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The Country’s First Urban Via Ferrata Is Going To Make Columbus A Climbing Destination

This city keeps giving us things to get excited about.

When the new climbing area at Quarry Trails opens, it will be the first of its kind. Via Ferrata may not be a term everyone knows, but rock climbers know it, and they’re excited about it.

Via Ferratas first gained popularity in Europe. This mountaineering style of climbing is a climbing route that employs steel cables and rungs or ladders that are fixed to the rock. Climbers then fix themselves to those anchors giving them increased safety while climbing in more precarious situations than usual.

Photo from Via Ferrata Works

The majority of via ferratas are found around European countries. Via ferratas have mostly been associated with limestone mountain regions, notably the Dolomites and the Northern Limestone Alps.

While most people may associate this style of climbing with more mountainous regions out west, some of the first via ferratas in the country were in Kentucky and West Virginia. Here in Columbus, we’ll have the first one in an urban setting, and that’s going to be a game changer.

Photo from Via Ferrata Works

It’s no secret that people often overlook Ohio’s natural beauty. There’s a perception that states like Ohio don’t offer the kind of outdoor recreational activities that people can find out west in more mountainous regions. But starting later this fall, that’s going to change.

Colorado-based Via Ferrata Works is building the project here at Quarry Trails. The cliffs that will hold the city’s new via ferrata are 150 feet tall. Much like those popular European via ferratas, the foundation of this new climbing route is limestone.

Photo from Via Ferrata Works

Before Quarry Trails was a metro park, it was one of the largest limestone quarries in the area. The park is transforming what the idea of a city park can look like in so many ways. In addition to the via ferrata, there are also extensive mountain biking trails and a beautiful 25-foot waterfall.

The new rock climbing route is expected to open later this fall. If you’d like to follow along with the build, you can follow Via Ferrata Works on Instagram.