Thursday, March 27, 2014

SUMMER RECAP 2013: Via feratta, Switzerland

Ever hear of a via feratta?

Probably not, because you might be a little more sane then us.

It is basically a high-altitude ropes course but not even that. Mostly its a series of metal pegs, ladders, and rope set up to let you explore and climb some of this most beautiful, and inaccessible and dangerous, places in the alps. Almost all of them are in the alps and while my friends and I were in Switzerland we decided to try and do one.

Warning: we have never climbed before in our lives. I mean ever. Not a thing for me or for them. So this was completely foreign to us. We didn't even know how to put on the harness. Yes we are stupid

So we heard the idea at our hostel and decided why the hell not let's try it out. Well we went back and forth debating for awhile, and almost thought no way when we saw pictures of the portion with a 600 foot drop. Umm... whats?
 But we decided to should at least try and ask for advice about it. So we went to reception. Needless to say her jaw dropped to the ground. You guys are idiots is basically what she said. I think she was exaggerating. After all the guy who told us about it who had been the day before said we would be just fine! So we decided to go to the gear rental store and ask someone there. No surprise we got almost the same response, especially after we didn't know how to use the harnesses.. haha. Well me and one of the other guys really advocated for trying. This is something we WOULD NOT forget After all we are young and wild and free, right?

We convinced them, got the gear, and told the owner of the shop to get worried if we weren't back by nightfall.

Then we made our way up through the valley and to the course. This course is in Murren, about lauterbrunen valley in switzerland.

We found it pretty easily and got ready to start out! Not without a few pictures of the beyond incredible view!

Looks like a backdrop right?

We were all nervous at first, keeping ourselves very clipped in and taking it easy.

 And then we were completely showed up by some base jumpers who came running down the "path", And next thing we now they were ready to fly over the edge! Generously they let us watch all 5 of them go over.

Holy Cow that was amazing/terrifying/inspiring/gut wrenching to watch. And it gave us all just the kick in our pants we needed to get going to the next part of the course which is where things got iffy

Having only metal rungs between you and the floor of the valley 600 meters below was terrifying but doable after my legs stopped shaking. Mostly it was unforgettable.

The rest of the course was a blast and completely amazing- every bridge and ladder!

And when we made it home, there was pure shock and joy on the face of the shop owner and she began patting my friends shoulders to ensure he was okay. Epic and awesome. Not something I will EVER forget...

My advice- you have GOT to try a via feratta- they are incredible and such a thrill!

Travel on,

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