Climbing Catalunya Spain – Montserrat – Part 1.

Montserrat - a 1 hour drive from Barcelona - a conglomerate mess of cobbles and pebbles for some amazing rock climbing.

Montserrat – a 1 hour drive from Barcelona – a conglomerate mess of cobbles and pebbles making it a wonderful place for unexpectedly hard rock climbing.

We arrived in Barcelona around mid autumn.  We headed straight for Montserrat.  This wonderful climbing area, perched on a mesa overlooking the Mediterranean and Barcelona.

Our mission: To climb The Punsola-Reniu route (6c+ or 6a A0) - 8 pitches - on the Cavall Bernat tower in Montserrat

Our mission: To climb The Punsola-Reniu route (6c+ or 6a A0) – 8 pitches – on the Cavall Bernat tower in Montserrat

Our plan was to climb the famous Punsola-Reniu route.  First climbed in the 1970s, we expected it to be a stiff, sandbagged route and it was – especially when the wind and cold pick up halfway up the route.

A snapshot from an online topo of the route.

A snapshot from an online topo of the route.

Our first ‘attempt’ to climb the route came to an unexpected halt when we were overtaken by a group of Spanish climbers (with a film crew).  The main climber climbed it one-legged!  (lost his leg in a motorcycle accident; doesn’t keep him from sending though)

Heading for send -  The Punsola-Reniu route (6c+) 8 pitches of beauty!

Heading for send – The Punsola-Reniu route (6c+) 8 pitches of beauty!

The hike up to the base of the climb was not challenging, however, if you walk from the Montserrat, Monastery it adds an unnecessary 1 1/2 hours to your hike!  Better to park along the road before the toll entrance.

A shot of the tower we climbed.  See the climbers on the right side?

A shot of the tower we climbed. See the climbers on the right side?

The route was fantastic, even with the weather turning on us.

Aniu of North Face China, seconding the route.

Aniu of North Face China, seconding the route.

We made quick work of the climb, even though we were a 3 person team.