Happy New Year to you all. May you have fun, travel loads and discover many great things about the world around you and yourselves !!
This post has been 5 months in the offing as we did 2 local via ferratas this summer.
I suggested to Malc that he prepares the post for a change as he was a very keen free climber back in the 80s. This obviously did not happen in time 😉 and after all, the impressions of the VF might as well come from a semi beginner like me.
So here are my memories and impressions of those climbs .
The 1st one we did was the Cabirol ferrata in Alghero. http://www.ferratacabirol.it/
Absolutely beautiful and panoramic scenery from the cliff face as you tower over the clear blue sea of the Porto Conte bay. From the rock face, the big tourist boats looked like lego ones, lol !
Make sure to start the VF by 10am at the very latest as it is positively cooking on the cliff face which is in the full sun by 2pm.
We left Perfugas about 8am and arrived at the site at 9am which was perfect.
There is free parking near the start. The approach is longer than stated on the website, I would say about 30 mns minimum, all uphill. There is a large cave at the top which can be clearly seen on the approach and is a good place, with stunning views, to enjoy a cool drink and sort out your gear before you start the climb.
The1st section is a ledge and is more of a stroll really, with some protection. At the end of it, you have the 22 metres long vertical section and short traverse . This can feel a little exposed, especially in a keen breeze from the sea. So let me be clear, if you suffer from vertigo, don’t do it !! And if you have poor arms muscles like i turned out to have, this may be a challenge. I attacked it fairly quickly as those metal steps constituting the vertical are on a slight overhang and I could feel my arms getting tired by having to support my own body weight. I should have listened to Malc’s advice about using the extra sling and carabina to allow me to clip on to the metal rung and hang in my harness whenever I felt like a rest.
After that, the second ledge starts. It is very narrow in places and there are some interesting moments to be had, especially if you are 5,2 ft and need to seriously stretch at times or are 6,2 in which case you will have “extra fun” in some sections too. It is not difficult but some sections have an overhang which means leaning out on the wire whilst placing feet carefully on the rocks. Again this can feel quite exposed, but the beauty of the rock and the sea are fully realised on this section.
There are plenty of places to stop, have a rest and enjoy the panorama.
This VF can be done clockwise or counter clock wise. However, I would not like to have to cross over somebody on some narrower ledges so I would recommend to keep to the usual climbing direction.
We rounded up this climb with a coffee at a small local beach and finished with a succulent fish meal
The second climb, called Via della regina, was in the village of Monte Leone. This time, the panorama is countryside, by a lake. http://www.ferrataregina.it/
You can freely park near the church at the top of the village. The approach to the site takes about 30 mns. You will notice many bolted climbs routes along the way.
What sticks more in memory is the start up a wire rope ladder to a slightly over-hanging vertical climb, more than 20 metres this time round with a longer traverse This is the most difficult part of the via ferrata but good fun! For me it was less of a challenge than the other VF as I learnt to rest in my harness when I felt like it. Not to mention the fortnight of presses and various toning exercices after the Cabirol VF 😉
The other interest thing is the 20 metre long Tibetan bridge , not too long but nice sensations.
As always, great views and plenty of resting places and long strolls between the climbs.
I overall felt this VF was easier; though Malc with the heavy safety rope in his rucksack may beg to differ 🙂