/ montserrat this spring
a.) Whats the story with rivet hangers? Seen a couple of mentions about needing these and am wondering if its outdated info, or if not can I buy some there or use something else?
b.) Is it likely to be ridiculously busy at this time or is there a nice spot (with easy multipitch routes) away from the crowds that you'd recommend? So far have eyed up Badalona and Sol Solet as potential routes but realise these might be busy. Going midweek to hopefully avoid the weekend Catalonians... Catalans... locals.
c.) Rope? will a single 60m be ok?
Any other info would be greatly appreciated too.
All the decent routes have been properly bolted for years.
I have never seen it very busy - the climbing that is - the Monastery is always heaving during the day. Don't think we have ever been at Easter though. http://www.pbase.com/chris_craggs/image/57018998
Favourite crags for multi-pitch: El Gorros, Sant Bennet, several spots on the south side. http://www.pbase.com/chris_craggs/image/56998660
Worth doing the Caval Bernat too - 5+ by the easiest line: http://www.pbase.com/chris_craggs/image/56997882
From memory a single 60m is fine,
Montserrat was initially a big aid-climbing venue. Despite most of the routes being now free (or "french-free") many of them use still old fixed gear. However, as Chris says, most of the popular plods are bolted with decent modern gear, but you shouldn't be surprised to find some very old and very 'improvised' fixed gear around, especially if you venture off the beaten track (which I recommend).
Montserrat features vast seas of rock and you should never be struggling with crowds. Midweek will be even quieter. PS It's "Catalans" (both in English and Catalan)
60 should be fine but do bear pay attention to the route description as some pitches will be longer, especially the newer ones. Also for longer routes requiring abseil descents you may need double ropes, although there is almost always a way to walk off unless you're climbing a pinnacle.
The best routes at Montserrat are the ones that take the BIG features - corners, cracks, aretes etc. The vast swathes of slab look appealing but the climbing is very repetitive and once you've climbed one you've climbed them all.
This time of year the north face will be bitterly cold, so stick to south facing areas. Don't forget Montserrat is still a mountain of nearly 1300m, and the weather can get very cold.
If you climb on the south side you must must go to Bar Anna in the village El Bruc before going out for the day (you will drive past it anyway). It is the "Pete's Eats" of Montserrat and every weekend morning has a great atmosphere.
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