George got up early to grab gear for us. We were up later than we wanted to be but he seemed pretty chill about it. We got to the starting area by 8:45 am and he showed us how the system worked and told us the five rules for participating in the Via Ferrata, ending with “No falling.” It was way sketchier than what I thought it would be.
Steve is reminiscing of the beginning of the trip and how it seems like so long ago that we made our first stop in Idaho. How we made our “jankey” campspot and got caught and how that started all the jankey-getting-caught-campsites. How it was emotionally weird to think we were actually on the road after so much planning.
Back to today… I thought the entire via Ferrata would be just walking long the edge of a cliff, basically, but there is a lot of scrambling involved and even using the rugs they have in the wall can get tricky because of the spacing, or your hands get tired, or they get slippery, or the rungs are placed on a slight overhang, etc. There were lots of times I had to use the rock for hand or footholds, so you have to switch back into “climbing mode.”
Another tricky area was going over the bridge- which spans something like 225’ and uses around 200 boards spaced about a foot apart or so. You are 100+ feet off the ground. It’s a cable suspension bridge spanning the gap between the two finds and is a whole different experience- to see the tops of trees below your feet as you move along. Wow.
The greatest spectacles here occurred when rounding corners of cliffs to the other side of the fin we were on and seeing a completely new vista as you came around. Similar to toping out, in a way.
My quads were shaking by the end of the journey and t here were certainly areas where I had a big fear of misplacing a food or hand, but this Via Ferrata thing is something I would love to do again.
Later that evening, we met up with George’s friends again, Andrew and Ashley, for dinner again. I made a spiced peach cake from scratch in the CampChef oven. It took about 1.5-2 hours to bake but it came out perfectly. Everyone loved it.