Fear Factor: Ana vs. The Via Ferrata

The Via Ferrata at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency

Those of you who know me or have read any of my other adventure posts know my number 1 fear is heights.  But like any true travel junkie, I’m willing to try new experiences in places that I visit (and facing the fear once in awhile makes me feel alive!).  I knew the via ferrata had something to do with heights, so the less I knew before the better.

What is Via Ferrata?

For those of you who are not familiar with what a via ferrata is, it is basically a form of hiking where you are roped onto a cable and you climb along (or in my case, grip with my life to the side of the mountain) the rock and some metal fixings that have been installed into the side of the mountain for you to hold on to.  You go with a small group to ensure safety and proximity to your tour guide.

Types of Via Ferrata at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency

The park offers 3 different types of via ferrata for beginners and intermediate climbers.  I did “The Torrent of Montmorency” tour, which is listed as an intermediate course.  In all honesty, if you are not a regular climber and do not really care for heights, I would classify this as an advanced course.  However, if you do regularly climb or are used to activities like mountain climbing/hiking, then it would definitely be a more intermediate course.

What makes this type of activity so rigorous (besides reminding myself to never look down, back, around, or anything besides the rock and where I was stepping) is that it is a dual thinking and physical activity.  You really have to calculate your next move and think about where you will place your hands and feet.  This activity is not a leisurely stroll through the park!

Who Should Do Via Ferrata?

I would recommend the via ferrata to anyone who is an avid climber, loves outdoor adventure activities, or loves an active/thinking challenge.  I wouldn’t necessarily let a fear of heights deter you from going either because the trained tour guides do a great job at making you feel safe and comfortable. Just be aware that this is definitely a rigorous activity.  It took our group about 3 hours to complete the course!

One last tip:  WEAR LONG PANTS! I wore biking pants that cut off around my knees and I was a little scraped up at the end (mainly because I was hugging the rock out of fear haha). So just opt for pants...

Click HERE for more info on the park.

This trip was sponsored by the Quebec City Tourism Board. All opinions are my own.

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