Mammoth’s new rock climbing attraction, a beginner-friendly course with six different routes, opened Saturday, offering thrill-seekers a giant off-season alternative to hiking and mountain biking.
Pinned to the rugged mountainside below the Caldera Overlook, Via Ferrata will feature routes from easy to difficult. All climbers will clip in and be accompanied by guides across a web of steel cables, iron rungs and suspended bridges.
The massive Sierra resort, a five-hour drive from Los Angeles, just received its permits for the new facility Tuesday. Via Ferrata (Italian for “iron path”) is designed to be a summer attraction and will stay open at least through September, weather permitting.
Similar mountaineering courses are operating at resorts in Banff National Park in Canada and in Telluride, Colo. Also opening soon in Mammoth will be a zip line with a 2,100-foot drop and speeds reaching 60 mph, as the resort invests in activities that are less weather-dependent than skiing or snowboarding.
The rock-climbing course, a three-hour guided tour for up to two people will cost $359, with each additional person $99. A maximum of four climbers will be allowed per guide.
Sessions will begin with a ride up a gondola to mid-mountain for orientation. The guide will then lead participants on a short hike to the base of the Via Ferrata and determine the best climbing route or routes for the group. Climbers can either climb down from the top or return by a hiking trail.
The three-hour sessions start at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Climbing info: Via Ferrata
Visitors should stay up to date on wildfire conditions the next couple of weeks. Via Ferrata will give full refunds, minus a $35 fee, if reservations are canceled up to three full days prior. For wildfire updates, visit nps.gov/yose.