Via Ferrata’s

Seneca Rocks, West Virginia

3 years ago, the boys boy scout troop went to Nelson and Seneca Rocks in West Virginia to climb the Via Ferrata there.  A Via Ferrata, is a rock climbing system for people who aren’t experienced in free climbing.  Unfortunately, the age restriction of 13 prevented the twins who were a few months shy of their 13th birthday from climbing.  Bugs and DH were able to climb while the twins were stuck hiking the trails.

When they returned home Bugs and DH talked about how great the climb was, while the twins both drew long faces.  As I listened to the two talk about the climb, it peaked my interest and I kept thinking how awesome it sounded. I turned to Buzzard and Roo.

“I would like to do that!  How about we go again after you turn 13?”  This produced dead silence in the room.  DH said, “I don’t think you understand,” he held up both hands as though to stop me.  “There is no way you can do this!”

Nelson Rocks

Bugs chimed in.  “Yeah mom, it’s really scary.  You know how high up you are?  And you have to manage this 180 degree turn around the edge of the face,”  he shook his head for effect.  “There’s no way.”

See that crack? That's where you make the 180 degree turn...

“Excuse me?”  I said more than a little perturbed.  They could tell by the look on my face that there was no way on earth they could keep me from doing it, now that they had said I wasn’t capable.

Ignoring their protests, I said, “When do you want to go?” Roo said for his birthday, Buzzard agreed.  We didn’t make it during the summer for their birthday, which was probably fortuitous.  Instead we went the first weekend in October, during the beautiful changing colors.  It was the most fun I’ve had doing something of that nature. Although the twins both said they wanted to, Buzzard’s conviction waned as we got closer.  He began to say, “I may want to hike.”  I knew if he didn’t climb, he would regret it.  So when we got there, we generally ignored his attempts to back out, telling him he could use one of the many escape routes to the hiking trail that are along the climb. The first wall was a bit intimidating.

Roo Getting Instructions from the Guide on how to start

Roo shouting to Buzzard to come join him!

Buzzard got about halfway up, then stopped, panic setting in.  The guide, who was a college aged kid, must have have thought we were the meanest parents in West Virginia.  He kept trying to say to Buzzard that he could take an escape route not far up, and we kept shushing him; shouting to Buzzard to keep going.  There were a few seconds where I started to think we’d made a mistake, until we said, “Come on, you have to keep going so Roo doesn’t get too far ahead.” That’s all it took.  There was no way he was going to let Roo leave him behind, so he started climbing for all he was worth.  Once we started following, there was no going back.

The view from halfway up!

The 180 degrees is where the guide is on the right.

After the turn to get on the other side more fun was waiting in the form of a bridge.  Actually it more like walking on a giant rubber band because it bounced up and down as we walked.

Roo First

Buzzard next...

Buzzard at the end of the bridge climb, Roo at the end, me about halfway over.

The slats aren't exactly close together...

Once on the other side, we climbed to the top.

After taking in the views, we started back down.

The Lowlands

Roo decided he was done...

I should note that during the whole climb, you are always hooked onto the cable that his drilled into the rock so that if you do fall, you will only fall about 3 feet.  Also, Bugs gets most of the photo credit, as he had the camera most of the time, although I did borrow it a few times to snap some shots.  I don’t know who took what other than the obvious–if I’m in the picture I didn’t take it!

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This entry was posted in aging, Brothers, Family, family vacation, Nelson Rocks, Post of the Day, postaday, Rock Climbing, Seneca Rocks, Teens, Via Ferrata, West Virginia and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Via Ferrata’s

  1. jmgoyder says:

    Wonderful, interesting and funny post!

  2. magsx2 says:

    Hi,
    Fantastic photos, I really admire people that can go climbing and really enjoy it, I’m a coward when it comes to things like this. :)
    What beautiful views you got from the top, looks spectacular, well done. :D

    • Thanks! They are going again next month, and I’m trying to decide if I want to tag along for another photo expedition with something more than a point and shoot. I don’t think it will be as great as fall though. I really enjoyed it because it occupies your brain more then hiking, but is mostly like climbing a ladder. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. terry1954 says:

    what a fantastic trip and breath taking photos. thanks for sharing with me

  4. Extremely pretty scenery… Another think I ain’t gonna do (knees and back). Oh, well. Well written, wonderful photos, and I’m pleased you all had fun.

  5. Jim Cantwell says:

    I used do a bit of free climbing nothing serious just when I went hiking if there was a rock face i would climb it instead of walking around it with no safety gear mind you so if I fell I really fell, thankfully I never really fell but I never climbed anything more than 30 feet either. as for the bridge I would not have liked that at all rope type bridges are something I just dont trust haha

  6. Wow, you are the coolest mom ever!! I hope your boys know how lucky they are to have such an awesome mom, and I hope that they apologized to you for every doubting that you could make the climb! LOL I don’t think I would have had the guts. Thanks for sharing – I really enjoyed this post. :)

  7. Madhu says:

    Wow! I wouldn’t dare! That bridge seems especially scary!

  8. sayvan says:

    Thanks what a great memory to have as well. I took my Daughter zip lining this past summer and we had a blast and the one on one time was more fun then the zipping!

  9. These photos and your story are great. I have to climb vicariously through others as heights would have me clinging and not moving, especially on the bridge. I see what I’m missing because of my fright. Maybe one day the courage will come. I’d love to go just to have the opportunity to take some photos like yours. Thanks so much for sharing these.

    • Thanks! I have this odd reversal of fear about heights. I can’t look UP when I’m up high, but have no problem looking down, which is what we are drawn to do. So I’m usually ok. Absolutely could not look at he sky when on the empire state building.

  10. What a terrific adventure to go on with your boys! Great photos

  11. doliphoto says:

    Photographs of this makes me want to go to the place and tried climbing sensation :)

  12. That was so awesome! From the photos to the trip, breathtaking indeed!

  13. Nicole says:

    Looks like an amazing and unforgettable experience! Glad you did it! I would have done the same!!!!

  14. Colline says:

    What amazing views. I would have tried to conquer my fear just to see them!

  15. Great photos..wonderful adventure!

  16. Lynne Ayers says:

    uhhhh, no. No. No. Nope. Fear and fun just don’t go together for me. Nope. Kudos to you and your boys! This is something I could never screw up the courage to do. Now, suggest sky diving and I might be in….

  17. Beedie says:

    What an amazing trek! Great photos. So much fun, so many smiles :O)

  18. frizztext says:

    no elevator there …

  19. i mayfly says:

    This left me speechless. I’m glad you and the boys had this experience. It look amazing. -nik

  20. Enjoyed your post today looks like a fun time:-)

  21. Breathtaking pics! What a blessing to have done this with your twins! :)

    And that rope bridge….yikes!!!

  22. deniz says:

    Great photos! I don’t think I could be that brave…

  23. Reblogged this on TheRomanticTraveler and commented:

    Just a little story about rock climbing…

  24. Janie Thurman says:

    Awesome photos. Beautiful scenery.

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