Geologists to study rockfall and landslide risks at Spain’s spectacular Caminito del Rey to improve safety

SPAIN’S most thrilling walk, the infamous El Caminito del Rey, once considered the most dangerous walkway in the world, will be exhaustively studied with the aim of turning it into one of the safest gorge trails in the world.

For this, the Diputación, Malaga’s provincial authority, and the Caminito del Rey’s joint venture operators have come together to commission geologists from the University of Granada to carry out a project which will aim to identify which sections of the suspended walkway attraction are most exposed to danger, and in the process improve the walkway’s safety.

Despite the existing protection measures at the Caminito del Rey walkway, heavy rains can cause damaging and dangerous landslides to occur, as transpired last December forcing a three-day closure in the hiking trail.

The study will use state-of-the-art methods and approaches, including drones and laser scanners, to create three-dimensional models of the canyons.

The project will be carried out in several stages, each of which will provide data and tools to improve risk management on the Caminito del Rey.

These stages will include establishing new guidelines, and, in addition to the three-dimensional models of the canyons, the preparation of a detailed geological map, the collection of data to develop a geographic information system, among other key aspects.

The team in charge of carrying out this investigation is made up of national and international researchers in geological risk analysis and includes experts from the Geodynamics department of the UGR (University of Granada), specialists in photogrammetry and high-precision topography from the University of Jaén (UJA), as well as professionals in landslide simulation from the prestigious National Centre of the CSIC-‘Instituto Geológico y Minero de España’ (geological and mining institute of Spain).

The project will be carried out in several stages with the aim of making this walkway, often referred to as the Kings Walkway, into one of the safest gorge trails in the world, considering its physical environment.

Additionally, it is hoped that the findings of this study will be shared at specialised congresses, with the aim of contributing knowledge and improving safety at similar places around the world.


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