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Back To The Great Outdoors: Climbing Tahoe’s Via Ferrata
The Via Ferrata (meaning iron path in Italian) is a famous climbing route in Italy’s Dolomites, a must on every intrepid adventurer’s bucket list. But Covid-19 has made many people wary of flying internationally, except when absolutely necessary. Fortunately, those seeking a closer Via Ferrata experience can find it on one of California’s most iconic rock faces, the Tram Face, which towers above The Village at Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe, California.
Like the famous Dolomites adventure, the Tahoe Via Ferrata offers a protected climbing route with permanent steel anchors and cables that allow participants to be safely connected to the rock 100% of the time. Alpenglow Expeditions, a North Lake Tahoe area-based guide service, has just reopened and is again offering tours of the Tahoe Via Ferrata. The company’s experienced guides teach participants, including children, basic climbing techniques so they will be able to how to navigate the rock face.
Because of Covid-19, operations at the company now provide the utmost safety for climbers and guides. To prevent clustering. climbers are now checked in outside the Alpenglow office. Instead of signing liability waivers on a shared iPad kiosk, guests can now email the link in advance to create one less touchpoint. If climbers arrive without gloves and a mask, Alpenglow provides them for free. (The company offers quality cotton gloves dipped in sticky rubber, ideal for a day on the Via Ferrata and a great souvenir to be used in gardens and garages back home).
Prior to joining a tour, Alpenglow now requires health screenings to check for Covid-19 symptoms and exposure history. During this first phase of re-opening, the company is encouraging people to climb only with immediate family and close contacts rather than mix in with a public group. Also, adventurers should note that various shelter-in-place orders are in effect nationwide, so they should check on any travel restrictions before planning a visit.
Built two years ago by Alpenglow Expeditions, the Tahoe Via Ferrata allows novice climbers to safely ascend the 800-foot vertical Tram Face and offers spectacular view of the scenic Olympic Valley. The company is run by founder and CEO, Adrian Ballinger, one of America’s premier high-altitude mountain guides who is a professional high-altitude mountain climber on the Eddie Bauer Team and has made 15 summits of 8,000 meter peaks including eight summits of Mt. Everest. Ballinger assures guests that their climbing day is 100% safe from any mishaps either physical or Coronavirus-related. “Our new modified Via Ferrata program lets adventurers of any skill level experience the exhilaration of real climbing while being mindful of the current health mandates.”
For those tired of being cooped up for weeks on end, climbing the Tahoe Via Ferrata is the ideal way to once again enjoy the great outdoors with jaw-dropping views. And best, it’s good for adventurers at any level, including children. To see what to expect when climbing the Tahoe Via Ferrata with Alpenglow Expeditions, watch this video.