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Via Ferrata

via ferrata
Via Ferrata
Via Ferrata
Climb the highest Via Ferrata in North America

A via ferrata ("iron way") is a climbing route that follows iron rungs (or handholds) that have been fixed permanently to the rock. A-Basin is home to North America’s highest-elevation via ferrata on the East Wall, one of the area’s most striking, prominent geographical features. A-Basin's via ferrata is a guided-only experience with two options to choose from. The full-day tour ascends 1,200 feet to a 13,000’ summit with stunning, 360-degree views. Or, choose a shorter adventure with the goal of reaching an old mine shaft where you can learn more about the history of the area. Our via ferrata is entirely above treeline and you will be immersed in Colorado's unique high-alpine environment. Harnesses, ropes, and helmets are provided but previous rock-climbing experience is not needed. For some, this will be the greatest high-alpine experience of their lives. For others, it might be the start of a new passion for mountaineering or rock climbing.

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woman climbing via ferrata
group on via ferrata
employees on via ferrata
climbing via ferrata


There is a full day and a half day climbing experience.

Either way, your adventure begins with picking up climbing equipment and coffee in our base area, then enjoying a scenic chairlift ride on Black Mountain Express to 11,500 feet. From there, an OHV will drive you to the base of the East Wall. Hike 0.5 miles up to "School House Rock," our training area, where the guide will demonstrate your safety equipment and allow you to practice. You will then complete the hike to start the climbing part of your adventure!

Once you reach your climbing destination, or wherever the group wants to turn around, you will down-climb a different route and retrace the rest of your steps (you are not rappelling down). Depending on whether you book the full- or half-day tour, you should be back in Mountain Goat Plaza by 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Each tour package includes a scenic lift ride, transportation to the base of the route, and all necessary equipment and training. The full-day tour also includes a gourmet picnic lunch from il Rifugio prepared by one of our chefs.



Grab your spot before they fill up.


The full-day tour takes an estimated 6 hours to complete and accommodates up to 5 people for $199/person, including lunch. We offer 5 timeslots for the full-day tour between 7:30 AM and 9:00 AM. Must be 12 years or older.


The half-day tour takes an estimated 4 hours to complete and accommodates up to 5 people for $149/person, not including lunch. Departure times are 9:10 AM and 9:30 AM. Must be 12 years or older.

A-Basin Passholders Get 25% off!

Must sign into your account on our store to get the discount. Does not apply to people in your group who are not A-Basin passholders.

Ikon Pass holders get 25% off!

Our system cannot process your pass so please pay full-price when you book, then show us your Ikon Pass when you arrive and we'll refund you 25%. Does not apply to people in your group who are not Ikon Pass holders.

Via Ferrata FAQ

Each tour package includes a scenic lift ride, transportation to the base of the route, all necessary equipment and training. The full-day tour also receives a gourmet picnic lunch prepared by our main restaurant.

No. For everyone's safety, this via ferrata is only accessible with a reservation and a guide employed by Arapahoe Basin.

This is a very strenuous activity. While you don't need to be a rock climber, this is a climbing experience at a very high elevation (beginning around 12,000 feet) and there is a half-mile hike required before and after the climb. You should be an active person. Those concerned about their fitness should choose the half-day option. This is not something you want to do the day after you get off the plane from a sea-level location. Your guide will help tailor the experience to the needs and abilities of the group. To ensure your success at altitude, get a lot of sleep, drink much more water than you think you need, and bring water with you to keep drinking throughout the day. Hydration is key! The via ferrata is not suitable for anyone with a pre-existing medical condition that could be aggravated by participating in the activity, including, but not limited to, being at high elevations of up to 13,000 feet. If you are pregnant or have an extreme fear of heights, this activity is not for you.

Yes. The climbing harnesses have weight ratings and outside of those, their effectiveness is diminished. For your safety, there are strict weight limitations. Guests must weigh between 88 and 264 pounds. Not being honest about this could put you at risk of severe injury or death. If you do not meet this criterion, you can still climb. To do so, you must notify guest services at least 7 days in advance of the trip, climb with a full body harness plus a personal guide, and will be on belay for the duration of the climb. Because of the additional staff person, that will incur an additional cost of $125.

Expect a high-quality, antipasto-style picnic in a reusable container that you will return to help us minimize waste. Sample lunch may include: salami with smoked provolone; fresh baguette; tomatoes; mixed olives; grilled vegetables; almonds; a cookie; and a gluten-free, organic energy bar. We apologize but we do not have a full-vegetarian or any vegan lunch options at this time. We will refund you the cost of the lunch (est. ~$13) if you have dietary restrictions and choose to bring your own lunch.

Start with a backpack that you can secure to yourself, such as one with a chest strap. Bring leather gloves, water, warm layers, a rain jacket, sunscreen, sunglasses, and any additional snacks you may want. Wear sturdy, close-toed shoes. Approach shoes are ideal. NO SANDALS of any kind will be allowed, not even "hiking" sandals. We suggest you do not wear tight jeans or short shorts as they could be uncomfortable. Remember, you will be very far from your vehicle for several hours and the half-day tour does not include lunch. Even in the summer, it is quite chilly at these elevations and could be breezy. The sun is very intense in our thin mountain air. Please note what the people are wearing in the slideshow photos above. Selfie sticks and helmet-mounted cameras are not permitted.

Because your experience will be tailored by the guide to meet the needs and abilities of the group, we cannot guarantee you will reach any specific destination. If you know you want to reach the summit (or the mine), we recommend reserving all 5 spots for a single timeslot with friends and/or family so that you know the abilities of the other people you are climbing with.

The The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) prefers the Italian scale in which the A-Basin via ferrata would rank as a Level D: "Via ferrata with a medium-long length, requiring a good physical condition and technical competency. Often, the itinerary is vertical and over-hangs may be present. Equipped with metallic ropes, chains, pegs, and stairs." Click here for more info.

Please arrive with enough time to use the restroom, check in, and collect your climbing equipment. If you are late we will try to accommodate you as best as possible but your trip may be cancelled and you will not get a refund. Check in is located in our small retail shop attached to the Kids Center building. It is easy to find with the door facing our base area.

Afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon in the Rocky Mountains during the summer and being in the high alpine during a storm can be very dangerous. The supervisor on duty will make the call for all groups to descend in the event of a storm and pro-rated refunds will be given based on how far the tour made it.

All guides are trained in basic CPR/First Aid and high-angle rescue techniques. A-Basin Mountain Patrol is on-site every day and will also respond in the event of an emergency.

No refunds will be given if you cancel within 7 days of your reservation. If your tour is cancelled prior to starting the climb due to inclement weather, we may re-book or refund the tour at our discretion. No refunds will be given for not reaching the objective for the day due to group issues. Partial refunds may be given if tour ends early due to weather.

Per Colorado amusement regulations, it is the guest’s responsibility to adhere to policies and procedures established at the park as well as verbal directions from staff.

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