Does the route require previous climbing experience?
Not at all. The Telluride Via Ferrata was built to allow people with no technical climbing experience to access to big, high mountain terrain, even while traversing across sheer cliffs. It is a trail, not a climbing route, although it does have a level of exposure more often associated with rather extreme rock climbing. Unless someone has a debilitating fear of heights, anyone with a reasonable level of fitness (if you can hike roughly five miles) should have a great time on the route, with support, coaching and modeling from a trained guide.
How long will the Via Ferrata take and how far is it?
The route in its entirety will take at least four to five hours round-trip from the town of Telluride. We traverse the route from east to west and hike out on a short section of trail back to Bridal Veil Road. The total distance of the route is just over two miles. The hike up the fabulous Bridal Veil Trail to access the start of the route is one mile in length and gains 859 feet of elevation. We follow the Bridal Veil Road for just under another half-mile to the trailhead of the route.
What should I bring and wear?
You should plan to wear comfortable clothing similar to what you would wear for a half-day hike: athletic shorts or pants, a breathable shirt with an extra layer if the morning is chilly, as well as a rain jacket if it’s monsoon season. Pack a bottle of water, a snack, your camera and sunglasses. Sunscreen is best applied before you head up, so your hands aren’t greasy from applying lotion.
Is the route appropriate for my young children?
The answer to that question really depends on the child, as we’ve had countless youngsters impress us on the route. Kids (or adults) less than five feet in height will have difficulty making some of the reaches between rungs, but our guides can help mitigate that difficulty. We do require that families or groups with young children under the age of 15 book a private trip, as that will enable the guide to give kiddos more attention than if they were part of an open, mixed group. While young children may have challenges with some of the reaches, as long as they are able to pay attention, walk carefully and take coaching from the guide, they’ll probably have a great time.
What is the difference between open and private trips?
On a private trip, you will be just with your group and your guide; the meeting time and pick-up are up to you (as long as the weather is clear). You will have ultimate control over the composition of your group, which could give you more control over the outcome of the day. With an open trip, you will be joined by other climbers at no more than a 4:1 climber-to-guide ratio. While we will do our best to enable every participant the opportunity to complete the entire route, under certain circumstances, a team could have to turn back or be significantly delayed if one member of a group cannot negotiate the route.
How can I register other members of my group? The online sign-up only takes information for one person.
The way our online registration is organized, we only require information for the “trip leader,” or the person registering on behalf of the rest of the party. If there is anything in particular that you think your guide should know in advance about particular members of your party (e.g. medical conditions, prior injuries, fear of heights, apprehension, etc.), please list that in the notes section or let us know by calling our office at (970) 369-1153.
Is transportation included? Where can I park?
We do not provide transportation for open trips. Transportation is an option for private trips only. For summer 2022, we ask that you please meet your guide at the Bridal Veil Falls trailhead, sometimes referred to as the Valley View Parking area, where you can park for free. Your guide will work with you on a plan for the day of your trip.
Is gratuity included?
Guide gratuity is not included. Typically, if you had a good experience, a demonstration of your appreciation (approximately 10-20% of trip cost) is greatly appreciated by your guides. Of course we pay them a livable wage, but guiding is typically a tip-augmented profession, like many service industry jobs.
Do you offer a military discount?
You bet! We offer a 10% discount for active-duty military on all of our Via Ferrata trips, along with our gratitude for your service.
What happens if the weather is bad?
We are in the risk management business, so we carefully assess weather each day to decide if it could create a level of increased risk that is outside of our risk tolerance level. If we cancel the trip due to weather, we will refund you in full. In some circumstances, the weather could be less than desirable but does not affect or increase risk. In such cases, we would still launch a trip that day. We, Mountain Trip and our guides, reserve the right to make all weather-related decisions in regards to the cancellation of trips.
Do you rent via ferrata equipment?
Due to liability exposure, we do not rent any technical climbing equipment, including via ferrata gear. If you would prefer to traverse the route unguided, you can purchase the necessary equipment at the local gear shop, Jagged Edge. Via ferrata lanyards cost about as much as a guided trip across the route. If you are joining us on a trip and would like to purchase your own equipment, we have some from Jagged Edge that we can arrange for you to purchase at a discount.