By: Lydia Betts
Telluride Via Ferrata
Roughly 2 mile long traverse:
Telluride is home to one of Colorado’s most amazing and longest Via Ferrata’s. It can be nerve racking to an inexperienced adventurer or climber. Although to a thrill seeking beginner, it can be the perfect challenge without needing to have any climbing experience to embark on.
After a scenic drive up to Bridal Falls you will hike up to the beginning up the Telluride Via Ferrata approach. The trail up traverses to the road of iron. After sighting the row of iron bars against the rock you will put on your harness and attach your rope to your harness and 2 carabiners for each hand.
There is a cable that runs along the entire Via Ferrata course, clip your carabiners on the cable. The safest way to run this course is to move one carabiner at a time further down the cable. Slowly the ground disappears beneath your feet and the small ledge you were tip toeing across turns into the same iron rods you are gripping. I am not an experienced climber by any means, so being able to access these heights which are usually only accessible to climbers with better experience, is quite remarkable and truly amazing.
I was lucky enough to have my dad for a guide, you can book a guide to take you with all the necessary gear. We highly recommend this if you have never been before! Check out this video to see what you are getting yourself into.
Maybe being 600 feet in the air is a little much for your first Via Ferrata experience. That is okay because you can work you way up to the longest Via Ferrata bu trying other courses around Colorado built into the typography of the land.
Granite Via Ferrata:
The Via Ferrata course that is just outside of Buena Vista in Granite, Colorado starts with 2 zip lines to get to the climbing portion. Once you are to the course, you will clip on to the cable running across the cliffside.
The carabiners that would be in your hands use an internal locking system that makes it impossible to clip out of both at the same time ensuring that you will stay attached to the course throughout the entire trip. In addition to traversing, you will be able to rapell, tight rope, and log bridge your way through the adventure.
Mount Evans Via Ferrata:
Instead you could also climb 300 feet above Chicago Creek in Idaho Springs just about 30 minutes away from the Denver area. This course features the aerial experience of 3 ziplines and a 50 foot freefall section with a similar feeling to bungee jumping without the spring back up. You would then slowly get lowered to the ground. Featured in this trip is a section where you will rappel 70 feet as well.
The way to execute this course is the same concept from our Buena Vista course using the same internal locking system to ensure your safety. Your guide will be there the entire course to show you the way and give you any pointers if needed.
Choosing the right Via Ferrata adventure for you really depends on where you’ll be in Colorado. The guides are well trained to help beginners into their first step on this amazing experience. If you’re feeling up to it after completing a guided course, you could be ready to take on the longest Via Ferrata in Colorado!