Iron Path: Demystifying the via ferrata


(dramatic music) – [Man] Oh my God! (music building in intensity) – When it starts off at that waterfall, that’s so dramatic. (piano playing) – We would never be in that
canyon without the Via Ferrata. We’re in upper Zillmer Canyon right now. (playful piano music) The Caribou Lodge is
located in the Canoe Valley close to Valemount, built in 1974. Hans Gmoser was the founder. It was built for heli-skiing. An amazing location tucked
underneath all these glaciers. Great view, beautiful valley. No cut blocks, just pure nature. (dramatic music) The term, Via Ferrata, is iron highway. It started in World War I to get the soldiers from
Austria over to Italy except they had big packs on and rifles, they put wires along the mountain so that even though they are in exposed places they could clip themselves into the wires and always be protected. So, in this day and age,
now what we’re doing it take your wildest piece of terrain and made it simulating climbing, going up, basically rebar rungs that
we’ve put into the walls, and cable that goes along, so you’re always clipped into something. (dramatic music) The first steps in
building the Via Ferrata first of all, is choosing the location. We’ve got to find a spot
you’d want to go back to day after day, and find a spot that are just gonna wow people. (piano music) (helicopter flying) We choose Zillmer Canyon for many reasons. We’ve been hiking in here for years, probably 40 years now, and I’ve always looked into
the lower canyon, and thought what an amazing place it is. People, when they fly into the waterfull they have no idea what’s above them, so we’ve just starting
investigating it last year by repelling down and
cutting away the brush to have a look at what
we were working with. The glaciers and the water
had already ripped off a lot of the loose rocks
that were there, so we didn’t have to do a lot of cleaning
to protect ourselves. We could go straight into the build. We had 10 mountain guides,
just salt of the earth, strong working mountain guides in June, where we banged in over
1,000 of those rungs that you’ve seen us climbing on. (dramatic music and rushing water) So, we had to do a lot of,
sort of setting up anchors and what not, to get us
into the right locations to put the rungs in. Then, from there, just ingenuity, as we opened up the canyon,
cut away a lot of alder. It just really opened
itself up to greatness. Everywhere we wanted to have
a place for the helicopter to land, or for the nice catching areas for the zip-lines, so we
could send people across and have comfortable
catches on both sides. (dramatic music) Pretty much, the canyon, just really was friendly for us to build. (music and rushing water) Why should people experience this? It’s such a beautiful place, and in this day and age
with the computer world, and the phones, and
everybody is looking down, they never look up anymore. Get out, move around,
be in an amazing spot, it just brings life to your body, you’re moving all the time. Folks that come from
different parts of the world, this is just so out of their
realm of what is out there. And really, the fact that
everyone can do something, whether it’s the Via
Ferrata, or just this hike we’re about to do, there’s
something for everybody. The world is about moving. We feel we take people
well above their limits. Tonight, listen to the
noise in the dining room. People are going to be electric. (dramatic music)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *