The Adventure

Via Ferrata update: The Skyladder is complete

Posted by Topher Donahue on Wed, Feb 15, 2012

One of the things that makes CMH Summer Adventures so exciting, is that for 35 years now, the program has been evolving and has become one of the most diverse choices in the adventure travel world.  In recent years, the biggest changes have been the development of the via ferrate in the Bobbie Burns and the Bugaboos.

For 2012, there are exciting new adventures afoot in both lodges, with the yet unnamed, and mostly unknown, adventure hike alongside the Conrad Glacier icefall in the Bobbie Burns, and in the Bugaboos, the Skyladder via ferrata is now much longer, reaching to the valley floor, which allows hikers to integrate the via ferrata climb into scenic hikes both below and above the via ferrata. 

skyladder via ferrata point of viewDave Cochrane, the energetic CMH Bugaboos manager, took time away from a spectacular ski season to share the new flavors of the Skyladder:

"The "lower half" which we built last year is full-on very steep rock climbing on a ferrata route.  (Now, with the already spectacular summit section of the Skyladder that has been in place for a couple of seasons, the complete Skyladder is comparable to the world’s other popular Via Ferrata routes.)

But there are a lot of ways to skin the cat on this adventure. The nearest place we can land to start the Skyladder viaferrata, is more than a few steps away from the base of the route. It is about a half hour walk uphill to the beginning of the technical part of the climb.
There are many options to approach the via ferrata, depending on what our guests are looking for that day.  We sometimes land at the bottom pickup for the Powder Pig ski run and then walk up to the base - that makes for one to two hours of hiking through beautiful Larch forests, across very green and lush ground cover.  Then the forest ends and the terrain steepens for the last section before the via ferrata.  This approach is all uphill, but covers dramatically different terrain and makes for a very enjoyable way to start the climb.

We can also start on Grizzly Ridge, and then hike down to the base of the Skyladder.  I have also started on the top of Sauce Alley, walked a very adventurous ridge line route to Leo's line, then down over quite challenging hiking terrain then back up through a big talus slope to the base - this approach can take as much as three hours.

There are some other ways to do this also, so depending on the group we can make this a very full, very challenging, and very interesting day, which culminates in the Skyladder, followed by a half hour hike off the top to more easy hiking terrain with world-class views of the Bugaboo Spires.  Or we can make it an easy half day outing for those wanting less challenge but still want to climb the Skyladder."

Tags: Adventure Travel, Bugaboos, High Flying Adventure, Skyladder, hiking, Via Ferrata, adventure