El Chorro

If you have never been or never even heard of El Chorro then this is definitely a venue worth checking out! It’s set in the south of Spain around 70km north of Malaga, a 4 hour flight and an hour train journey you can be in the centre of one of the biggest sport climbing venues in Spain.

I went with my climbing gimp Alex who has never been that keen on sport routes, this place even manages to get him psyched. It all revolves around a large gorge and the surrounding crags all within a reasonable walking distance but as we found out later in the week for 50 euros you can have yourself a car for a week and save the legs.

The lower gorge is the main attraction which then plateaus out and into the upper gorge which is all connected by the Camino Del Ray, (the king’s walkway). This was originally built so that the king could walk through to see the beauty the valley had to offer. Different events led to the start and finish of the walkway being knocked down, so now the walkway is only really accessible to climbers/scramblers as it has a via ferrata to start, it is easy but it is high up and can be quite intimidating for the first time.

The crags are accessible through the train tunnels but there is a large fine for getting busted so make sure you have your running shoes on and probably best to leave early and come back late if you decide to use the tunnels.

As for the climbing there’s enough to go at for quite a while and at all grade. Most of the decent climbing is single pitch but a must do is Zepelin, a 9 pitch route with a 6C+ roof at around the fifth pitch, very exposed and an all round wild feeling about it!

After spending a couple of weeks here it does seem like enough, personally I have never been great at sport climbing and this is the sort of place you need a lot of stamina and a 70m rope is ideal as the routes tend to be quite LARGE.

By Dan Bradley