Altitude 514m a.s.l
Paul Phillips climbing Arabesque (7a) on Escalera Arabe © Mike Hutton
Set high up above the treeline and commanding a beautiful view, the Escalera Arabe is one of El Chorro's most peaceful locations. The quality of the climbing matches the view with the majority of the routes being single-pitch wall climbs on brilliant rock. The best climbs are in the lower-to-mid grade range and there are plenty of them, although there are a number of good harder pitches dotted across the various sectors. In the past it was possible to drive up the track to the base of the cliff, however the track has now been closed by the National Park and as a result the approach is considerably longer on foot although it is a lovely walk and not at all strenuous. (Update, October 2018: the track is currently open to cars all the way to the bottom of the crag). There is occasional stone fall from the large areas of broken crags above the climbs and a helmet is advised. The area is named after the Mozarabic stairway built pre-1500, sections of which are still in amazing condition.
From the station in El Chorro drive up the road towards Valle de Abdalajis and, just before the crag of Las Encantadas, park at a building next to a water tank. Take the upper of two dirt tracks on the left and walk along this for around 10 minutes until the track meets the hillside at a large quarry. Continue up the track that follows the base of the slope below the cliffs for a further 10 minutes until just past the point where a power line crosses over the track and look for paths that head up the slope to the base of the crag itself. For El Navegador Pillar continue up the road to a small hairpin bend and walk up a steep but short path on the left to the cliff. For those without a car it is nicer to walk from the station in the direction of the Albercones parking and just after leaving the built-up area, walk up a track on the right that eventually meets up with the approach track to the quarry.
|Was here on the 7th october 2013 and there is a very obvious fence around the routes in sector suiza from routes 22 to 26 on page 93 of the rockfax guide. My spanish is not great but the notices on the fence suggest it is closed for the protection of the local flora and fauna.|
SGD - 16/Oct/13
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