El Camino del Rey

Blogging great, Bill Harris, sent me a link to this video today saying "this has you written all over it!" Clearly he doesn't know how terrified of heights I am.

My heart was racing just watching this clip:

El Camino del Rey is in the El Chorro gorge in Spain.

From an article by Taj Terpening on www.alpinist.com:

It looked like a thirty-six-inch-wide slice of cement Swiss cheese glued to the wall with chewing gum. The Camino was built in the 1920s so the King of Spain could see the new water pipes that traveled through the lower gorge, carrying water to the costal city of Malaga. Since the king's single visit eighty years ago, the Camino has fallen into disrepair--huge pieces are missing, and metal supports are nearly rusted through or broken. This was quickly becoming the "death approach" of all time. Clinging to one another we inched forward, unsure of each step.

As we gained confidence in the walkway we were able to move quickly--sometimes jumping across chasms, hoping the far side would hold. Each man-sized hole we encountered could have been a climber who fell to his death when the walkway gave out under him. Indeed, a number of climbers have died using the Camino and other antiquated heavy equipment in the lower gorge. But soon we remembered we were there to climb, not simply to survive the Camino. (Since this first trip to El Chorro, and thankfully before my most recent visit, local climbers have installed a safety cable along much of the Camino for an added measure of security.)

Read the full article right here.

Enjoy the weekend. I'll be spending Friday driving up Squamish, BC for the Ore Crusher mountain bike race. Weather is supposed to be in the mid 50's with scattered showers. Better bring those fenders! Race report, with a pic or two, on Monday.


Criscipline said...

Oh my. I don't get the point of the cable though. Do you just grab on if the cement falls out from under you. Then what? It looks as if it would just slice right through your hand.

Never in a million years would I be able to take that walk.


I don't feel so good....

NobbyNick said...

What the hell! I about lost my lunch just watching that. Uhhhgggg. Like Knobularlife said: "I don't feel so good...."

Doug Walsh said...

Totally sick, right?

Criscipline, the cable is so you connect to it with a harness and carabiner and rope. Preferably two of them so when you to one of the points where the cable is anchored to the rock you can clip one carabiner onto the other side of the anchor point while still being attached on the other side.

The guy who made the video wasn't roped on though, as he blew past other climbers without having to stop and unclip to get around them.

Total death wish, but awesome to watch.