Mount Norquay opens via ferrata high above Banff
Fixed cables, ladders allow almost anyone to scale mountain cliffs at ski hill
A new attraction has opened in Banff National Park that lets total novices scale a peak like true mountaineers.
Mount Norquay’s via ferrata — Italian for iron road — features two routes in the mountain’s cliffs high above the town of Banff.
Led by certified guides, climbers head up pitches and with the help of a fixed anchoring system of cables, ladders and a suspension bridge.
“You could pretty much hang a bus off of them. So I would say they are good for a hundred years plus,” said general manager Andre Quenneville.
Just about anyone can do the climbs, he said.
"Folks like myself, I didn't have a climbing background and to think I can climb to the top of a mountain now is pretty amazing,” he said.
“So anyone who has that urge to get to the top of a mountain on their own, it’s a great new activity to get you up there."
The Explorer Route takes two hours and costs $139 plus GST. The four-hour Ridgewalker route costs $169 plus tax.
Parks Canada gave Mount Norquay approval to add the via ferrata and make other expansions last year.
With files from the CBC's Kyle Bakx