The Town of Ouray and Friends of the Ouray Via Ferrata (FOVF) are building a Via Ferrata in the Uncompahgre (Ice Park) Gorge. From the Italian, literally meaning “iron way”, it is a new European family adventure sport, where climbers use cables, rungs and pegs to increase security on climbing routes.
The new Ouray Via Ferrata will be located on city- and county-owned property on the sunny west-facing wall of the Ice Park Gorge. The route will be free to the public in the same spirit as the Ouray Ice Park and designed to new official (ASTM and CEN) climbing safety standards. Guiding will be available for those new to the sport, but qualified, experienced climbers will have free access.
Walking distance from downtown Ouray, this great climbing course will feature both horizontal and vertical travel on the spectacular sheer rock cliffs of the Uncompahgre Gorge–a great, sustainable human-powered activity for Ouray visitors.
At times climbers will be just feet above the roaring waters of the Uncompahgre Creek and at others high on the cliff bands of the gorge. Safety cable will run the entire length of the course, and climbers will use natural rock features together with steel rungs and cable bridges where needed to enhance footing and safety. Construction is underway, with the official opening scheduled for June 1, 2020.
FOVF thanks Alpine Bank for its generous financial support of the Via Ferrata project. “The VF will bring people from all over the state and beyond to Ouray. We are grateful to our customers and community that continue to support us and make it possible for Alpine Bank to support projects like the Via Ferrata.” Dennis Alexander, senior vice president/manager Alpine Bank Ouray.
FOVF is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization and the project is funded entirely through donations. Individuals and businesses can fund individual rungs as permanent founding sponsors. More information at OurayVF.org or 970-946-2089.
In Colorado, Ouray joins Buena Vista, Canon City, Estes Park, Idaho Springs, Manitou Springs and Telluride, which also have via ferratas.