El Chorro’s Main Rock Climbing Areas
The Lower Gorge The Lower Gorge is very narrow and it is where El Chorro’s most intimidating and adventurous routes are to be found. However since the Camino Del Ray walkway was repaired and restored in 2015 getting to these routes is considerably less intimidating than it used to be.
Los Cotos and El Polvorin Further into the gorge it then opens out and therefore receives a lot more sun and is considerably less intimidating. The first crag in this area is Los Cotos that offers some excellent technical slab climbing at the lower to mid grades.Tucked around the corner from Los Cotos is El Polvorin, one of El Chorro’s premier crags. Here there is an impressive steep wall with many excellent routes in the 6th grade. All the routes at these crags are single pitch. Traditionally these areas have been accessed via a series of railway tunnels, though this is now illegal. To enforce this, guards patrol the tunnels and they will fine any climbers they catch. However, all of these areas can be accessed via the Camino Del Ray walkway or a longer walk over the top.
Makinodromo Area Makinodromo is a truly awesome crag. It is probable El Chorro’s best known crag with its severely overhanging walls and tufas. There are many high quality single pitch routes that range from F6b+ into the F8s. The stand out route here is Lourdes at F8a that picks is way through the largest and most severely overhanging wall of tufa.
2nd Canyon The gorge narrows again into a 2nd Canyon, which is El Chorro’s least visited area by climbers. Here there are a number of single pitch and multi-pitch routes, though many of them are graded at F6b and above. It is a longer walk to these crags but the reward will be some solitude and adventure.
Las Frontales Crags Towering above El Chorro village is a knife-edge ridge known as Las Frontales. This ridge starts within the village at the entrance to the gorge and then rises up above El Chorro. The climbing at Las Frontales is less intimidating than the gorge, and there are a good selection of single and multi-pitch routes at all grades up to 150m long.
Escalera Arabe Crags Above the Las Frontales ridge is another excellent series of crags called Escalera Arabe, which has many excellent single pitch sport routes across all grades. There have also been a lot of new routes established in this area though there is still scope to add more.
Las Encantadas Las Encantadas is situated just outside the village of El Chorro and is only a few minutes’ walk from the car park. There are many superb single pitch routes that are long, sustained and technical wall climbs.