Via Ferrata at Nelson Rocks

I had an awesome time this weekend doing the “via ferrata” (iron way) at the Nelson Rocks Preserve in West Virginia. If you loved climbing trees and such as a kid, you’ll definitely enjoy this via ferrata which is really just ‘very technical and vertical’ hiking on a mountain! Instead of traditional rock climbing — where you scale a rock face mostly straight up with ropes — via ferrata has an iron cable bolted into the rock with handle bars as needed along the way. One only needs only to don a harness and pair of “rabbit ears” (webbing, 2 ropes with caribiners, 3rd optional fall-brake rope) then climb/hike their way up a mountain and around trails!

Via ferrata can be a challenging of course, but it definitely lowers the barrier for non-climbers by providing them easy iron holds, safety support, and no need for advanced climbing techniques and skills. We enjoyed camping out at Seneca Shadows on Saturday night and then spent Sunday on the rocks. This via ferrata course is likely the best in the U.S.A., though over 300+ exist in the Alps of Europe where it originated. The Dolomites in Italy look good! Photos now online!

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