Italy has given us great coffee, superb fashion, and an exciting way to get your outdoor thrills via, well—Via Ferrata! Part rock climbing, part alpine hiking, Via Ferrata is a built-in cable system that allows you to scale mountains, climb ladders, and cross bridges all while being roped and clipped in for safety. And now Via Ferrata has come to Squaw Valley’s iconic Tram Face. The expertly guided Tahoe Via Ferrata officially opened just a few weeks ago, thanks to a partnership with locally based Alpenglow Expeditions. It’s a granite adventure both thrilling and approachable, whether you’re 10 or 70. The unique continuous line system means you’re attached to the mountain at all times (no clipping in or clipping out).
From Squaw Village, you’ll head over to the base in a safari-like rover. Here you’ll start the ascent of the Binky Buttress, where you can get comfortable on some heart-pumping features.
Routes range from 0.5 to 1.5-miles, and vary depending on the day, your guide, and the overall group skill level. But whatever the course, it’s about three to four hours of squeezing through narrow rock slits, traversing stone slabs, and balancing over cable bridges. The reward: Feeling pretty bad-ass while gaining exceptional views of Squaw Valley you just can’t get unless you’re hugging the side of a mountain!
On the ropes never felt so exciting!
Tahoe Via Ferrata is scheduled to be open until Oct. 31 (weather permitting; it may close early or stay open longer). In 2019 it will re-open for a full season around mid-May (weather permitting). $149 per person. While all skill levels are welcome, Alpenglow Expeditions recommends that Via Ferrata participants be comfortable completing three to four hours of hiking.