We decided to escape the horrible November weather and have a week bolt clipping in El Chorro.
We haven’t been to El Chorro before, but we’d heard good things about the climbing and of course there was the exciting walkway to experience. El Chorro is a small village northeast of Malaga, right next to an amazingly deep gorge which opens out to a hidden valley. Along the edge of the gorge is an amazing and decrepit walkway, which I think was built for inspecting the gorge as the water fills a dam used for hydroelectricity. Quite a lot of the walkway is only just passable, and some of it has gone altogether, to be replaced by an exciting stretch of via ferata
We arrived in El Chorro on Saturday afternoon and decided to explore the walkway and check out Los Cotos, a slabby climbing area good for warming up just the other side of the gorge.
The walkway was fun, but the recent torrential rain that Spain has experienced meant that crossing the river to get to Los Cotos was impossible, so we had to return back to base.
The next day we took the illegal option… and walked through the railway tunnels.
The slabs at Los Cotos were a good warm up, polished in a few places, but still good fun. We had the place to ourselves, despite it being the weekend, apart from a few day trippers walking along the railway line checking out the views.
On Monday we went slightly further afield and drive to Valle de Abdalajis. This is another small village, less than a 30 minute drive away north east of El Chorro.
We mostly stayed in the Sectro Fisuras and Sector Diagonal areas. Again it was very quiet, with only a couple of other teams further down the crag… apart from the obligatory barking dogs and sounds of construction. We enjoyed the slightly less slabby rock, with a few gnarly lay backs and finger crunching cracks.
On Tuesday we got up late. During the night we thought we had been transported to Namche Bazaar as all we could hear was a dog barking continuously. Eventually Pete decided to investigate and what-d-ya-know, the dog was directly outside out pad!!! Not quite a boot up the rear, but some harsh words and the dog scarpered. She did return an hour later, so more harsh words and she moved on again. I think I heard her again later but by then I was too tired to care. She is a stray that’s been hanging around looking dopey and full of love during the day, but now we won’t be encouraging her to stick around.
With a Sterling alpine start (late) we decided to drive to Turon, a crag about 15km south west of El Chorro, which had more slabby loveliness. This was one of the nicer areas to climb – no dogs barking and no sounds of construction… I almost thought I wasn’t in Spain.
Just in case you thought we only cared about climbing…. After Turon, we took a drive up the hill next to El Chorro to check out the views.
And here are some lovely flowers near the various climbs.
… And of course the obligatory beer at the El Chorro railway station bar.
Tonight we’ve got torrential rain and thunder and lightning and everything, but we hope for a better night’s sleep… And we hope to wake to more of the forecasted sunshine.
Series - El Chorro '12
- El Chorro – part 1
- El Chorro – part 2