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Crux 2nd pitch traverse on Cavall Bernat's Via Nor...
The original route and a historical accomplishment, the Normal route on Cavall Bernat is the easiest way to the summit of this fine spire.
This route is a classic moderate with airy and enjoyable climbing on the shortest side of the spire.
Start: locate the low angle ridge that leads to the single tree on the shoulder below the main bulk of the spire.
Pitch 1: scramble the low angle ridge up to the shoulder and ascend the steeper face to the belay anchor below the memorial plaques. A cam or two in some horizontal cracks and a sling for the tree provide some protection on this low angle pitch. 4th class to fairly easy 5th class climbing. 100 or so feet.
Pitch 2: Step slightly down and suss out the exposed traverse. A welcome bolt which initially appears a ways out on the face is passed en route to the semi hanging belay anchor located just right and below the start of the prominent left facing corner. Somewhat tricky and balancy 5.8. Maybe 40 feet.
Pitch 3: The long corner pitch. Clip an old, rusty ring angle piton, then another fixed pin, and, ascend up the corner. Work with the crack, the face on either side, pass a final steep section then stem to the flat belay ledge. There’s a set of belay/rappel anchors at the edge of the crack’s finish, or, another set to the right a few feet away. 5.7 to 5.8 and near 90 feet.
Pitch 4: Purportedly an easy pitch but there seems to be a tricky steep section right off the belay that would benefit from close attention and solid climbing. Climb up (maybe slightly right) of the anchor and gain the lower angle slab above (no pro!). Wander up to a bulge where a cam can be placed in the horizontal crack that is turned to the left, and, ascend another slab to the summit, where the fun belay/rappel anchor awaits. 5.7/5/8-ish at the start, then, easy 5th slab to the top for 100 feet.
Descent: Pretty much reverse the route. Skip the belay at the end of the traverse pitch at the bottom of the crack and aim past the hanging belay station (if you have a single 60m rope, or, stop at this station if your rope is any shorter) to the belay at the base of the shoulder below the memorial plaques. Either down climb to the tree then down the low angle ridge, or, rap down an open slot below to a shallow ledge which leads back to the base of said low angle ridge.
Via Normal is located on the southwest side of Cavall Bernat. A lower angle shoulder leads to a perch with memorial plaques (one is quite shiny). A short traverse (crux) leads to a steep, left-facing corner finishing at a fairly flat belay below a final steep section, which leads to lower angle climbing to the summit.
Approach via the trail from San Cecila, a trail from Montserrat itself, or the funicular. See the main Cavall Bernat overview for more detailed approach directions.
A set of quick draws (~10) and a few shoulder length slings (~6) is fairly adequate as the route has a fair amount of fixed protection in the form of bolts and spikes glued into the corner crack. Some supplemental medium sized nuts and cams (#2 TCU to #3 Camalot or equivalent: singles only) would be more than enough to take any sting out of the run outs between points of fixed protection.
Summit belay/rappel anchor (!) on Cavall Bernat.
Long corner crack finish on Pitch 3 of Cavall Bern...
Final pitch belay/rappel station on Via Normal on ...
Final slab pitch on Via Normal on Cavall Bernat
BETA PHOTO: West side of Cavall Bernat showing the location of...