Via Ferrate at Mt Norquay, Banff

August 24, 2014

Just one of those new trends the leaders need to try out first to see if it would be a good activities for the boys.  

First heard about it on a radio show: CBC Eye-Opener and checked out the link at   These were first used in the Alps back as early as 1843. It supported the growth of alpine exploration and tourism.

We talked with the staff and scout age boys are old enough to make the cut. They indicated we may be able to work a deal if we trade some service work for a better deal on the price.  They did need some help making the trails for the additionally planned expansion to their via ferrata. 

Team Members

Karl Burndorfer, Celeste Gambill - my daughter

Photo Library 

DSCN3850.JPG (3597574 bytes) These are your paired safety connectors. Every time you reach an anchor, you unclip 1 carabiner and hook it up on the other side of the anchor. Then do the same for the other one.  DSCN3851.JPG (3538354 bytes) Still need to use your judgment on the foot and hand holds. DSCN3852.JPG (3730109 bytes) and when there are no features on the rocks, they will put in iron  holds for you.  DSCN3853.JPG (4305268 bytes) Scary, but we can make it look easy too.
DSCN3854.JPG (4354500 bytes) Up we go. DSCN3855.JPG (4286762 bytes) No shortage of holds to step on and grab. DSCN3856.JPG (3832669 bytes) Transitioning past another anchor.  DSCN3857.JPG (3607800 bytes) You can move along pretty quick.
DSCN3858.JPG (3658733 bytes) Even straight up isn't that hard. DSCN3859.JPG (3530949 bytes) Just one carabiner at a time. DSCN3860.JPG (3872988 bytes) No loose rocks up here, right? DSCN3861.JPG (3634428 bytes)  This is pretty tricky here.
DSCN3862.JPG (3720811 bytes) Bit more of a slope here to hang out on. DSCN3863.JPG (3864263 bytes) Almost out of this one.
Coming up to the suspension bridge...
DSCN3864.JPG (4084693 bytes) You just knew those gym classes on the balance been would pay off. DSCN3865.JPG (3652170 bytes) At the gym the beam isn't usually wet though. DSCN3866.JPG (3617512 bytes) Quite the bounce to this bridge.
Some video action of Celeste Video action with me...
DSCN3873.JPG (4084489 bytes) Coming down into the trees again. DSCN3874.JPG (3619364 bytes) Nothing like the fresh smell of pines and moss. DSCN3876.JPG (3860803 bytes) Back to more accents... DSCN3877.JPG (3856843 bytes) Getting a little steep again.
DSCN3878.JPG (4403089 bytes) No fear here... DSCN3879.JPG (4010577 bytes) Get around the anchor... DSCN3880.JPG (3902775 bytes) They usually keep it to 1 person between anchors so you don't shake up the climber on  the same cable. DSCN3881.JPG (3818389 bytes) Just clearing off the loose rocks. I'm the last guy, so it's OK to do that.
DSCN3882.JPG (4026469 bytes) Last anchor before the top of this pitch. DSCN3883.JPG (4513574 bytes) Here is where they let us pick various paths on how to scale to the top of this pitch. DSCN3884.JPG (4784903 bytes) We took the more advanced route. DSCN3885.JPG (4221374 bytes) No holds here. You just need to find the natural rock features yourself.
DSCN3886.JPG (4243754 bytes) The cable it still there though. DSCN3887.JPG (4496065 bytes) So in a pinch, you can still use it. DSCN3888.JPG (4236610 bytes) Does get tricky getting around the anchors though. DSCN3889.JPG (4671034 bytes) Good foot hold there.
DSCN3890.JPG (4407978 bytes) My turn up now. DSCN3891.JPG (4594224 bytes) Lots to step on here. DSCN3892.JPG (4370498 bytes) Not quite as easy as the bouldering walls in town. DSCN3893.JPG (4425861 bytes) More moss on the holds here.
DSCN3894.JPG (4312390 bytes) Working on the descent part of the loop now. DSCN3895.JPG (4925225 bytes) Still staying on top of the photo ops. DSCN3896.JPG (3959715 bytes) That was great Dad! DSCN3897.JPG (4260951 bytes) 2 pairs of happy feet zooming back down to Banff.
DSCN3898.JPG (3707678 bytes) Happy foot pointing to my wife's favorite mountain. PS: No bears up here. Just another thing you don't have to worry about.