The Adventure

A Via Ferrata, Rock Climb and Alpine Climb All-in-One?

Posted by Topher Donahue on Wed, Jul 06, 2011

Long before CMH guides installed the now famous Mt. Nimbus Via Ferrata, they began leading adventurous guests up 2880-metre Mt. Syphax.  The glacier approach, moderate rock climbing, snow ridge, spectacular summit complete a mountaineering experience that is achievable for just about anyone with the desire to try.

However, the descent was tricky.  A short but extremely exposed knife-edge ridge of rock was followed by an overhanging headwall.  Both obstacles were too much for most guests, so the CMH Bobbie Burns guides anchored a cable on the knife-edge and installed a few metal rungs on the overhanging headwall.  It was here that the idea of a Via Ferrata as part of CMH Summer Adventures was born.  Here is a photographic tour of the Mt. Syphax, a climb that - in terms of diversity of terrain, remoteness of location, and achievability of success - is like nothing else on planet Earth.

The view past the lodge into the nearby Bugaboos and, after a short helicopter ride into the alpine, the first steps across the glacier:bobbie burns lodge   glacier morning
A basic lesson in technical skills and cruising on easy alpine terrain with a mountain guide:guiding lesson ropes

The exposed climbing below the summit and the moment of success:summit carabiner
Crossing the airy snow ridge at the summit:snow ridge   summit
Balancing along the knife-edge rock ridge with the comfort of a Via Ferrata cable for security:knife edge ridge via ferrata syphax
And just when the day is nearing its end, you reach the crux of the first Via Ferrata ever built by CMH guides on the steepest part of the Mt. Syphax climb:via ferrata   syphax   steep
As if that’s not enough, a 60-metre free hanging rappel puts you back on the glacier to meet the helicopter for a quick lift to happy hour on the deck of the Bobbie Burns Lodge:rappel syphax free hang
This Saturday, July 9, is the first day of CMH Summer Adventures 2011!

Tags: CMH Guides, CMH Bobbie Burns, Via Ferrata, Guides