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!”
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.”
“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.
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.
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.
Once on the other side, we climbed to the top.
After taking in the views, we started back down.
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!