CANON CITY — In our exclusive new series Adventures with Alan, we'll travel across Southern Colorado week-by-week to show you everything from hidden gems to well known spots.
This week we visit the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park to check out their latest addition, the Via Ferrata.
The park is located in Canon City nearly 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River, and is home to many unique and exciting attractions.
Completed in May of 2019, the Royal Gorge Via Ferrata is one of only six in the state of Colorado.
Italian for "Iron Path" or "Iron Way", it's a guided climbing tour with spectacular views of the Royal Gorge.
After some instructions from our guide Marquette, we hike down into the gorge below and being on a training route.
Before our climb even starts, Marquette explains to us that we'll be using built-in rungs, steel cables and the rocks themselves to climb.
Special equipment also plays a big role in this adventure, from super grippy shoes to a two carabiner safety system.
Halfway up, Marquette has us demonstrate how the safety equipment works by putting our feet up on the rocks and leaning back.
After testing out the harness, we make our final ascent to the top of the training run.
With our confidence growing, we set our sights on the expert route called the Royal Ridge.
On the journey back down, we put our fear of heights to the test by crossing the aerial walkway bridge.
It's a wild trip across the bridge that puts you on an outcrop of rocks hundreds of feet above the river below.
After a quick photo op, we cross back and start our voyage to the top.
The expert route is much tougher than the beginner area, and a lot more challenging as well.
At times, you feel as if you're hanging onto the side of a mountain with nowhere to go but up.
It takes us a couple of hours to reach the top, but when we get there, we all feel a huge sense of relief and accomplishment,
I live for adventure, and this I would say has probably been the most challenging and adventurous thing that I've done yet.
The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park offers group tours and private tours for anyone ages 10 and up. There is a weight restriction on the Via Ferrata, and you can find more information on their website - Royalgorgebridge.com.
Make sure to tune in next week to find out where our next adventures will take us.