Climbing in El Chorro
One of the classic winter climbing locations in Spain is El Chorro. It’s easy to get to, as it’s only 50 km from Malaga, and there’s a huge range of climbing there – for beginners through to experts.
The big attraction at El Chorro is the limestone gorge. There’s multi-pitch climbing and other crags suitable for all kinds of climbers. There are more than 650 different routes – both bolted single and multi-pitch.
Handily close to El Chorro village, climbers can easily walk to the gorge, so there’s no need to think about transport at the beginning and end of each climb.
It’s best to get your climbing equipment before arriving at El Chorro – you’ll have a wider choice available than buying on the spot.
The climbing routes are accessed by a walkway called ‘Camino Del Ray’. It’s a manmade structure that travels the length of the gorge a hundred metres above the valley floor. It is a bit rickety as it’s been there for more than eighty years. Recently though, it has been strengthened with via ferrata cables and bolts. Most of the multipitch routes are above or below the Camino Del Ray.
As you go deeper into the gorge, you used to be able to use railway tunnels to get access, but they are now patrolled by guards. Climbers have to use another route in – either by the Camino Del Ray or walking over the top of the gorge. In this part of the gorge, most of the climbing is single pitch.
Highlights of the gorge include El Polvorin with its really steep wall and 6th grade routes and Los Cotos which has slab climbing at the lower grades.
If you’ve done plenty of climbing before, you’ll know exactly what equipment you need to take with your climbing shoes. However, if you’re a novice, you should play it safe and go on a guided climb for your first venture in the El Chorro gorge.