Via Ferrata—round 02

No country for fragility…

Italian Alpini

⬆️ Italian Alpini

“Via Ferrata,” or “Iron Way” is a climbing method developed by the Italian Alpini. The method started out of necessity during the 1st World War—primarily to transport soldiers and equipment up the insanely steep mountain faces in Northern Italy to engage the Austro-Hungarian Empire in mountain warfare. It’s basically a thick cable that goes in a route up the face of a mountain. To use the cable, you wear a climbing harness with two large clips attached to it. As you ascend, you clip into the cable as you go up. These cable routes are all over the place here (along with extensive cave networks cut into solid rock) and continuously maintained by groups of Alpini. What does all this mean? It means a goofus like me with little to no climbing experience and a few lessons from a pro can shimmy up the side of a huge vertical mountain face without extreme fear of falling—a-hem…I mean…there is still SOME fear 😬. Wanna see photos from my first Via Ferrata? Check them out here! The skies were a bit brighter that day, so the images are definitely a bit more vibrant tone-wise. Plus, we were way higher in the Dolomite, just outside the town of Cortina.

I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be in charge of creating these routes and fighting/living in such extreme conditions in pretty much all wool clothing during the WWI and II eras. I’ve only been a few times, but each new experience is pretty incredible. It’s not the easiest place to tote a camera around your neck (even a small one), but I managed. Speaking of—we encountered some light rain on this particular trip, which made the rocks super slippery. I’m glad it didn’t open up on us—the camera got a little wet, but I was able to keep it out the whole time. I think it might be time to grab a newer gopro. It’s crazy how good the anti shake technology has become in such a short period of time. Huge thanks to the folks we went with on the trip that have more expertise in this area than Amanda and I do. We’re still new at all this mountain stuff, but we are learning. An most of all, huge thanks to the Alpini for making it possible for us noobs to climb mountains! Enough for now—ciao.