Stories from the mountain summer
Via ferrata for families
The right guide and a modicum of curiosity will turn an excursion to a via ferrata into a wonderful adventure for the whole family! We tested this out on the Talbach via ferrata in Laimach, located in the Zell-Gerlos region.
Would you like a special family experience which is off the beaten track? Just book a local mountain guide, pack your gear and tackle one of the modern via ferratas in Zillertal! For example, the “Talbach-Klettersteig” in the Zell-Gerlos region. It offers plenty of fun for both beginners and advanced rock climbers.
And the best thing is: even children can easily manage a climb here – particularly on the first stage of the course. However, one thing is extremely important: you must always have a professional guide with you. Hannes, Lisa and Nina tried it out – and enjoyed a great summer’s day together. We were able to accompany the family and, on the way, we discussed the most important aspects of a rock climbing day with Bernhard Neumann, their mountain guide.
“First and foremost, it’s important to check the weather conditions”, says the expert. Weather apps can be a help, but the most reliable way is to look at the weather radar or similar offers easily found on the internet. According to Neumann: “These clearly show the air flows, and help you decide whether it’s a good day for outdoor climbing”. Similarly, it’s important to select a via ferrata with a grade of difficulty which can be managed by the weakest in the group. And of course, you have to have the right equipment (on page 54, we explain in detail what you will need).
The climb. When there are beginners or children in the group, like Nina, their requirements have highest priority. Mountain guides like Bernhard (aged 44) on the Talbach via ferrata are very well aware of this. “Here, we have even adapted the first stage especially for children. We can guide junior rock climbers step by step and introduce them to the sport”, explains Bernhard with enthusiasm. The anchor points are not only suitably mounted for children, but are also marked in colour. The following stages are only suitable for advanced rock climbers like Nina and her parents. On this particular cliff, there are many points at which it is possible to leave the via ferrata and join the hiking path, which runs parallel to it. In this way, everybody can reach the summit, in accordance with personal preferences and abilities. It doesn’t matter whether you hike or climb.
At the top. It’s a very special feeling to have conquered the cliff – whether on a hike, or on a climb. “The joy of achievement, the physical exercise, pure nature – all of this together will give you an indescribable feeling of happiness”, says Bernhard the guide. As well as this, a “climb to bliss” forges a special bond, “You feel closer to one another”, says Bernhard, speaking from experience. He considers himself particularly lucky to be able to lead other people into this special world of emotions every day, again and again. Of course, only if the weather is good.
Image: Elias Holzknecht und Text: Johannes Stühlinger
Zillertal magazine Summer 2019
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