There’s something special about looking down at the Columbia Valley from 7,700 feet. The blue-tinged river snaking its way around the lush green valley and the seemingly endless array of mountains surrounding my 360-degree view. Then again, I’m actually hanging off one of the mountains as I make my way up to Terminator Peak via Ferrata.
New to Kicking Horse Resort (created in 2015), the Via Ferrata is a great activity for thrill-seekers looking for a chance to experience mountain climbing with few of the risks. I love trying new things so it wasn’t hard to convince myself to go. My wife, Karla, joined as well.
On the morning of the climb, we took the gondola to the summit. The last time I took this gondola was to ski back down. The scenery looks quite different without the snow. When we got to the top, the guides were waiting to strap us into our harness and safety gear. We then proceeded to the training wall for some practice. After learning about the harness system, the real thing began.
The adventure started off with an incredible 60-metre-long suspension bridge called Hanging Glory. This bridge stretches across steep and rugged mountain terrain and can also be booked as a stand-alone adventure for those not wanting to do the climb. It’s quite wobbly but none of us were bothered by it. Actually, the guide told us to strap our safety harness onto the cables and hang out over the ledge, which all of us happily did.
Next, we began the ascend to the top. All 465 metres. We curled our way around rock ledges as we moved along the ridge-line that divides the Rocky Mountain trench from the Purcell range. We climbed up and down and straddled the face of the mountain while looking down at the incredible scenery. At one point, we also crossed Gut Bridge, which was just a line of metal cable that you have to walk across. If a suspension bridge doesn’t scare you, this just might. Everything is so safe though so it’s a good time to test your fears!
After a couple of hours, we made it to the top of Terminator Peak, which offers absolutely stunning views of the surrounding area. In one direction, we saw Roger’s Pass while in the other direction we saw as far as the Columbia Icefields. Everything was so clear and vivid. It’s the kind of scenery that draws you in and never wants to let you go. I could easily sit down and just stare at the view for the entire day. It’s that beautiful.
After soaking in as much of the view as possible, it was time to head back down. After reaching the top, we were no longer strapped into the harness. We simply took the hiking trail back to the gondola and handed in our rented gear. Both Karla and I ticked another adventure off our Canadian bucket list and listened to the others rave about how much fun and exciting it was.
In fact, the Via Ferrata at Kicking Horse is known as the most exhilarating in Western Canada and it’s also one of the most technical and scenic climbs in North America. Plus, everything is incredibly safe so it’s a great way to crush your fears and experience an incredible activity unlike anything else.
What do you think? Would you do this?
Looking to visit? Kicking Horse Resort is located in Golden, British Columbia, Canada. For more information, visit http://kickinghorseresort.com
If you’re looking for a place to stay, I recommend the Glacier Mountaineer Lodge, which is right at the base of the gondola! Talk about location!
All pics by Matthew Bailey. Follow me on Instagram at www.instagram.com/MatthewGBailey