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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Ouray Via Ferrata opens new, more advanced route to ease congestion

Calling all thrill-seekers on the western slope: Ore Via Ferrata is now open, and this season there’s a new route along the Uncompagre River Gorge for advanced climbers.

For the uninitiated, through ferrata is Italian for “iron way” and the so-called name for a network of arms and legs usually set in the edge of a cliff that allows adventurers to hook up to a security cable along it. allows climbing.

Ouray’s is fairly new, having opened during the first pandemic summer in 2020 with a route known as the Downstream Route. It proved so popular, however – more than 10,000 people tried its first season, said co-founder and board member Mark Eupenlatz – that Friends of the Ore Via Ferrata, the nonprofit that manages the attraction, quickly began designing a second route. Avoid overcrowding.

The new upstream route will open for a few days in 2021, but is slated to open in 2022. The upstream route is more difficult, Iuppenlatz said, and is designed with avid climbers in mind.

“The new route will be considered advanced,” he said. “We recommend approach shoes or climbing shoes because the way they make it harder is to skip a lot of foot runs. So it’s a mix of rock climbing and through the ferrata.”

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