National Geographic News

El Chorro, Spain

Photograph by Forest Woodward

"It was very cold and windy and damp, but we were in a really memorable location," recalls climber Blake Herrington (in green) seen here with Scott Bennett at 150 feet above the water in the El Chorro Gorge, Spain. The 400-foot, fully-bolted sport-climbing route is on the limestone Africa Wall.

On their six-week trip to Spain, Herrington's closest calls came not on rock walls, but while driving. "We had some driving adventures on narrow streets in the big cities—and in Basque country, where all the road signs are written in the Basque language," says Herrington, who lives in Leavenworth, Washington.

Getting the Shot

“I had been eyeing this part of the gorge for the better part of two weeks," recalls photographer Forest Woodward. “To get this shot, however, I had a very specific vision for the frame I wanted, so I positioned myself accordingly and stayed there for the duration of the climb.”

“For me this was one of those moments that you hope for as a photographer,” says Woodward. Fortunately, he had the opportunity to get the shot he’d been planning for. “I watched as Blake and Scott became specks, framed by the steep converging lines of the gorge and the river below. Working in unison their smallness echoed my own feelings of awe for the majesty of the gorge, and in the moment I snapped the shot it felt right.”

Woodward photographed with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a 16-35mm, f/2.8 lens.

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