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Via Ferrata

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But seriously, what is a Via Ferrata?

Via Ferrata
/vee-uh•fur-aht-ta/ n. A mountain route equipped with fixed ladders, cables, and bridges in order to be accessible to climbers and walkers.

Get it? I’d be impressed if you did! A via ferrata is a way to traverse across and up a cliff-face by walking across iron bars that have been inserted into the rock face. Via Ferrata is an Italian term that literally means ‘iron road’. Via Ferratas trace back to the 19th century, however, they are most famously known for their presence in World War I. Several Via Ferrata courses were built in the Italian Dolomite mountain region to help troops move throughout the rocky terrain. Fast forward a few years to when recreation-junkies caught wind of these protected climbing paths; There are now over 1,000 via ferratas in the world. You can find guided and unguided via ferrata courses across the globe, including North America, China, Africa, Iceland and more.

Need a visual? Don’t worry, we got you! Just keep scrolling down to our video.

 

 

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WHERE TO DO VIA FERRATA IN COLORADO

IDAHO SPRINGS, COLORADO

The Mount Evans Via Ferrata is on the cliffside in Idaho Springs, a historic mining town just 30 minutes from downtown Denver. This course is complete with a 50 foot free fall, 70 foot rappel and multiple suspended bridges situated 300 feet above Chicago Creek. You even get to do 3-lines of the Cliffside Zipline course, voted 2018's Best Adventure Park of the Rockies by Elevation Outdoors!

BUENA VISTA, COLORADO

The granite Via Ferrata is in southern Colorado in the whitewater wonders of the world to the town of Buena Vista, CO. This charming town is situated at the base of the towering 14,000+ foot Collegiate Peaks along the Arkansas River. The Granite Via Ferrata will have you living on the edge after you zipline to your starting point.  You’ll ascend crags, and rappel above the Arkansas River Valley.  AVA’s Via Ferrata tours are perfect for those looking for a new, active experience.

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WHAT TO EXPECT ON A COLORADO VIA VERRATA TRIP

After booking a Via Ferrata, one can expect a fun and thrilling adventure through the clouds while traversing the side of a mountain. Speed will be felt from the multiple zip-lines. Excitement, from the 70-foot rappel. Fear, from the (optional) 50-foot freefall. And the jurney will end with a new sense of wanderlust from the beauty of the mountains you just conquered.

What To Wear For The Via Ferrata.

The Via Ferrata courses are found in a high alpine environment, so conditions can vary widely based on the moods of the Gods that day. Usually the sun is shining brightly and it is warm. So be sure to wear comfortable clothes. However, clouds and rain are known to roll in fast and unexpectedly to bring a new element of adventure to your excursion. So come prepared with an extra layer for warmth and rain protection. Proper footwear is necessary for this trip. Wear close toed shoes, and please don't wear any no flip-flops or crocs. Whatever is on your foot needs to be able to stay on your feet at all times!

What Gear Do You Need For The Via Ferrata?

A Via Ferrata kit is needed for this adventure. This kit includes helmet, harness, and a lanyard with 2 locking carabiners. All of the items are necessary to ensure your safety on this trip. At both AVA’s Via Ferrata locations, you will be provided with these essentials by your guide. The only thing you need to bring is a spirit seeking adventure!

How To Choose The Right Via Ferrata?

Both of AVA’s Via Ferratas are amazing life changing adventures. They are located in Buena Vista and Idaho Springs, Colorado. Don’t worry about choosing the Via Ferrata, instead, let the world choose it for you. Go with the one closest to where the winds have blown you. If you find yourself wandering through the southern or western half the Centennial State, the Buena Vista location is for you. If you find yourself in the wonderful metropolises of Denver or Boulder, set your sails in the direction of Idaho Springs!

What other activities can you do near Via Ferrata Courses?

The most common activity is whitewater rafting in Idaho Springs and Buena Vista. We highly recommend spending half of your day on the water and spending the other half of the day on this aerial tour. You will get the best of both worlds this. Additionally, you can go horseback riding or ziplining.

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COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT VIA FERRATA

  • What are the physical requirements Of The Via Ferrata?

    You do not have to be a rock climber or alpinist to take on this adventure. However, there is some physical moves necessary to traverse this route. Some sections of the Via Ferrata require you to climb up iron rungs, much like a ladder. The adventure can also take up to 3.5 hours, so be sure that you are physically capable to keep moving for that long. There is a minimum age of 12 to go on the Via ferrata, so our young and future explores may have to what a few years before taking on this adventure. There is also a weight limit of 250 pounds.

  • What are the safety concerns with via ferrata?

    Your assigned guide is there to guide you both physically and spiritually. Listen to their words of wisdom and they will keep you safe and ensure that you have the best experience possible. Water is key to our survival, and it is never fun to be thirsty while exploring. Feel free to bring a small pack with a water bottle and throw some snacks in there as well to keep your energy levels up!

  • Will there be a quide during the entire trip?

    All AVA via ferrata trips are guided by experienced guides who will walk you through the entire course. They will make sure you are using your gear properly and most importantly make sure you have a great time!

  • How long is the via ferrata tour?

    The tour can take up to 3 hours to complete. Time does depend on the size of the group, but think it is safe to allot a half of day for your via ferrata tour. That way you can pair it with another adventure or spend the afternoon relaxing!

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HISTORY OF VIA FERRATA

Via Ferratas were first used during World War I as an alternative to rock climbing to scale a rock face. It may be an alternative to climbing, but you can expect to climb a bit during this tour. Most of the climbing will involve iron rungs mounted on the cliffs, making the route more accessible than a traditional rock climbing experience. You’ll still get to rappel down the cliffs just like a traditional rock climber. You’ll also receive a full orientation from your guides prior to venturing onto the Via Ferrata, so you’ll know exactly how to use your equipment.

Features of our Via Ferrata Tours

From iron rungs and hanging bridges to cliffside trails, you’ll have a wide variety of features to navigate over the course of these tours. Your friendly guides will help you through each section of the Via Ferrata while providing any assistance you might need and plenty of entertainment.

We hope you are ready to push yourself to the edge, because both of these tours feature breathtaking free falls. You’ll walk out onto the bridge, hang your toes off the edge and step off. Feel the adrenaline rush of experiencing true free fall before our auto-belay system catches you and lowers you to the ground below. And not to worry, both Via Ferrata courses incorporate zipline into them as well so you won’t miss out on any aerial adventures.

Now set forth. Let the sun and clear skies be your guide through this beautiful world. And when your path crosses through the wonderful state of Colorado, reignite your sense of wonder and exploration within your soul by exploring one of AVA’s Via Ferratas!

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