What is Via Ferrata?
Via Ferrata is a mountaineering experience utilizing a steel cable, which runs along the climbing route and is periodically fixed to the rock every 3–30 ft. Using a Via Ferrata kit, climbers can secure themselves to the cable with modern climbing harnesses, thus limiting the chance of falling. The cable aids guests with ascending and safety, while additional climbing aids, such as iron rungs, pegs and a suspension bridge, provide excitement and control on this exhilarating mountain adventure.
Who can do it?
Anyone who meets our age, weight and minimal fitness requirements. No prior climbing experience is required to participate.
Where do I meet?
Groups should check in 20 minutes prior to your scheduled tour at the Adventure Center at Main Lodge to sign liability forms and pick up a Gondola ticket. From there, you'll take the Panorama Gondola to McCoy Station (the gondola's mid-point) where you'll meet your guide.
Is a guide required?
Yes, we have a guide accompany you on your adventure. We maintain a guide-to-guest ratio of 1:4 for private tours and 1:5 for group tours.
What should I wear and bring?
All safety equipment is provided. Please bring sunscreen, snacks, a water bottle and sunglasses. We recommend wearing comfortable athletic wear and hiking or approach-style shoes. For your safety, climbers are not permitted to wear rings or dangling jewelry.
What time of year is this available?
The Via Ferrata typically operates seasonally June–September, weather and conditions permitting.
What about weather?
Weather events such as lightning, thunder, rain, or snow may cause closures or delays.
Can family accompany me to watch if they are not participating?
Family can purchase a Scenic Gondola Ride ticket to go observe from the hiking trail below the cliff. Family may not pass the guide access closure, and may not stage at the top of the cliff, as they could inadvertently dislodge hazards causing injury or death to those below.
How many routes will I get to climb?
Your guide will determine what routes will be climbed based on the comfort and ability of the whole group. For private tours, as time and ability allow, multiple routes can be attempted within the 3-hour tour time. Group tours include 1 route down, 1 route back up, and the bridge.
What equipment do you supply?
All safety equipment (harness and lanyards and helmet).
Can I bring my own equipment?
You must use safety equipment (harness, lanyard, and helmet) provided by Mammoth Mountain.
Can I bring a camera?
Cell phones and cameras are not permitted for use during your climbing experience but may be secured in your backpack.
Can I go on the Via Ferrata without a ticket or guide?
Access on all Via Ferrata routes must be accompanied by a Mammoth Mountain-authorized guide. Unaccompanied use of the Via Ferrata is considered illegal and subject to prosecution under penal code section 537(a), and can pose a serious threat to yourself and others.
I am an AMGA guide or equivalent. Can I guide my own party?
A Mammoth Mountain employed guide must accompany all tours.
Can I fall?
Yes, you can. Your lanyards are attached to a steel cable parallel to the climbing route, which will arrest your fall. The Via Ferrata is designed to reduce the probability of falling and minimize the risks sustained in a fall.
Can I stop mid-way and turn around?
Your guide will customize your experience to match your preferred intensity level. There are connector trails to exit the Via Ferrata from the bottom and top of our routes. If there is an unusual mid-route circumstance, the guide can always add security by providing an additional rope (top-rope-belay). A participant can also climb down from any point on all the routes. Via Ferratas can be used to climb both up and down.
Is there a minimum or maximum group size?
There is no minimum group size, however the maximum per guide-to-guest ratio is 1:4 for private tours and 1:5 for group tours. Groups between 6 to 10 guests will need to book a second tour.