What is a Via Ferrata? A Via Ferrata is a protected climbing route that incorporates safety features as well as iron hand and foot holds allowing for even the most novice climbers to have a direct and easy route to the top. Via Ferrata translates to English from Italian as the “iron road” this translation is very accurate as to what a Via Ferrata actually is. A Via Ferrata is a combination of foot and hand holds typically built out of a rebar type material with a high strength steel cable running along the side of the of the route allowing for safety harnesses connection points.
Via Ferratas are more often found in European countries, where they originated in 1843 allowing towns people to more easily traverse the rugged high alpine terrain. The classic example of everything you would expect to find on a Via Ferrata can be found in the Dolomites Mountain range, specifically the Via delle Bocchette as it has minimal assistance and is used to access different approaches opposed to the summits. Via Ferratas are rated completely different than a traditional climbing route. Via Ferratas are graded on a scale from A-E, with A being more of a challenging walk opposed to a climb and E being friction climbing that is often vertical or overhanging with almost no grip assisting material. The United States offers seven different Via Ferrata courses currently with one in Colorado and another in the process of being built. You can receive more info on the Telluride Via Ferrata by visiting the Telluride Mountain Club website.
For more information on Via Ferratas or other adventure activities you can also visit Colorado Zipline or give us a call at (800) 370-0581. The newest addition to the short list of American Via Ferratas is set to open up in Idaho Springs, Colorado and will be a more gentle Via Ferrata allowing for just about all ages and fitness levels to partake.