If you’ve ever wanted to take hiking to the next level but didn’t want to go so far as technical rock climbing, Mount Norquay in Banff, Alberta has just the ticket: the brand-new Via Ferrata.
Italian for “iron road,” the Via Ferrata in Banff takes its cues from the classic routes in Italy, with climbers scaling the rocky faces by means of metal steps, handholds, and cables embedded into the rock. Thanks to these man-made features, the Via Ferrata is not challenging in the technical sense, and is more akin to a combination of hiking and ladder climbing than rock climbing.
However, thanks to the vertical aspects and several open-air falls beneath you, climbers on the Via Ferrata need to be anchored in to a cable for safety. These epic views and death-defying heights are more intense than you’ll get on most any hiking trail, but your harness, lobster claws, and guide are there to make sure that the experience is both safe as well as fun.
Cost for the 2-hour tour is $139 CAD per person, but I highly recommend the extra $30 (total $169 CAD) for the 4-hour tour: the route and the views are so much better!
Check out these photos for a taste of the Via Ferrata experience: