DURANGO — The organizers of a new public climbing path want to bring a European concept to a Colorado mountainside beginning Memorial Day.
The Durango Herald reported the Ouray Via Ferrata is expected to join an existing route in Telluride as the second of its kind in Southwest Colorado when the attraction opens Monday.
Via ferrata means “iron road” in Italian and is a protected climbing path with gear to help climbers traverse the mountains.
Via ferratas receive a difficulty rating. Numbers 1-5 indicate technical difficulty with the addition of letters A, B or C to gauge the commitment required.
The Ouray Via Ferrata, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) north of Durango, is rated 4B and expected to take two to three hours to complete. The Telluride Via Ferrata takes an estimated four to six hours to complete, based on group size and climber fitness.
“We are thrilled to bring this safe but thrilling adventure sport to Ouray,” said Mark Iuppenlatz, co-founder of Friends of the Ouray Via Ferrata. “The via ferrata is an exciting, sustainable, human-powered adventure activity that will become a big part of the Ouray experience and economy in the future.”