A few days prior to climbing the Telluride Via Ferrata, we parked at the base of Bidal Veil Falls and hiked up to scout where the Via Ferrata began. It is tricky to find the start of the Via Ferrata.
The start is near this old mine one switchback up from the base of the falls.
The trail head is just beyond the bridge and the start of the trail is exposed.
The actual first section of Via Ferrata is just beyond the white sign you see in the photo.
As you can see, the trail is rather exposed at the very start and is loose. We recommend hiking poles for extra safety on the start.
This is the parking area.
Another view of the falls.
You can see the very first section of the Via Ferrata (seen from the road) between the two white specks of paper.
We researched the route and got some good beta from other climbers so we knew exactly what to expect. We climbed two days after our scouting expedition. Note, it's important not to just clip in with slings but to use a shock absorbing device with locking carabiners. You can see Dianne's Camp Matrix Lite. The Camp matrix has auto-locking carabiners. Note, that because the Via Ferrata is not dynamic climbing rope but steel with no give, a fall on a vertical section can produce huge fall factors and break slings so it's critical to use an energy absorbing rig like the Camp Matrix. Screamers can be used for this as well. Even with locking biners, it's a good idea to reverse the gates when clipping in to the Ferrata. Please do not attempt a Via Ferrata without proper training and a shock absorbing clip in.
Wolfgang with his auto-locking biners in hand on the Camp Matrix Elite.
Ready to start the Via Ferrata.
The trail to the start.
The start is ahead at the sign.
Dianne clipped in to the cable on the first section.
After two sections of Via Ferrata we are treated to this recall notice.
It would be "disconcerting" to get this far and realized you have bad equipment or even worse to have done the Via Ferrata from the other direction and close to the end realize this....
Most of the route is unprotected hiking trail. Dianne is uncliping here.
You can see the cable and some of the metal steps used in places.
Dianne sitting on Kroger's Bench.
Start of the section known as the "Main Event".
Dianne on the Main Event. It's great fun to be able to be this exposed but totally safe.
Note, the route in the center of the cliff face.
Wolfgang rounding the corner.
Some sections of the Via Ferrata require some actual climbing.
The Via Ferrata ends at this gulley which quickly becomes a road. If you descend the road, you will cross private property as you get close to the mill building. You will see a trail going to the left about 500 fee elevation above the mill where a tree has been laid across the road. This trail avoid the private property and keeps you from descending all the way down.
Back the trail head. It took us 4.5 hours round trip but we spent over an hour stopped taking photos, exploring, and eating.
Some views back at the Via Ferrata route from the road.