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By GMBurns
Jan 16, 2013
Climbing at Morro Anhangava in Southern Brasil.  (...
Managed to finally fulfill a dream of climbing in El Chorro, Spain. It was only for a couple of days, but it was damn impressive. For anyone looking to climb during the winter, and have the budget to go (it's not THAT expensive, to be honest, especially if you're with a few friends and can rent a casa together (cheaper than a hostel)), then I highly recommend this place. It's great for hikers, too, if you're interested in that. Link is below.

Summer is too hot. Best times are Oct-Apr. Three people can normally rent a casa for a week for about 200 euros or less. If you're in the town of El Chorro itself, then you don't need to rent a car (train service from Malaga can get you there - maybe from Sevilla, too). If you're out of El Chorro, then you'll probably need a car to make things easier, depending on the town. For example, you'll need one if you're staying in Ardales, but maybe not in Alora. Both are about 15min away by car.

Climbing in El Chorro Trip Report

Let me know if you have any questions. The pics show the place is pretty amazing.

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Jan 16, 2013
Topo - Cliffs in Green
Looks so RAD!

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By GMBurns
Jan 16, 2013
Climbing at Morro Anhangava in Southern Brasil.  (...
It's a pretty amazing place. The pics don't do it justice. Most of those towers are over 700m, so plenty of single-pitch sport and long trad / sport lines at all grades. Walking distance to nearly all crags if you stay in town, too.

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By losbill
Jan 16, 2013
Hey Greg! Looked like a great trip. I'm very envious! Beautiful photos! How come only a few days? No matter what my itinerary I might have tried to spend an extra day or week or two. BTW what's up with this "my art" stuff? I know you know you don't "own art" it owns you!

Things here are pretty good. Work, gym, doing stuff with the Grandson. Rinse and repeat. Gearing up mentally and physically for two weeks in Toulumne/Yosemite at the end of August, beginning of September. If I accomplish 50% of what I have on my tick list I will be very pleased!

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By GMBurns
Jan 18, 2013
Climbing at Morro Anhangava in Southern Brasil.  (...
losbill wrote:
Hey Greg! Looked like a great trip. I'm very envious! Beautiful photos! How come only a few days? No matter what my itinerary I might have tried to spend an extra day or week or two. BTW what's up with this "my art" stuff? I know you know you don't "own art" it owns you! Things here are pretty good. Work, gym, doing stuff with the Grandson. Rinse and repeat. Gearing up mentally and physically for two weeks in Toulumne/Yosemite at the end of August, beginning of September. If I accomplish 50% of what I have on my tick list I will be very pleased!


Just didn't have the time, that and the weather didn't cooperate on one of the days. we were all trying to save some money, too, and decided to stay in Sevilla the few days before New Years. Turns out the climbing around Sevilla isn't so spectacular. We should've gone to El Chorro for the who week. We know now, though, so next time.

Who are you going to Yos with? That sounds great. I'm envious. How's your climbing been this winter? Staying in shape? Did you push the grades this year and kick it up a notch above what you were working on when I was last there?

Yeah, art has taken over. There is no competition anymore, and I'm quite satisfied with that. I like it MUCH more than writing. No doubt.

Keep in touch Bill!

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By Brian Rhode
From Boston, MA
Jan 22, 2013
I climbed there at the end of May in the late nineties and loved the place- wish I could go back. There are miles and miles of limestone crag all over southern Spain, a lot of it still untapped. We stayed in a flat in the marina at Marbella, just great.

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By GMBurns
Jan 24, 2013
Climbing at Morro Anhangava in Southern Brasil.  (...
Brian Rhode wrote:
I climbed there at the end of May in the late nineties and loved the place- wish I could go back. There are miles and miles of limestone crag all over southern Spain, a lot of it still untapped. We stayed in a flat in the marina at Marbella, just great.


that's really what's kind of surprising about it - not everything has been climbed. It's really kind of amazing considering where it is.

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By JaredG
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 24, 2013
Which guidebook did you use (if any)? I was looking at both the Rockfax El Chorro book and the broader Andalucia guidebook, and it's hard to know which is better. In other words, should I bother trying to climb in other areas near El Chorro, or just in the gorge itself?

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Jan 24, 2013
El Chorro
JaredG wrote:
Which guidebook did you use (if any)? I was looking at both the Rockfax El Chorro book and the broader Andalucia guidebook, and it's hard to know which is better. In other words, should I bother trying to climb in other areas near El Chorro, or just in the gorge itself?


The Rockfax book, like all of their other books, is OK, but not comprehensive or overly accurate. It will get you around to the crags though and many of the classics but it lacks history and doesn't really give you a good feel for the culture of El Chorro.

Where you climb will depend on when you go and how long you stay. Frontales and most of the other areas in El Chorro proper are south facing and excellent from Nov-Feb but pretty warm throughout the rest of the year. Desplomilandia is a 20 min drive from the village and is all north facing so if you're there in shoulder seasons it's worth checking out. Other areas in the RF book: El Torcal, Valle de Abdalajis, Archidonia, and Loja.

The local book is better for El Chorro but I can't recall what areas it has listed. I haven't seen or used any of the regional books, but I can't imagine actually driving away from El Chorro to climb unless it was at one of the areas mentioned above, which are all w/in an hours drive.

You can easily find a copy of the local book when you get there and it is a much better way to support the community than buying the Rockfax guide, which basically just supports some old British guys. More than one person in the UK has scolded me for having a Rockfax, telling me that they "ruined climbing." I now try to stay away from them.

Anyways, El Chorro is an amazing place. Headed down there for the 4th or 5th time in a few weeks. It is very laid back and quiet and the amount of rock there is astounding. It is cheap as well, even if you're on the dollar. And if you go in winter you don't even need a car, as the refugios and hostels are all within walking distance of hundreds if not thousands of sun soaked routes.

A lot of potential for new development as well. The pic in my signature is of me walking in the valley north of the gorge - the wall in the background is untouched. Many new places are in the constantly updated local guide - you won't find those in the Rockfax.

I have a lot of Europe at my fingertips but continue to go back to El Chorro. Can't say enough good things. Glad you had a good time GMB. I must say I envy you a little - writing and traveling. My dream!

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By GMBurns
Jan 26, 2013
Climbing at Morro Anhangava in Southern Brasil.  (...
JaredG wrote:
Which guidebook did you use (if any)? I was looking at both the Rockfax El Chorro book and the broader Andalucia guidebook, and it's hard to know which is better. In other words, should I bother trying to climb in other areas near El Chorro, or just in the gorge itself?


The Andalucia guide is terrible. Stay away at all costs. As was stated above, there are some good local books that you can get at the local (small) shop in the village, but we used the rockfax book. I found rockfax to be a good resource and it was more than sufficient for what we wanted / needed.

Actually, I think the book is pretty good to the community. It has good info on life in and around El Chorro in spite of it being written by a Brit. I didn't find it ruinous at all, but I've only been there once, so I can't say why it's bad. In fact, I found it to be rather supportive of the local businesses.

Ryan - Actually, I'm an artist but writing was certainly the first stage of that. It's not all glory as money is often hard to come by, but yeah, I'm happier than I was when I was a financial analyst. Now to find that all important sponsor...

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By GMBurns
Jan 26, 2013
Climbing at Morro Anhangava in Southern Brasil.  (...
Oh yeah, and thanks to everyone for reading. It's appreciated.

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By DevinLane
Jan 26, 2013
Hey everyone,

I just spent several months at El Chorro and it's absolutely beautiful with fantastic climbing. Get the Rock Fax. Yes there's some local resentment regarding the publisher's profits and lack of local bolt fund contributions, but it's way better than the Andalucian guide. Maybe drop a few euros in the various bolt funds...

My wife and I were without a car, and had no problems getting around. Almost everything (short of Desplo) is within walking distance. Though get ready for some long and often steep approaches.

We stayed at the Olive Branch and I can't say enough about how awesome Gary and Mel are. They'll pick you up from Malaga for a reasonable amount otherwise it's best to take the train (30 mins and around 5 euros p/p) to El Chorro where they'll grab you for free. Plus they took us into town once a week for coffee and groceries. It's 7 euros a night to camp and they have wonderful facilities, so definitely something to consider.

Other tips
70m rope is almost a necessity though an 80m is even better
Walk on the train tracks to shorten the longer approaches ( Makino), though it's best to get some advice on where to enter and what to look out for as it's technically illegal but rarely enforced.

Definitely check out the following crags and routes:

-Makinodromo (Life is Sweet 7A & Lourdes 8A)
-Desplomilandia (too many to list)
-The Gorge (Zepplin 6C+ 10 pitch sport route!)
-The front side entrance of the Gorge (Ace Ventura 8A)
-Encantadas (Redders 7A, Grous Rouge 7B)
-Escalera Arabe, Frontales
Olive Branch pool
Olive Branch pool

Desplomilandia
Desplomilandia

Frontales
Frontales

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By GMBurns
Jan 27, 2013
Climbing at Morro Anhangava in Southern Brasil.  (...
Great shots Devin. We tried the Olive Branch and it was booked when we were there. Looks like it was in a pretty sweet location. Nice that they'll pick you up in Malaga, too (for free? really?).

And thanks for clarifying the point about the authors not contributing to the bolt fund. That's kind of shitty of them, but let's not jump to too many conclusions. They may do so without publicizing it.

It's odd because we took the train from Malaga back to Sevilla after climbing and then spending a few (sad) days in Malaga (we were there, quite literally within 25 yards the moment it happened, when the kid got killed at the King's Day parade - Malaga will always be a sad memory of that for me). We didn't get a chance to see the other side of the gorge until that train ride through the tunnel. Wow, we missed a lot. I really can't wait to go back there.

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By bryant
Apr 16, 2013
climbing on the greenbelt
looks like a beautiful spot! Any tips on gear one would bring to get up the multi-pitch routes? Also - free camping available?

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