Via Ferrata(s) Tetons, WY?


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Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
May 14, 2008 - 12:39pm PT
Like I always try to inform all you city dwellers, people from sea level and office workers, stay where you belong stay in the city where you need to be and feel safe and secure.

Ralph, a bit snobbish (and sanctimonious?) for better lack of words (actually, I donít lack the words but I do not want to insult you), arenít you?

I do not think that many posters on this thread are opposed to such a Via Ferrata on grounds that they feared that their egos will be damaged, as one poster implied.

If there is a fear, I would think that many of the posters who are opposed, or in the least wary, of such a development may fear that it may set a precedent that could be used by some to further the use of Via Ferrata routes in many parts of the North America.

As it has already been stated, the Via Ferrata system in Italy was established for historical and (at the time) well-grounded reasons.

Those reasons are not present today in the United States.

Personally, I do not see a big threat from JHMR establishing a Via Ferrata on a choss pile near the resort, but I can understand the apprehension that posters such as Healy have about the precedent it may set.

Also, I am sure that there are bigger issues in the battle to preserve a number of parts of our environment and environmental heritage.

But it may very well be that once you start down (up? in this case) the slope, it may turn into a very slippery one.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
May 14, 2008 - 02:18pm PT
I just climbed all 3 Via Ferrata's in Waterfall Canyon, UT. It was great fun and they are very hard to find as they blend into background.

Well, they are visible to non-climbers. Had my teeth cleaned on Monday, and, my dental hygnienist is from Ogden, and asked what the heck was going on in Waterfalls Canyon, as they noticed these things whilst mountain biking up there.

I have fairly mixed feelings about them, especially here in the U.S. I guess I sorta side with the naysayers on them. I've done one in Italy (Tofana di Rozes) and it was really cool from the historical perspective, and seeing all the gun ports, barracks placements, tunnels, etc. that folks used to whack on each other back when it was in Austria.

And, yeah, I've climbed the ladder on Bath Rock at the City of Rocks (downclimbed without it too, very doable) and descended Half Dome. These are old, historical routes and I don't think its hypocritical to oppose additional via ferratas on public land. I've seen them in the Red, and near Seneca at Nelson, and, yikes, not on my public land, please!

I get the arguement that more folks should be getting out and enjoying their public land, but, that doesn't mean we should be installing big screen TV's so the kids can hike up to the upper saddle to play halo three projected on the side of the Grand.

Slippery slope I suppose. Put me down as a soft "no" to a via ferrata at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. They also wanted the public to pay for their tram, too.

As it is, folks ride up to do the bolted sport climbs up there. Hmmm...

-Brian in SLC


Topic Author's Reply - May 14, 2008 - 04:58pm PT
Doug, the 'fixed' lines for the slab approach to HD are not permanent installations, neither are the 'fixed' lines on the east ledges. Also the use of either of those requires some knowledge of/and technical know how.

The cables on HD again are an historical 'route' as are the Via Ferratas in Italy, a bit different than providing 'rock climbing with out the risks' for the masses in WY.

I think its the POSSIBLE flood gate that will be opened if the public land administrator (USFS) approves this, that concerns people. I said POSSIBLE!

Nelson preserve in WV is privately owned, big difference with what that guy does on HIS land v/ what the govt. allows on OUR land.


Trad climber
Jackson, WY
May 14, 2008 - 05:06pm PT
Healy, good on you for sending an email to the AF to see what their stance on this issue is. I'd be very curious to hear what they have to say. Maybe post the email up here, or at least the gist of it? Did you ask about the specific question concerning the JHMR, or about more of their general stance?
I would guess that probably 99.9% of Access Fund members would be opposed to a via ferrata on public lands if it interfered with established climbing routes. Additionally, I doubt typical users of the via ferratas would become members of the Access Fund. One more: The AF is generally believes new fixed anchors should be added only as a last resort (which is subject to interpretation of course). For these three reasons, I doubt VERY MUCH that the organization would take a stance to support via ferratas on climber-developed crags. I think they'd be an excellent vehicle for combating this sort of development on our crags. But I certainly could be wrong!

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 14, 2008 - 05:34pm PT
I asked about their general stance while mentioning the Jackson Hole via ferrata. I'll post up if I hear back...
Dingus Milktoast

May 14, 2008 - 05:45pm PT
"Nelson preserve in WV is privately owned, big difference with what that guy does on HIS land v/ what the govt. allows on OUR land. "

Nelson Preserve, so far as I remember, is owned and operated by a lawyer who shut down all public access due to an injury lawsuit and liability concerns. The place is for sale last I heard.


Trad climber
June Lake, CA
May 14, 2008 - 07:03pm PT
What your dentist noticed was the "practice" via ferrata along the main trail that runs along the base of the range. I would agree that the location of this "practice" run (approx. 40' long) is somewhat misplaced. There is no way the 3 "routes up Waterfall canyon can be seen from the trail to Maylans.
The lack of permanence of the death slab lines and east ledges escapes me: as 20+ laps up the NW Face and uncountable laps down the east ledges over a very long time, and I've seen the fixed lines every time. That is rather permanent.


Trad climber
Jackson, WY
May 14, 2008 - 07:20pm PT
Brian, I probably glossed over this, but are the via ferratas located on public land?

Hobart, Australia
May 14, 2008 - 07:35pm PT
Jeeze, talk about elitist...

Another vote for Via Ferrattas as "ok" (as long as they're not interfering with historic or established routes).

They're super fun.

Trad climber
June Lake, CA
May 14, 2008 - 08:05pm PT

yes the waterfall canyon routes are on private property, owned by a guy named Chris Peterson.


Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 14, 2008 - 08:08pm PT
"(as long as they're not interfering with historic or established routes)" is the caveat and long term prospect that makes me an 'elitist' in the short term.
Dapper Dan

an 89' honda accord
May 14, 2008 - 09:19pm PT
i think people just like saying "Via Ferrata" , sounds cool
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