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Scrambling Courses in Spain - El Chamizo

 

Perfect scrambling in Spain

 

The summit log book on El Chamizo

 

Technical moves on El Chamizo

 

Scrambling on Chamizo

 

Limestone scrambles in Spain

 

Scrambles in Spain - Courses and Instruction

Summit of El Chamizo as clouds close in

The Rock Climbing Company offer scrambling and summer mountaineering courses in Andalucia, Spain. We are based in a lovely mountain area that lies between Malaga and Granada that has excellent scrambling, climbing and trekking.

The El Jobo and Camarolos mountains are the background to our base in Spain, the village of Villanueva del Rosario. These hills are a wild, fertile region that is a natural playground for the adventurous.

These hills not only contain sites of great beauty, but also have the highest peaks in the area: El Chamizo (1,641 metres), Alto de Hondonero (1,420 metres) and El Pelao (1,387 metres)

The mountain range of Camarolos is part of the arc of limestone hills that divide the province of Malaga into two parts - from the Almijara mountain range, in the East, along the Tejeda and the Torcalto ranges to the Crestellina mountains in the West.

These peaks offer great scrambling with an alpine feel. The classic scramble to the summit of El Chamizo can be done via several variations to suit fitness and ability. The start of the scramble can also be varied to create shorter or longer days - on one hand you can hike from the village into the hills before reaching the limestone buttresses that protect the summit; this involves about 16km of hiking and 850m of height gain. On the other hand it is possible to access the base of El Chamizo by dirt track for a shorter day that concentrates on the scrambling.

The summit of El Chamizo has an alpine-style log book for the successful to sign for posterity and has great views across the whole region.

The base of El Chamizo is a fantastic meadow surrounded by limestone escarpments with hundreds of boulders close-by that provide the local climbers with a fantastic playground .

 

 

The Wikiloc / Google map below lets you see a bit more about where we are in Spain.

Scroll in/out using the mouse wheel or the +/- buttons in the frame. Hold down the left mouse button to drag the map around and reposition it.

Clicking on the flag that mark the summit of El Chamizo itself takes you to the original site with more detail available.

 

 

Eagles over Chamizo

The two main natural features that define the countryside around Villanueva del Rosario are the springs that form the source of the Guadalhorce river that supplies the region with a lot of its water and the El Jobo and Camarolos mountains which frame the town. This has created a wild, yet fertile region that is a natural playground for the adventurous.

These hills not only contain sites of great beauty, but also have the highest peaks in the area: El Chamizo (1,641 metres), Alto de Hondonero (1,420 metres) and El Pelao (1,387 metres)

The mountain range of Camarolos is part of the arc of limestone hills that divide the province of Malaga into two parts - from the Almijara mountain range, in the East, along the Tejeda and the Torcalto ranges to the Crestellina mountains in the West.

The imposing mountain front that can be seen from the village greatly enriches an area that is diverse and attractive in its own right - one finds pines, live oaks, gall oaks, black poplars, ashes and broad expanses of olive trees in the valleys with many wild goat roaming amongst the multitude of karst limestone escarpments.

Archaeological sites from the Paleolithic, Neolithic, Calcolithic and Bronze Ages have been discovered here. The oldest of all the sites is at Llanos de Salinas, more precisely at El Ventorro del Cojo, and belongs to the Lower Paleolithic period. There are also traces of cave paintings in the El Malnombre cave in the Camarolos mountains.

Chamizo looking down to Alfernate

 

 

Spain and the Olive Tree  

 

OlivesThe sheer extent of olive cultivation in Andalucia is astounding – in our village the olives extend as far as the eye can see in all directions. It is not surprising to discover that Spain is one of the world's largest producers of olives and olive oil and has over two million hectares under cultivation. The largest producing region is Andalucia with 59% of the country's crop.

The European olive is a native of the Middle East and was introduced to Spain by the Moors during their long tenure in Spain. Alongside the cultivated olives lie many wild olive trees which can be found throughout the Mediterranean. These wild olives are distinguished from their cultivated counterparts by having a more shrubby appearance- they rarely reach more than 5 metres in height and he fruit is smaller than that on farmed trees.

Cultivated olives trees can grow to 15 metres in height, although they are usually pruned to increase production and make harvesting easier. Trees can grow to be several hundred years old and some are said to be more than 1,000 years old.

The cultivation of olive trees is relatively easy - trees are planted in late winter or early spring from 2 to 6 years old and looked after carefully until the root system is established. Once this happens the trees are remarkably sturdy and resilient. When about eight years old they mature and begin to flower and produce harvested fruit the trees enter an annual cycle of pruning. A tree will produce about 25kg of fruit. Then soon after harvesting the old growth is cut out to let the previous year's growth, that will bear the next fruit, have prominence. Trees are normally hard pruned every other year, with thinning in between. It is said that a swallow should be able to fly through the centre of a well pruned olive tree without touching the branches.

The cultivated olive has long, thin, dark leaves with silvered undersides. The blossom, produced in May or June, forms in clusters of whitish-yellow flowers. The fruits are drupes (stone fruits like plums or apricots) and are harvested in autumn and winter. The fruit can be green, purple, black or a combination of these colours. A quarter to half of their weight is oil and over ninety percent of olives in Spain are harvested for oil, with the remainder being pickled to be eaten in salads or used as an aperitif.

Olive TreeThe olive harvest typically happens between November and February. Traditionally the trees are beaten with long poles to shake the fruit loose with the olives being caught in netting spread out below. The larger commercial farms are now using mechanical devices to shake the trees, whilst the olives for high quality oils are often picked by hand to avoid bruising the fruit.

Ripe olives can be either be green or black in colour, but when picked from the tree the are extremely bitter and inedible. Olives that are to be eaten are fermented, normally in brine, and then often flavoured with herbs. Green pitted olives are often sold stuffed with anchovies, almonds, garlic or red pepper.

Once picked the olives that are to be used for oil are washed before being crushed using heavy rollers to produce a thick paste. The oil is separated out from the paste using a press or by centrifuge. Then most oil is filtered to give a less cloudy appearance.

Oil that is squeezed without heat or excess pressure is known as Extra Virgin and is the highest quality available. As the press heats up by friction more oil is produced of a lesser quality. The next quality down includes the oils that are produced by applying heat, increased pressure and the addition of hot water.

Good oil, even the last pressings, will have a variety name and the amount of acidity shown on the label. Acidity levels differ depending on the oil but should be around 1% for a high quality oil. The lower the level the better the oil is regarded.

Categories of Olive Oil were created and are regulated by the International Olive Oil Council (IOCC) based in Madrid:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil - comes from the first cold pressing of olives, is entirely unrefined, has 0.8% acidity or less and is judged to have a superior taste.
Virgin Olive Oil - is entirely unrefined, has 2.0% acidity or less and is judged to have a good taste. Extra Virgin and Virgin olive oil may not contain refined oil.
Pure Olive Oil - is a blend of refined and virgin or extra virgin oil In reality it is very similar to . . .
Olive Oil - a blend of refined and virgin oils, no more than 1.5% acidity and lacking a strong flavour.
Olive-Pomace Oil - a blend of refined pomace olive oil and some virgin oil. Pomace is the sludge left after cold pressings which requires heat or solvents to flush more oil out. Although fit for consumption, it may not be described simply as olive oil.
Lampante Oil - used in lamps and not suitable to be consumed.

Olive oil is a mainstay of the Mediterranean diet and some of the best known brands of olive oil in Spain have been in production since the 1700s and it is used extensively in Spanish cooking, and drizzled over bread and salads.

Olives are a good source of vitamin E and antioxidants plus the oil is high in mono-unsaturated fatty acids which may help to lower blood cholesterol levels. The oil is also said to be beneficial against constipation and peptic ulcers, and can alleviate dry skin and hair. However olives are high in sodium so should be eaten in moderation by anyone with high blood pressure.

Spain exports about twenty percent of its total production, making it the largest exporter of oil in the world.

 

 

 

El Chamizo Guiding - Pricing

Type of Course
Length
Ratio
Cost per Group Cost per person
El Chamizo Scrambling Course
1 Day Course
1:1
190 Euros
190 Euros
1:2
220 Euros
110 Euros
1:3
255 Euros
85 Euros
2 Day Course
1:1
380 Euros
380 Euros
1:2
440 Euros
220 Euros
1:3
510 Euros
170 Euros

 

Online Booking Form

The full terms and conditions are on the booking page

Equipment provided by the Rock Climbing Company: We will provide all technical equipment for climbing and scrambling, including ropes, climbing equipment, helmet and harness for each client. You are welcome to bring your own helmet and harness, but your instructor will need to check to make sure they are in serviceable condition.

What you need to provide:. You will need to provide suitable warm clothing for the time of year, bearing in mind that although we are in Spain some of the crags are quite high and out of the sun can become chilly; a light waterproof and walking boots/supportive training shoes for the approaches. Ideally you will need your own rock shoes as well, although we can arrange hire rock shoes if required. You will also need a rucksack (30 - 40 litre capacity) and food and drink for the day.

What is not included. Prices include transport to and from the airport and travel to the crags.

It does not include accommodation, meals or personal insurance.

We can provide accommodation in a newly renovated house with options from 10 Euros pppn - full details are in the Spanish Accommodation section

Ratios and course sizes. The Classic Scrambles course is best taught at a ratio of 2 or 3 clients to 1 instructor.

 

 

 

 

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