Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Happy Memories from Zermatt

Trying to tackle the Zermatt Via Ferrata ("Klettersteig") was something I didn't know if I was ready for. It is comprised of three connected routes -- A, B, and C. Part A is relatively easy. Part B is harder. And Part C requires a very high level of fitness. In Part C, your arms have to do quite a bit of work. Thankfully, it's possible to "escape" from the route at the end of each section. The approach is a 30-minute hike from the village of Zermatt. Part A went easily for me, so I asked my guide to take my further onto to Part B. At the end of that leg, I had a decision to make. Part C leads up a vertical rock wall via a wobbly and swinging cable ladder. Next comes a very exposed section. I decided to go for it. When I completed the climb, my guide told me that he was surprised I wanted to continue onto Part C. He was convinced I would stop after Part B. Frankly, I myself wonder how I ever made it to the top of the mountain. It was a very intense 2,000 foot vertical climb. Overall it was really fun, though. You quickly get a rhythm down for clipping your carabiner into each section. 

As I prepare to (Lord willing) return to Zermatt next summer, I'm encouraged by my experience there a few years ago. If I'm not fit enough to climb another 4,000 meter peak, another option is to try my hand at a different via ferrata, since they are common in the area. Either way, upper body strength will be required.