Arapahoe Basin’s Via Ferrata
What should people expect the day to be like?
It’s a rigorous high-alpine day and gets you into an environment that’s more exposed than what most people are used to. It’s a really good activity for people who are fit but don’t climb, and is a cool way to get exposed to climbing. This is not just going straight up a ladder; you actually do some route finding and are figuring out a puzzle.
The downclimb seems to catch some by surprise. It’s not as physical as the ascent but, after the climb and the emotional arc of summiting, you still have half of your effort left. People are generally worn out but stoked when they finish.
What is your favorite part about climbing and guiding the via ferrata?
The views get better and better as you go, and the climbing gets more exciting the higher you get. People are finding another gear they didn’t know they had. That’s the cool thing about the mountains, in general. The beauty of the landscape can really push you to find something else in yourself. It’s fun to see people hit that stride on their via ferrata day.
On a really good day, if the group is moving well, we can hike to the top of Little Lenawee peak after reaching the summit of the climb. From there you get great views of Greys and Torreys (two 14ers), mountain ranges, and lots of lakes. I can also see my apartment!