People have traversed the path for many years now, but the path has fallen into serious disrepair. Official access to the path was removed in 2000 after a tourist died trying to cross it. However, that doesn't seem to have stopped many people. El Camino del Rey remains a popular climb even today.
The El Camino del Rey walkway was built in 1901. This narrow, gut-wrenching path is only 3 feet wide! The path is held to the mountainside by pins driven into the stone. If you fall, it is nearly 700 feet the river below. How would you like to trust the building technology of a century ago?
It was built to allow local workers the ability cross between two nearby waterfalls, Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls. It served as a shortcut so the workers would not have to climb down the mountain on one side and climb back up on the other. Now a century later, the walkway has fallen into a state of serious disrepair. Many parts of the walkway have completely collapsed, leaving nothing but a metal beam and a wire between you and 700 feet of nothing. As you walk the narrow path, whatever you do, don't look down!
The danger doesn't seem to stop people from climbing it. This walkway serves as time-saving approach to Makinodromo, the name of a famous climbing sector of El Chorro. Since the walkway is just as much a shortcut today as it was one hundred years ago, people risk their lives on a daily basis despite its illegal status.
Several years ago El Camino del Rey became famous thanks to an amazing 6-minute video. Although I was unable to learn who actually filmed it, I watched the incredible footage with my mouth wide open. The video is so riveting you feel like you are the one risking your life (the horror movie Cloverfield was filmed in a very similar style). Some intrepid climber videotaped the entire route himself. He shot footage with one hand while barely keeping his balance with the other hand. Watching the gaps in the path plus all the insane people he had to pass along the way made me queasy. I could barely stand it! I was convinced he would fall at any minute. I actually developed a bad case of vertigo even though I was sitting in complete safety at my computer screen.
Thanks to this infamous video, El Camino del Rey has acquired a bizarre status. Today El Camino del Rey serves as a death-dying climbing dare for adventurous people.
Information Source: SSQQ Dance Studio
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