Mountain tragedy: Climber falls to her death

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WALL OF ROCK: The dizzying Tajo de los Vados.

A climber fell to her death from a peak in Axarquia while scaling a rock face alone and without safety equipment.

The woman was trying to climb the ‘Tajo de los Vados,’ one of the impressive rock faces that rise adjacent to the N-323 road in the municipality of Velez de Benaudalla.

According to the Guardia Civil, the victim, who was in her 40’s, had been using a so-called ‘via ferrata,’ a type of climbing route characterised by a steel cable running alongside a series of steel rungs which form a rudimentary ladder.

Normally, climbers would use special kit to secure themselves to the cable, thus limiting any fall, but in this case the woman did not and plummeted from a height of around 100 metres down the 280 metre wall of rock.

A witness who spotted the fall raised the alarm, while other climbers in the vicinity said they saw something drop quickly but assumed it was a mountain goat.

A Guardia Civil patrol discovered her body shortly after arriving at the scene, describing it as “completely shattered” because of the impact.

An empty vehicle was found close to where the victim lay, and a mobile phone plus personal effects were recovered.

Two officers then donned safety gear and ascended the via ferrata to check for any defects in the cabling system that might have been to blame for her fall.

It was also thought a second climber might have been trapped somewhere along the route, since the sport tends to be practised by groups of two or more people, but the three-hour operation showed she had been alone when she fell on Boxing Day.

Early indications are that the woman was from Malaga Province.

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