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Via d’En Carles a la Gorra Frigia, Montserrat

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The via d'En Carles is located on one of the Gorras, in the heart of Montserrat. The Gorras form a bouquet of wide, cup-shaped needles on the south face of the massif. The most westerly, La Frigia, offers a very accessible north face and a string of great routes that follow one another or criss-cross to reach the summit, to enjoy a magnificent panorama of the region. Today, however, it's foggy and the view is just a few dozen meters away, making for a ghostly climb. The via d'En Carles is a classic and very accessible route, with 1 or 2 short V+ passages. The equipment is good, albeit old, and the rock very good. A good option to start or resume climbing, and to discover the massif, making sure the weather is clear of course!

Technical summary

Type ✦ Equipped long route

Location ✦ Gorras, Montserrat

Region ✦ Catalunya

Country ✦ Spain

Orientation ✦ Nord

Lengths ✦ 5

Vertical drop ✦ 155m

Difficulty max ✦ V+

Interest ✦ ★

Access to the place

From Barcelona, take the A2 towards Lleida and exit at 574 Hotel du Bruc. Just after the exit, fork right at the abandoned petrol station to reach Can Maçana in a few hairpin bends. Go over the small pass and turn right to follow the north face towards the monastery. Park just before you reach the parking lot on the left at the start of the Cami del Pou del Gat.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start

A rather abrupt start for 20′ of ascent in the Pou de Gat which joins the GR higher up. From here, turn left to go around the massif to the east. We pass under Momia and Elefant. The path joins the central Montserrat trail. Cross over to the south, with the Gorras in sight. After the crossing, you climb back up to the path that runs alongside the base of the Gorras at La Marinera.


Follow this wide path to the right for a little while longer, passing wooden steps to find the base of the Gorra Frigia further on. The nails are painted green. A cross is fixed to the wall 30m from the ground. The via d'En Carles starts a little to the left of this cross.

Course

The north-facing route is 155m in 5 pitches (35m, 30m, 20m, 35m, 35m). The required level is V+, even though most of the route is in the V range. Quite well equipped, the bolts are painted green and therefore easy to follow. In the last pitch, the IV+ start is well exposed with 1 first nail at 15m. Allow for around fifteen quickdraws.


Length 1 (35, IV+)

Climb the first ledges without difficulty. The points are quite far apart but there's nothing difficult.


Length 2 (30m, V)

An easy start, followed by a small, well-equipped V-shaped wall.


Length 3 (30m, V+)

Another easy start, followed by a vertical section in V+. It's best to pass to the left of the nails, where you'll find some good holds.


Length 4 (35m, IV+)

Easy length to reach the underside of the Gorra head.


Length 5 (35m, IV+ or V+)

The 1st nail is 15m away. Then, at the foot of the bulge, climb to the right with a short, finer passage in V+ (?) and finish at the cross. This passage can be avoided by continuing straight up the crack.

Back

We exit to the south. The existing via ferrata has been completely de-equipped, but the belays are in place to abseil if necessary. Descend into a small channel of vegetation, then go around to the left on a mini ledge to reach the col between the Frigia and Magdalena Superior (10m abseiling preferable, on 1 point in place under the trees).


Then climb back up to pass the small pass and descend on the north side to reach the approach path, which you can do in the opposite direction, or even better, this time via the monastery (the Pou del Gat in reverse is not very pleasant...).

Map & topo

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