou del Gat path (30′ max), then at the top take the GR to the left. A little further on, in the large bend, climb to the right towards the ruins of the Trinitat. Walk past the buildings and head towards the base of Les Flautats, which can be seen fairly quickly. At the end, don't climb too high and aim for the base of the second needle from the right.

Course

The route is globally exposed and 145m long in 5 pitches (20m, 40m, 30m, 30m, 25m). It's equipped with 8 quickdraws and a few spare clips (friend 0.5 to 1). Compulsory level and V+ with a passage in A0 or 6b+ in free (but seems a bit harder after trying it out...).


Length 1 (20m, V)

Start in the middle of the base and cross diagonally following the bolts. Join the relay 1 on the opposite side along the vegetation. 1 step in V at the start, then IV max.


Length 2 (40m, V)

Climb straight up, then turn left under a suspicious plate. Then follow the ridge, which is more vertical. A small friend can be placed to secure the passage. The end is easier up to belay 2.


Length 3 (30m, IV)

Easy length, on the ramp but with only 2 bolts on the way.


Run 4 (30m, V+)

Exit slightly diagonally to the right and reach a small, well-equipped V+ camber. The rest is easier up to the belay, at the foot of a small wall, again with remote points.


Length 5 (40m, 6b+ or V/A0)

The wall is slightly overhanging and the holds quite thin... it's very hard to link up. The exit above is very aerial, with a small ledge that goes around the rock on the north side with plenty of gas. The final climb to the summit is fairly easy but poorly equipped. Summit belay.

Back

Abseil between the 2 needles to land in a small col and climb up the ledge to relay 4. From here, abseil to R2 and then a second abseil to the ground. Return in the opposite direction to Pou del Gat, almost as strenuous downhill as uphill, then back to the parking lot.

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