A Couple Of Spanish Crags – Part 3

Go back to A Couple Of Spanish Crags page.
Go back to Part 2.

Punsola-Reniu (6a A0, 7P)

Manresa

Strolling the streets of Manresa at the foot of Montserrat (Sept. 2010).

Our fourth day, one of the rear tires on our rental car disintegrated and so we had a non-climbing project of trying to exchange the car in nearby Huesca. Process was not helped by our less than fluent Spanish or the relaxed operating hours of Spanish businesses. Once things were sorted (sort of…still waiting with great anticipation for the bill), we drove around a bit, including a stop in a national park by the French border and eventually ended up heading back towards Barcelona with hopes of climbing something in the famous Montserrat. Somewhere along the way, we were stopped at a highway checkpoint by polite but machine gun armed police, a scene more reminiscent of Mexico than Europe. We’ve done the tourist thing in Montserrat with family back in May and recalled seeing an impressive conglomerate tower high above the road. A quick scan through the book revealed it to be the Cavall Bernat. That afternoon, we scouted out the approach and decided on a route, something called the Punsola-Reniu.

.

Punsola-Reniu

Shirley nearing the top of pitch 5 of Punsola-Reniu on Cavall Bernat tower in Montserrat (Sept. 2010).

In the morning, we woke up to find the entire mountain top socked in thick fog. After a leisurely coffee and pastry breakfast, we drove up and started the hike up. Things cleared up nicely and soon we were batmanning up the approach gully on fixed ropes. Punsola-Reniu route climbs probably the tallest aspect of the tower and reaches the summit in 7 very exposed and fun pitches. The route is very user-friendly and anything 6a and harder is essentially a bolt ladder. We freed the 6a pitches and some of the harder terrain but A0’ed much of the 6c sections (polished slick rock). Soon we were on the summit and being blasted by sudden winds. Seeing the surrounding formations from the top made us realize how large some of the walls were! Routes of 8 or 10 pitches are not uncommon, contrary to my previous (uneducated) belief. We really like the place and will return for more. We rapped the Normal Route and descended the steep gully affixed with knotted ropes.

The next morning we flew home from Barcelona. Our gear finally joined us a day later.

Photos

Cavall Bernat

Scoping out the place for next day’s climbing. Cavall Bernat tower is on the left.


Cavall Bernat

Recon hike the evening before we went to climb the phallic beauty that is Cavall Bernat (left; Sept. 2010).


Cavall Bernat

Cavall Bernat from the Montserrat Road below (Sept. 2010).


Manresa

Strolling the streets of Manresa at the foot of Montserrat (Sept. 2010).


Manresa

Self portrait somewhere in the streets of Manresa (Sept. 2010).


Cavall Bernat

Shirley on the approach hike to Cavall Bernat with the morning fog lifting over Montserrat formations (Sept. 2010).


Punsola-Reniu

The Punsola-Reniu route (6c+ or 6a A0) on the Cavall Bernat tower in Montserrat (Sept. 2010).


Cavall Bernat

The imposing south face of Cavall Bernat formation (Sept. 2010).


Punsola-Reniu

Leading pitch 2 of Punsola-Reniu on Cavall Bernat (Sept. 2010).


Punsola-Reniu

Leading pitch 3 of Punsola-Reniu. The steeper upper half of the route looms above (Sept. 2010).


Punsola-Reniu

Shirley following pith 3 of Punsola-Reniu – the steepness has yet to kick in (Sept. 2010).


Punsola-Reniu

Shirley topping out on pitch 3 (Sept. 2010).


Punsola-Reniu

Looking back at Shirley from the lead of pitch 4 of Punsola-Reniu with the shadow of Cavall-Bernat visible (Sept. 2010).


Punsola-Reniu

Leading pitch 4 of Punsola-Reniu route on Cavall Bernat (Sept. 2010).


Punsola-Reniu

Shirley loving life atop pitch 4 of Punsola-Reniu – so much, two years later we’re still smiling about climbing there (Sept. 2010).


Montserrat

View from somewhere high on Punsola-Reniu route on Cavall Bernat. Climbers on adjacent cliffs provide a nice sense of scale…cliffs are larger than my initial assumption about the place (and the route they’re on looks fantastic!). September 2010.


Punsola-Reniu

Shirley near the top of pitch 5 of Punsola-Reniu route…this is back to 6a-ish terrain after the crux 6c+ section (that got A0’ed; Sept. 2010).


Punsola-Reniu

Shirley nearing the top of pitch 5 of Punsola-Reniu on Cavall Bernat tower in Montserrat (Sept. 2010).


Punsola-Reniu

Shirley following the steep pitch 6 of Punsola-Reniu (Sept. 2010).


Punsola-Reniu

Shirley arriving at pitch 6 belay on Punsola-Reniu (Sept. 2010).


Punsola-Reniu

Some asshole starting the final pitch (#7) of Punsola-Reniu route on Cavall Bernat (Sept. 2010).


Punsola-Reniu

Shirley at the final (hanging) belay on Punsola-Reniu route on Cavall Bernat (Sept. 2010).


Punsola-Reniu

Shirley topping out on Punsola-Reniu route on the summit of Cavall Bernat (Sept. 2010).


Punsola-Reniu

Yours truly on the summit of Cavall Bernat in Montserrat with a piece of modern art (good belay anchor too; Sept. 2010).

Punsola Reniu

Shirley arriving on the summit of Cavall Bernat. View is to the SE with Gorros (I think) visible (Sept. 2010).

Punsola-Reniu

Shirley on the windy descent down the backside of Cavall Bernat tower.


Punsola-Reniu

Descending the backside (south side) of Cavall Bernat tower…the Normal Route follows the obvious dihedral to summit in three pitches (Sept. 2010).


Cavall Bernat

An unknown party topping out on the final pitch of XYZ on Cavall Bernat tower…the climbers provide a nice sense of scale (Sept. 2010).


Punsola-Reniu

Shirley batmanning down fixed ropes in the descent gully for Cavall Bernat tower after our climb of the Punsola-Reniu route (right skyline; Sept. 2010).


Barcelona

Time to head home – Shirley at BCN before our flight.


Go back to A Couple Of Spanish Crags page.