Climbing at El Chorro
We go climbing at the sector called Castroho, which is the area above the crusty’s caves. There are many of these dwellings, carved into the rock of the hillside, some with fabulous gardens, and areas to sit and enjoy. Paths take you right past the doors of some of them, but even at close quarters the insides are impenetrable, dark and mysterious. The weather at the climbing area is cold and wintery, but it doesn’t stop Jim enjoying a three star 6a+.
We walk down to the tunnel area past Albercones campsite. The rock is still wet, and the sky lowering dark grey in the background.
On walking up higher beside the Poeme de Roca, the enormous cave area, we see massive vultures circling all around, above and below us. We try a couple of climbs, before continuing up to one of my favourite areas, the Escadera d’Arabia. Now we are in a commanding position high above the valley. As Jim finishes a three star 5+ it begins to rain quite heavily and we retreat, via the Olive Branch and a quick chat with Mel.
Another day we make a very early start to beat the rain that is forecast. We walk up the enchanted path directly from the Finca to Los Encantadas and on to the track leading up to the Escalera Arabesque. We ascend the Arab steps right to the top and find Jim’s dream climb, gear up and then it starts to rain. We shelter under an overhang for a while then continue on down, meeting two Irish climbers en route to the same place as us, La Poeme de Roca, a large cave with many routes inside. It is packed in there, a remarkable sight. While the rain pours down climbers swarm and dangle all over the walls of the cave. We do a 5+ on a grippy flowstone and Jim a 6b. before trotting back to our house in the rain for brandy coffee.