EUROPE’S first indoor via ferrata has been opened in South Lakeland.
The high octane attraction, built at the Lakeland Climbing Centre in Kendal, allows people to experience the thrill of climbing huge cliffs without the need for technical knowledge or equipment.
Via ferrata, which means ‘iron way’, originated in the Italian Dolo-mites to allow locals to traverse steep rocky terrain using a series of iron rungs, ladders and bridges.
They have grown in popularity with the increase in climbing tourism.
In Kendal, adventurers are kitted up with full via ferrata equipment and trained in its use with initial challenges on ladders and natural rock features.
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The route then goes through a twisting vertical tunnel and exits via a small window on to the face of the main climbing walls.
From there a ladder ascent leads to some balance traversing before committing to a swing across a blank slab and the ‘Jump of Doom’ – a free fall on a rope which slows the fall before reaching the ground.
Attraction chairman Jeremy Wilson said: “We are very proud with what we are achieving in Kendal. This centre is special on a national scale. Happy customers are our oxygen and seeing the delighted faces of children and adults alike make the hard work worthwhile.
“Our staff numbers continue to grow and it’s down to their com-mitment that our success is possible.”
The activity is suitable for children aged from ten years up to adults, with sessions lasting 60 to 90 minutes depending on the pace of progress through the various challenges.