Saturday, 30 January 2010

Climbing in Spain



A strange week of weather, but it all finished well with a couple of days of sun and blue skies. I had couple of days at El Chorro guiding on the Camino del Rey - this is the slightly ancient walkway that sits 50m above the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes gorge. When I first went to El Chorro in the mid 1980's it was quite normal for climbers to walk freely around the walkway to get to routes in the gorge - sectors Recodo, Africa and Santimonia etc. The walkway has now deterioated to such an extent that it is advertised as "the most dangerous path in the world" - a bit of an exaggeration, but it is certainly good fun and exciting / atmospheric if treated as an extended via ferrata trip.

The later part of the week involved a trad (traditional) climbing course with Stephen. The first couple of days were hampered by showers and coldish winds, but the last days featured the normal sun and blue skies. We headed up to Los Pinos behind Villanueva del Rosario as this strange, pyramid shaped lump of rock has lots of trad routes that are great for learning how to lead climb.

A day off now before two weeks of back to back rock climbing courses and I'm heading to a newly developed crag near Antequera - 40m routes on perfect orange rock. This crag's location is secret at the moment, but if you are looking for new routes then El Torcal is worth a visit. The new lines are on more typical limestone than normally found at El Torcal i.e. crimps rather than slopers.

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