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Not in a million, billion years!

Kimmyt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Jackson Hole and Arapahoe Basin now have Via Ferrata set up for "green season" fun.

I've had the Via Ferrata in WV on my bucket list for a while. Somehow always too busy in the summer. Need to plan ahead because it's popular and it's usually harder to find lodging at short notice.

I didn't think A Basin's is installed yet? I was there the other weekend and they were doing work on the ropes course, which is different. I'm assuming the VF which I had heard rumors of, will go on the back side of the east wall, at least thats where it would make the most sense as theres some more vertical rock faces back there. Ah the internet says it will go on the steep rocky faces actually on the east wall, so thats cool!
 

RachelV

Administrator
Staff member
I didn't think A Basin's is installed yet? ...

I do think A-Basin's was supposed to open this summer but it's opening summer 2021 at this point. I'd thought there was going to be a VF on both the east wall and over by the steep gullies, but the web page just mentions the east wall spot now.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
The whole point of VF is really that exposure (which is that airy feeling you get when you're up high or on a ridge or standing on a cable ladder in the middle of a mountain range lol) so even though a lot of them aren't technical and can be done by anyone, they can still be really scary to non-climbers even though they're pretty safe as long as you follow the protocol for moving while always being clipped in. Hardware doesn't really last forever, so I'd be really surprised if there is a lot of the original cables and stuff from WW2 still on the rock and being used, most have likely been upgraded and probably features added to make them more exciting and exposed.

Okay, I get it now. These are their own attraction these days rather than a functional past of a route. I was remembering from hiking in Italy where they were part of routes, and I made it a point to not take the hike/route that had these! I just looked at their history and many even predate World War II (not the actual hardware). People used them to get from place to place.

Where does this fit in with the whole controversy of adding hardware to rock faces? Or is the whole bolt/no bolt not a thing anymore?
 

Kimmyt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Okay, I get it now. These are their own attraction these days rather than a functional past of a route. I was remembering from hiking in Italy where they were part of routes, and I made it a point to not take the hike/route that had these! I just looked at their history and many even predate World War II (not the actual hardware). People used them to get from place to place.

Where does this fit in with the whole controversy of adding hardware to rock faces? Or is the whole bolt/no bolt not a thing anymore?

The question of ethics is difficult and complex and largely related to the specific area in question and the history of the area. Thus, in the alps and european mountain ranges on these types of alpine traverses, via ferrata are accepted and an important part of the history and culture. In general (and this is a very broad 'general'), my perception is that european climbing culture is much more supportive of fixed hardware on routes. That being said, i'm sure there are still traditional routes and areas where bolting is a no go.

edited to add: in regards to the ethics of putting in VF up in America, many of them are put on private land and those that are not I would assume are put in as a specific way to draw tourism in summer to struggling mountain towns. They would not be put on rock where there are routes already established. But again, this is all my take on it as I'm certainly not an expert on this type of climbing. I really want to get down to S. Co though to hit up the Telluride and Ouray ones.
 

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