Telluride Via Ferrata (Krogeratta)
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Difficulty:Via Ferrata 4A II (v4a1 II)
Red Tape:No permit required
8 Aug 2022
"I have a background in canyoneering and this is my first Via Ferrata. I did not have a shuttle so I hiked the road. Hung out at the falls for a bit, a
Late Spring through Fall
Located near Bridal Veil Falls. The ferrata will take a couple hours each way, but most people will prefer to run one way only. If you have extra time, a visit to nearby Bridal Veil Falls, the tallest free flowing waterfall in Colorado, is highly recommended. Stay on the road near the privately owned historic power plant at the top of the falls.
A climbing harness with an appropriate personal anchor system is required. A climbing helmet and gloves are strongly recommended. In rainy conditions, many usually dry drainages will start flowing and several of the drainages crossed by the ferrata will become small waterfalls that you will have to traverse in full flow. Not for everyone, but lots of fun if you are prepared for it.
You will need two dynamic tethers to act as a personal anchor system. Even a small slip on a generic, non-shock absorbing/static cowstail can generate enough force to break bones. It is not recommended to use static rope or webbing as a tether. You can purchase a lanyard specifically designed for vie ferrate, but it is not strictly necessary. These tethers are made for large factor falls on vertical vie ferrate, where a climber can fall 10 feet or more before the tether catches on the cable anchor into the rock. Note that there are narrow, exposed ledges of the ferrata without safety cables, especially on the east side.
For those without proper equipment or experience, there are a variety of outfitters in Telluride offering guided trips to the Krogerata. Be prepared to share the trail during weekends, when private and commercially guided groups run this ferrata. Large, inexperienced groups should yield to small experienced ones.
Jagged Edge Mountain Gear offers purchase options for harnesses, helmets and via ferrata lanyards. Due to liability issues no one offers rental equipment at this time.
223 E Colorado Ave, Telluride, CO 81435
+1 (970) 728-9307
IMPORTANT: Please make sure to exit the ferrata through the documented exit. If you are not careful you may find yourself inadvertently trespassing on private property.
If you have two or more high clearance vehicles, park one car at the exit and proceed with the other up the road. The road gets rough from there on, if you don't have high clearance it's better to park at the exit and walk the road up. If you have high clearance vehicles, you can keep driving up the road and park on the switchback immediately after the Bridal Veil Falls trailhead.
From the approach parking lot proceed on foot through the obvious trail that leads across the creek and up to the first cable, where the technical part of the adventure starts.
From the top parking area, hike a short distance and cross a short plank bridge over a flowing river. Immediately after the bridge turn right and head up the narrow steep trail gaining elevation. Do not continue down to the mine below.
The ferrata begins as a hike on a course that narrows from a wide path to a narrow ledge. Initially very tame, it reaches the climax at the "main event" in the middle of the traverse. In this area, you will have to use metal rungs as footholds and handholds to traverse over sheer cliff faces with hundreds of feet of exposure. There are steel cables to clip your tethers onto throughout the main event and much of the via ferrata. Always keep one tether attached to the cable, and keep the carabiners facing opposite directions so that if one is knocked open while sliding along the rock, the other will stay closed. The west side of the via ferrata has a section with a very narrow ledge and a few rock climbing moves, where a slip will leave the hiker hanging by their tether without a foot hold. It is not a bad idea to bring a a prusik loop and a sling in case of such a slip.
The old exit shown on other websites crosses private property and should be avoided at all costs, as it risks closure of the ferrata.
The alternate exit shown on the map is much better, as it is shorter and does not cross private property. Once you reach the end of the cables, take the obvious trail downhill until it becomes wider. Proceed downhill until you reach a sharp switchback where you can see a wooden tower in the distance behind you and the trail crosses a stream further down. This is where you need to exit the old road and take an obscure trail down on the left. Proceed on this trail keeping left at all crossings until you reach the Bridal Veil road and the exit parking spot.
Some groups choose to run the ferrata twice, out and back. However, on busy weekends this can become quite a hassle, especially in the middle exposed sections of the ferrata.
The land adjacent to the ferrata belongs to a mining company who is still actively using the land. Please make sure you stay out of private land to avoid possible conflicts.
Trip reports and media
[Excerpt from Summitpost.org] Chuck Kroger – local explorer and climber – first came across European Via Ferrate back in 1967 on trip to the Alps. He traveled the world looking for adventure, but once he settled for good in Telluride, Kroger became a trail building fiend and an advocate for access to local wilderness and peaks. He eventually decided to built via ferrata here. Starting in 2006, Kroger used his climbing skills to ascend sheer faces, packing a rock drill. He wasn’t’ just a renowned climber but also a master ironworker. Kroger forged and fabricated holds in his workshop and tried to make the route as safe as possible, using 5 ½ inch bolts versus the 2 ½ inch size used in most climbing holds. Then cancer took hold of Kroger, but his friends helped him finish putting up the Via Ferrata before he became too ill. He died Christmas Day 2007. The route he left behind is his legacy and all who travel it pay tribute to his vision. Locals call this iron way The Krogerata.