“Come here,” my wife, September, beckoned. “I want to show you something.” I followed her into the sportzentrum in Mürren,... more » Switzerland where a 32 inch flat screen monitor was waiting. “What do you think of this?” she asked, pointing at the monitor.
I looked at the image and considered the juxtaposition of a man smiling while clinging to the edge of a cliff.
“We could do that tomorrow!” September exclaimed. “It’s called a via ferrata and looks totally doable. You wear a climbing harness and are always clipped into a safety cable.”
Back home our family of four had been sporadic users of the local climbing gym, but to say we are climbers is like saying I’m a photographer, simply because I can snap a photo. “There clearly aren't enough lawyers in this country,” I muttered.
Since our arrival in Switzerland’s Lauterbrunnen valley, we had been partaking of the high-adrenaline offerings throughout the region. The following day, however, would be our last before returning to our cubicles in Silicon Valley. We had been planning a train ride on the Jungfraujoch, to the “Top of Europe.”
“I thought we were going do the Jungfrau thingy tomorrow,” I replied.
“This could be the highlight of our trip,” September replied.
Literally, via ferrata translates from its native Italian to iron road. A via ferrata is simply a mountain route with cables, steps, ladders and other aids traversing terrain that would be otherwise inaccessible to people with average abilities. Its austere beginnings are traced to World War I as a method of moving troops through the Dolomites. One hundred years later, vie ferrate (plural) are wildly popular in the Alps. Our introduction to them was traversing this route from Mürren to Gimmlewald.
Follow the Points of Interest to learn more about the equipment, how to use it, but more importantly, to learn about this fabulous route in the most beautiful spot in the world. less «