Via Ferratas and Sport Climbing

Spring season around Oberstdorf started in the beginning of May. We were greeted by cold weather and snowfall at higher altitudes, which meant that we had to climb in gyms and, during short rainless periods, at sport-climbing crags. Occasionally we were even able to squeeze in a Via Ferrata or two.

There are plenty of climbing gyms, sport-climbing crags and Via Ferratas in Tirol, Adelberg and Allgäu, making it possible to climb during this time of the year when the mountains are still covered with snow. Gyms are of course the best option for days with bad weather. Unlike most indoor climbing walls in Slovenia, which are part of multi-purpose sports halls and cannot be marketed independently for the purposes of tourism, gyms here are independent objects. The few objects of this type that do exist in Slovenia are located in and around Ljubljana, which is too far away from the mountains and the tourists who are looking for things to do when the weather is bad. One of the biggest indoor climbing centers in Slovenia is run by aspirant mountain guide Matjaž Jeran, while mountain guide Mitja Kovačič is the man behind BricAlp near Škofja Loka.

But people’s attitudes towards such objects are starting to change in Slovenia as well. Last year, mountain guide Mitja Šorn, Brane Pečar and other enthusiasts worked together with the municipality of Kranjska Gora and its mayor to equip a nice Via Ferrata in Mojstrana. This is the beginning of organized efforts of mountain guides aimed at creating additional tourist services close to the mountains, which are sure to help local economies. I’m glad that Slovenian mountain guides are actively participating in these projects that will help expand the country’s tourism.

Danilo Tič