/ NEWS: El Chorro 'Via Ferrata' Set To Be Revamped

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UKC News - on 09 Jan 2012
The route can seem intimidating at times but can be well protected. , 5 kbEl Caminito del Rey is a dilapidated concrete walkway that runs around the side of the El Chorro gorge.

The Andalusian Government has set aside 8.2million to restore the El Caminito del Rey to it's former glory.

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=65943

James Oswald - on 09 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:
That's such a shame! It didn't seem "that" dangerous if you use some common sense.
JLS on 09 Jan 2012
In reply to James Oswald:

>"It didn't seem "that" dangerous if you use some common sense."

You gotta watch out for trains full of machine gun toting Nazi troops catching you up before you get to the otherside though.
In reply to James Oswald:

I don't see it as a shame, it is over 100 years old and looks like it has deteriorated significantly in the past 10 years - without some work it will just keep on collapsing.



Chris

PS I doubt it was ever covered in 'wooden boards' - the concrete would have been more than adequate for the workies.
Robert Durran - on 09 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

It's restoration will no doubvt be good for the local economy, but I think it is pretty much guaranteed that the atmosphere of the place will be completely lost, that access via the walkway will be expensive and restrictive (belaying off the walkway amongst the tourists?) and that access via the tunnels will be impossible.
Hephaestus - on 09 Jan 2012
In reply to Robert Durran: Yep, we're all doomed, life stinks and the most likely outcome in any given scenario is the worst for all concerned.

Jim
Ross McGibbon - on 09 Jan 2012
In reply to Hephaestus:
And do you think they are actually going to get around to spending the money on a minority attraction, tucked away on a windy, shoddy road? A read of the local Spanish papers reveals projects rarely get finished as many of the politicians are busy embroiling themselves in corruption scandals.....

Personally, I think replacing collapsing concrete will save a life or two but I can't see adventure tourists queueing up in any greater numbers than those queueing for the Honister via ferrata.
flaneur - on 09 Jan 2012
aimaz on 09 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Is it actually illegal? When I was the their the police only cared about people going through the train tunnels otherwise they didn't care.

3 of the fatalities were when 3 people went on a zip line together. Another was someone that fell of the walkway near the beginning. I don't think it's anywhere near as dangerous at the photos make out if you are sensible and know how to use your via ferrata set.

I'm not sure how much it will help the local economy, there's nice places to stay but not much in the way of restaurants or pubs in El Chorro, so I don't see tourists sticking around to spend money unless they're climbers, in which case they probably won't want to pay for a guided tour of the walkway.
balmybaldwin - on 09 Jan 2012
In reply to aimaz:

I think there is quite a lot of potential there to create an activity based destination... There are the big resevoir lakes behing the gorge that alread have quite a few boating/pedalo rentals on them, couid conceivably be a good place to learn windsurfing, dingy sailing, kite boarding, and is very pleasant for a day off climbing, there are also some small scale restaurants (that do a fantastic pork knuckle)

I would think that the gorge itself is probably a good spot for some kayaking too. And there is enless posibilities for mountain biking routes etc.

The problem is that all this would require significant development of hotels etc as well as improved facilities to be economically viable, and for me that would ruin the ruralness of the area that I loved so much when I went a few years back.
Robert Durran - on 09 Jan 2012
In reply to Hephaestus:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) Yep, we're all doomed, life stinks and the most likely outcome in any given scenario is the worst for all concerned.

Not all concerned - just climbers. General tourists would like it and local businesses would probably benefit.
aimaz on 09 Jan 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:

I did look at Kayaking while I was there and if I'd had a hire car I probably would have done some around the reservoirs and so on. It's definitely something I'd like to see developed out there certainly more than the walkway.

I'm not sure Kayaking in the gorge would be allowed because of the pump storage power station that uses the water from the gorge to pump uphill, but I'm sure there's plenty of other places to go.
neilh - on 09 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:
With 25% unemployment and a cash strapped Spanish economy, It makes you wonder where the govt will get the money from to do this and jsutify spending it. There must be better projects to spend 8.5 M euros on.
Sean_J - on 09 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News: There's been plans to do this for quite a long time now. Whether this latest scheme will come to anything is anyone's guess. Besides, I can't see how the initial outlay could ever really be recouped over time - they'll need a hell of a lot of people going over it and paying the entrance fee, and getting to El Chorro isn't that easy - lots of narrow twisty roads makes it very hard for coaches to get there, so I think it's going to be a bit of a white elephant. Access to the gorge for climbers will in all likelihood be problematic at best - could you imagine climbers on routes with paying punters walking back and forth underneath? Then again, H&S in Spain is pretty non-existent.
biscuit - on 09 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

News ?

This has been rumoured for ages - and discussed on these forums quite a few times.

The 'news' article even ends with saying you think it's quite likely it won't happen.

I think an important part of the word news is the new bit.
full stottie on 09 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Yeah, yeah, I'll believe it when I see it (Like the dualling of the A1 north beyond Morpeth - ever promised by everyone before elections, then quietly forgotten - its only London to Edinburgh after all. Rant over).

Glad to have been on it recently though in case it ever does get a makeover, - it still held my weight. One of those things that has to be done, even if not climbing directly from the walkway. But, there were plenty of weekend tourists in late October who were wandering about through the tunnels or stopping at the green bridge for a look, so if it ever does happen, it's bound to get busy.

btw, does Spain still have that much money left?
Bulls Crack - on 10 Jan 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> It's restoration will no doubvt be good for the local economy, but I think it is pretty much guaranteed that the atmosphere of the place will be completely lost,

What the scruffy lost world near a depressing village type atmosphere?


Maybe it's changed since I went 15+ years ago - never really tempted to go back.
GrahamD - on 10 Jan 2012
In reply to Bulls Crack:

The place is still dominated by the hydro plant infrastructure which, from a selfish tourist perspective, is a real shame because it should be stunning.
Robert Durran - on 10 Jan 2012
In reply to Bulls Crack:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Maybe it's changed since I went 15+ years ago - never really tempted to go back.

When I first went 20 years ago it had a strange almost surreal industrial/ third world ambience. I quite liked it! The odd half hearted attempts to develop the place have detracted from it for me -maybe not for the localks though. But yes, it is still pretty run down. It might well be improved for a good clean up, but possibly not fronm proper tourist development! (except for tourists and local business).

Tom F Harding on 11 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

I'm glad I did it while it's still fun....
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