Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Climbers don kilts for new ascent

The route is Scotland's first Via Ferrata
The route is Scotland's first Via Ferrata
A climber in a kilt makes his way up the route in Kinlochleven

Scotland's first Via Ferrata climbing route has been opened by a leading climber.

The Via Ferrata, Latin for iron way, consists of 450 metres (1,476ft) of metal staples and cable bridges.

It is located beside the 90 metre (295ft) high Grey Mare's Tail waterfall in Kinlochleven, near Glencoe.

Via Ferratas date back to the First World War when they were used to help soldiers across the Alps.

It was opened today by Team GB ice climber Andy Turner, who has recently returned from the Sochi Winter Olympics.

He celebrated the opening with other climbers who tried out the route, many of them wearing kilts for the occasion.

Turner said: "I was delighted to be asked to open such a fantastic addition to the UK's climbing scene.

"The Via Ferrata will provide novice climbers the opportunity to experience the challenge and exhilaration that climbing can bring. Plus, experienced climbers will enjoy the opportunity to access what was previously an unreachable climbing spot. The view is stunning at the top."

Access to the route is on guided trips only.

Anyone using it is permanently attached to a safety cable and it is suitable for those aged 10 and over and more than 4ft 3in.

Ben Starkie, director for Via Ferrata Scotland, said: "After four years of getting this project off the ground, I am delighted to see Via Ferrata Scotland officially open. A massive thanks goes to the local community, our sponsors and funders for the support in making this project happen."

"I am expecting to see around 500 visitors to the attraction in its first summer. It is set to be a great asset for Scottish adventure tourism and we hope it will bring many benefits to the local economy."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz