Cirspitze V - this was our beginners trial run - only rated a 2A - to give us confidence in using the equipment and for the harder climbs to come. 310m ascent & descent; VF wire - 110m; 3 kms; 3-4 hrs.
I was mega-excited to join my mates Geoff & Eti and their London hiking group (30 other bods) on a Via Ferrata trip in the Dolomites Italy. "Via Ferrata" translates literally to iron way, and consists of a series of steel cables fixed to the rock face that were originally built to assist Italian military movements through the Dolomite mountains during World War I. The climbs are rated according to difficulty from 1 (easy) to 5 (difficult), and according to the climbing severity of the route from A (least serious) to C (most challenging). I had never done this sort of thing before, but was eager to give it a go even with my fear of heights (since the age of 8 when I took a wrong turn and almost fell off the cliff edge of a mountain). I was concentrating so hard on the technical aspects of clipping the carabiners on and off the cables, plus my hand and feet placement, that I didn’t have time to be afraid. The climbing was amazing and fun, and the panoramic views from the various summits were phenomonal and breathtaking.