Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Scariest hiking trail in the world captured on video that went viral

If you are afraid of heights, DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO. Or watch with the knowledge that no harm can come to you since you are sitting at your computer, safely planted on solid ground.

The scariest hiking trail in the world -- a steep, dangerous route called the El Caminito del Rey, or The King’s Little Pathway -- is located in the province of Malaga, Spain.

And someone who isn’t afraid of heights captured the essence of this scary hike on video.

But first, a little background.

Construction of this trail began in 1901 and was finished in 1905. It was built because workers at the hydroelectric power plants of Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls needed a walkway to cross between the falls and provide transport of materials, according to Wikipedia.

The trail is 3 feet, 3 inches wide and rises more than 350 feet above the river, though it sure looks higher.

Its name was established in 1921 when King Alfonso XIII crossed the walkway to inaugurate the dam Conde del Guadalhorce. It's doubtful he'd use the trail today.

Like things that are more than 100 years old and not maintained, the route has fallen into disrepair. Parts of the walkway have holes or are missing completely (see above photo). In some places, hikers -- climbers? -- have only metal pieces sticking out for steps, with a long view to the bottom.

Ah, but there’s good news -- or bad, if you enjoy adventurous hikes: The government reportedly has set aside funds to restore the path to its original state with construction supposed to start this summer.

Right now, the trail is off limits. After two fatal accidents in 1999 and 2000, the local government closed the site, but adventurers continue to make the hike illegally.

Like someone who made this video two years ago. It can be found at Break.com, where it has generated nearly 1.5 million views. [UPDATE: Found this HD version on YouTube with nearly 6 million views.] Enjoy, but don’t look down:

Yes, a cable runs the length of the trail so people can clip into it for safety, but notice how the guy videotaping walks quickly and passes other people who are clipped in. It doesn't look like this guy ever clips in, making you wonder about his sanity.

As for those who do clip in? About that cable...

From an old post by The Cheap Route:
DO GET A HARNESS as no matter how confident you are in your abilities, the path is old and falling apart, and you don’t want to be the sucker who makes the next section crumble. Even the cables you latch into are questionable, so don’t fall.
Yes, by all means, be careful. Don’t fall.

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  1. Great post!! Thanks for sharing. We did the Camino del Rey last week and filmed it. Pretty insane stuff...but fun!! hope you enjoy the video http://www.spain-holiday.com/Alora/articles/el-caminito-del-rey-malaga

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