Via Ferrata

Via Ferrata in Banff National Banff

I may look confident, but I was too scared to let go

I did the coolest thing ever last weekend. It’s called Via Ferrata and it’s an assisted climbing activity in Banff National Park. If you’ve ever fancied going mountaineering or rock climbing (but were too scared to try), this is the activity for you. Via Ferrata iron rungs First, the basics. You’re probably wondering as I was, what Via Ferrata means. It’s Italian for iron road. During the war years, they fastened iron rungs to the mountain face, forging a trail so troops could quickly get through the Alps. It’s a popular activity in Europe, but there are precious few Via Ferratas in Canada. Via Ferrata just opened at Mount Norquay this summer and if you can climb a ladder, you can so do this. It’s like getting all the thrills and views typically reserved for elite climbers, but with all the safety features. Mountaineering Mt. Norquay You have to wear a helmet, harness and lanyard, which connects you to the iron cable. You clip your carabiner into the cable, then you climb. Clip, climb, clip, climb. Easy peasy, just like that. Here’s a few pictures to give you a better idea of what it’s like.

Climbing Mt. Norquay

It is seriously vertical!

Via Ferrata Suspension Bridge Banff National Park

Yep, we crossed that swaying 30 metre suspension bridge.

Banff Vista

You get to see Banff, Cascade Mountain and the Bow River from a whole new angle.

Wooden mountain bridge

Just don’t look down!

Mount Norquay Summit Ridge

Our view from the Summit Ridge

Climbing Via Ferrata at Mt Norquay, Banff National Park

Look ma, no hands!

Mountaineering couple

And we take a break

Have you been mountaineering or rock climbing (outside of a gym)?

P.S. If you’re in a blog reading mood, check out A Trail Near Lake Louise to Convert Hiking Haters and A Weekend at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.