El Chorro is south of Spain’s climbing mecka. It is awesome!
The village that God hidden, and forgot! As a climber expressed himself. El Chorro is not a large village, a railway station with the adjacent bar, a hotel, and a few shops, and of course Refugio Escalada. A bar and gathering place for both climbers and non climbers. The 87 km between La Reserva De Marbella and El Chorro, would take about 1 hour and 20 minutes by car.
Climbing in El Chorro is simply stunning. Very nice quality on the routes. Climbing is for all skill levels. Many of the routes is around thirty meters, so a sixty metes rope is recommended. Route leaders are available for hire at climber hostel Finca La Campana.
Above the village there are some good route´s. To get to the other sectors, you have to follow the railroad, and get through some railway tunnels. This is forbidden, but everyone does it anyway. It would be a huge detour if you have to go over the mountains. When the train runs into the tunnels they honk, and there is plenty of room to step aside inside the tunnel.
If you want hard overhanging routes, you should visit the Frontales Medias, Poema de Roca. There is a large cavity in the rock, like a cave. There you find a lot of overhanging rock climbing, and many of the routes go through the roof, where many of the grips consists of stalactites in various sizes.
A walk in the park?
El Caminito del Rey and El Camino Del Rey (King’s Road) Built between 1901-1905 for the workers of the Chorro/Gaitanejo hydroelectric power plant needed a walkway to get to work, but also to transport materials and inspect the dam construction. The construction of the walkway took four years and was finished in 1905. In 1921 was King Alfonso XIII of using the walkway for the inauguration of the dam Conde del Guadalhorce, and after that the walkway has been named El Camino Del Rey (King’s Road). El Camino Del Rey is something extraordinary. It is an airy walk along the rock walls, it is about 2 kilometers and at some points 100 meters up with the river below.
But the age has taken its toll. A brickwork with a concrete walking surface, placed on a structure of steel beams, hammered in the rock. Falling rocks have turned up large holes on the shelf in a few places, and at these passages you have to tripping with your feet on the steel beam, and grab your hands against the rock wall, and then slowly take your time to take you over, Secured by a rope of course. In some places theirs is no railings, and condition of some of these are not the best. A steel cable that you can secure yourself into when walking, is attached along the mountain. This walk is absolutely nothing for people afraid of heights.
Several people have lost their lives on the walkway, and after two fatal accidents in 1999 and 2000, the local authorities closed both entrances, but the gift shop is still open.
In June 2011 by the Regional Government of Andalusia and the local authorities agreed in Málaga to share the cost of restoration (including parking and a museum) of 9 million Euro. The project will take three years to complete. Many of the original features will remain in place and the new materials used will be in line with the old design.