A Winter Adventure along the Royal Gorge Via Ferrata
It’s hard to look at the granite walls of the Royal Gorge in Colorado and not imagine climbing them. If you’ve never been rock climbing your hands might start to sweat. And if you’re an experience climber, you’ll be spotting several routes filled with the perfect hand and foot holds. Even during the winter months, climbing guides at Royal Gorge Bridge and Park are ready to take you on a Via Ferrata adventure! Although it might be cloudy, windy, and maybe even snowy, a true Colorado adventurer gears up and heads outside! We are happy to list a few tips on what to expect on a winter Via Ferrata experience.
Close your eyes and picture a rushing river hundreds of feet below you, steel ladder-like rungs in front of you to cling to and step on, and a clear blue sky or a few flurries from snow clouds above you. Colorado’s winters can range from sunny to snowy. There’s nothing more to listen to than the cold wind rushing up the gorge’s rock walls and your harness clips clinking together. You might hear the high-pitched sound of the Zip Line riders flying over you or the gentle glide of our Aerial Gondola. Imagine the view those riders have looking down at you conquering the Royal Gorge in the most adventurous way!
Via Ferrata courses are a trending outdoor activity throughout Colorado’s mountains as several routes have popped up in recent years. The term translates to “Iron Way,” a climbing method developed by troops in the first World War in the Dolomite region of Italy in order to traverse the mountains. The Via Ferrata at Colorado’s Royal Gorge is truly an exceptional and one-of-a-kind route. And thanks to Colorado’s many sunny days and the steep cliffs of the Royal Gorge, snow typically does not build up on our Via Ferrata course.
You’ll experience unique views of the Royal Gorge Bridge and intimate scenes of Colorado’s famed Royal Gorge. Lucky climbers may come across the native Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep scaling the granite cliffs and spot a variety of birds from sparrows to eagles soaring above or below. A winter experience on the Via Ferrata is serene and beautiful, allowing climbers to fully witness the quiet yet fully alive areas for which the canyons and gorges in Colorado are known for. While the Via Ferrata is not sought out by everyone, rest assured the variety of terrain on the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park’s courses, allow any ability level to conquer it!
To be prepared for a winter Via Ferrata experience in Colorado, gear up in a warm sweater layered with an outer jacket, thin gloves, and hiking pants. Remember you will be stretching, pulling, and climbing as you ascend the Via Ferrata, so it’s important to wear comfortable clothing for this activity. A great material for your outer layers is wind resistant clothing. Common materials in wind resistant clothing include nylon and polyester. Add a fleece layer underneath for extra warmth and flexibility. Outer layers that are typically wind resistant include wind breakers, some raincoats, and similar material jackets.
Overall, you’ll be moving quite a bit throughout the Via Ferrata to keep warm, but you never know which ledge you turn will expose you to the rushing wind! To read more and book your Via Ferrata tour, click here.