The Cavall Bernat is the biggest and widely known monolith in the massif of Montserrat. In fact, this is a complet unit rather than a horn or a needle. The Cavall Bernat is seen as challenging, impregnable, advanced on the north face of the eastern sector of Montserrat, above Monistrol. From the base to the peak, the wall of conglomerate rock rises 245 meters, whilst it still exceeds 60 meters above the ridge, the shortest height from where try to climb it.
The Cavall Bernat was first climbed in 1935, precisely from the ridge of Les Lluernes that is displayed in the 1st image. This climb way is nowadays reported as the normal. Since then, several new, much longer climbing ways have been opened in the Cavall Bernat. They attempt the Cavall from its baseground or from the channel that isolates it in the east, through the north face that is displayed in the 2nd image.
The toponym Cavall Bernat is repeated in several locations in Catalonia, always applied to monoliths although none of them as big as the Cavall Bernat in Montserrat. For instance, there is one Cavall Bernat in the massif of Sant Llorenç del Munt and another in Les Medes islands. Cavall Bernat literally translates as horse Bernd. Its origin is the decent derivation of the Catalan expression “carall trempat” that means horny dick.
[photos Jordi Badia]