We are Media Specialist Interns for Nelson Rocks Outdoor Center, and had seen hundreds of pictures of the Via Ferrata and all that NROC has to offer. However, before embarking on our adventure, we never expected our trip to be as exciting, challenging, and slightly terrifying as it was! We’re both rock climbing newbies (well, Katy worked at an indoor rock wall for four years but is actually pretty scared of heights), so we went into this trip a bit blindly. Regardless, we jumped right into the challenge and are glad that we did! There were several “oh gosh, what did we get ourselves into??” moments, but it was well worth it. There’s always a mental and emotional gain from conquering such a feat (oh, and a physical one–we were sore for days!).
The guides could not have been more knowledgeable, personable, or helpful, either. Their passion for NROC was obvious, and they wanted everyone in the group to share the same love for it as they did. When Katy was climbing up the optional route to the highest point (and whimpering for Emily to save her), the guide Melinda couldn’t have been more encouraging by distracting her with facts about artifacts in the rocks and reassuring her that she could indeed accomplish her goal.
Along with the mountain being much higher than anticipated, it was all the more beautiful, too. Around every corner, there was a new breathtaking sight that could only be seen from the unique perspective of climbing the Via. We couldn’t get the images out of our minds and it was all we could talk about the whole drive home. The intimidation we had felt from climbing the Via was far outweighed by the benefits of conquering an intense challenge and witnessing the amazing sights that NROC has to offer.