I've spent the last 7yrs visiting El Chorro for longer and longer trips and have got to the stage where I feel I can offer value and advice to people wanting to visit this great climbing destination.
So in this page I will set out to give advice for anyone heading out for some fantastic bolt clipping.
When to go?
October to April is the main season. The heat in the summer makes it difficult to climb in this area although there are shaded venues available in the Gorge and within short driving distance at Desplomilandia.
|Rob on Poema de Roca, 7a|
How to get there?
Malaga is the nearest airport with several of the low cost airlines flying various routes from the UK. If travelling by road, there are ferry connections to Spain from southern England with Brittany ferries, www.brittany-ferries.co.uk, to Bilbao or Santander.
From Malaga there is a train from Maria Zambrano station at appriox 4.48pm directly to El Chorro. Alternatively, there are regular trains to Alora and then the options are hitch hiking, taxi (20-30 euros) or transfer with Gary from the Olive Branch, www.olivebranchelchorro.co.uk.
My tip is to give Gary a call, as he'll take you to the supermarket
to get your food supply for the trip.
My personal choice is the Olive Branch ran by Mel and Gary. They offer excellent value for money and have camping, bunkhouse or private accommodation available all with use of self-catering facilities. Walking distance to the crags and a nice chilled atmosphere.
For a more lively (party) atmosphere the Finca la Campana is an excellent choice and is where I used to go when I was younger.
There are also private villas, a camp site and hotel available.
For those on an even tighter budget, there are several caves that climbers use. Some have been made a bit more homely with carpets, doors and other bric brac. These are pretty much first come first served and you share them dependent on how roomy they are.
- 12 - 18 quickdraws, (I bring revolver draws for use below the crux on projects = smoother falls and easier to pull back up)
- 70m rope
- gri gri (or similar)
- abseil/belay device (essential for multipitch)
- helmet (personal preference dependent)
- 2 slings, 120cm
- 2 HMS
- Guidebook (Rockfax published a user friendly guidebook in 2008 which I use. There are a few errors in there so use normal precautions eg. knot in the end of the rope).
- 2 maillons or leaver biners
Some of the multipitch such as Africa, do require a small trad rack for some of the easier pitches.