TOPO Via ferrata

Cami de les Dames, Montserrat

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The via ferrata Cami de les Dames or canal de l'Artiga Baixa is one of Montserrat's great classics, located on the south face at Vinya Nova. The route is short but difficult, even tricky, as the walls are very vertical, the rock well polished and the final 2 pitches are overhanging and quite technical. It seems to have been recently re-equipped, but in places the equipment in place is still just a chain or cable to pull. The route, which is steep, offers lovely views over the olive groves that cover the Bruc plain. A physical and sporty option to gain height and possibly make a loop to the heights of Montserrat.

Technical summary

■ S tarting point: Collbato, Montserrat, Catalunya, Spain
Type of route: via ferrata
■ Direction: south
Length: 450 m
■ Vertical rise: +250 m
Estimated total time: 2h to 3h
■ Min and max altitude: 450 m / 700 m
Equipment in place: a little old or damaged in places, bars, chains, stuck stones
Equipment required: standard equipment

Difficulty: K4+ or D+, short steep or slightly overhanging sections to be climbed with arm strength and smooth walls for the feet.

Access to the place

From Barcelona, take the A2 towards Leida and exit at junction 575 after Collbato. Follow the freeway before turning 90° to pass a residential area and take a track leading to the Vinya Nova restaurant, where you can leave your car.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 20'

From the Vinya Nova parking lot, take the wide track due east towards Collbato, and after a few minutes' walk and a steep bend, turn left onto the path that runs deep into the woods. This path heads due north towards Serrat de l'Artiga Alta. Further on, a fork in the road. To the right is the ferrata de les Dames (rusty sign), to the left the return (or departure) path of the Artiga Alta canal. A few more minutes' walk through passages equipped with chains and small rungs to reach the foot of the ferrata, in a deep basin at the foot of a wall.

Course 45' à 1h

The route comprises roughly four sections interspersed with sections to walk or climb without equipment, but without too much difficulty. The equipment is good, with rungs, some damaged or bent, stuck stones and chains. The reference map is the 1:10,000 E-25 Alpina of Montserrat.

Part 1

Two successive walls to be crossed with equipment damaged by water and rubble, but safe. In the second, stones were stuck to the wall to help. No major difficulties in this first section.
Part 2

The path winds its way up the Artiga Baixa canal, alternating between small walls equipped with chains and bars, to reach the foot of a large wall.
Section 3

A few warm-up pulls using chains to climb the first step up to a ledge at the foot of the overhanging passage equipped with rungs. No great difficulty, but the overhang and diagonal layout can make balancing a little tricky. Take a tether with you if you need a rest.
Part 4

After a short section of walking, you come to a sort of open pit with a vertical gully. This is surely the most difficult part of the ferrata. Short but physical, with a slight overhang and few clear, or even polished, holds for the feet. Only a thick cable and arm strength. In short, an athletic finale to negotiate!

Back

Follow the path along the canal bed to reach the track leading to Coll dels Pollegons, where you have two options:


  • go right and descend directly to Clot de la Monica

  • go left and higher up, catch the descent of the Artiga Alta barranco (1h, equipment to be checked).

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