Hi, I’m Laura and I work for Rohan within the marketing team.
I volunteered to help at our, ‘21 years in the Lakes’ celebration weekend in Windermere. All hands on deck. I also somehow volunteered as the Rohan representative on the Via Ferrata activity. How hard could it be? Well, after watching a few videos on ‘You Tube’ and looking through photographs I‘ll admit I was starting to feel, well, more than a little nervous.
On the Saturday morning I forced down a couple of slices of toast and headed to rally the group clipboard in hand. Everyone was looking a lot calmer than I felt! The group was fantastic. There were 9 of us altogether; 4 who had various climbing experience and 5 of us newbie’s. We took the shuttle bus to the Keswick store and then onto Honister. It seemed like a long journey, heightened by my nerves!
The owner, Mark Weir was to be our guide; he arrived at Honister shortly after us, by helicopter. He took us through the Honister gear: a helmet with a light, a harness with 2 carabiners and an attachment for the zip wire!
Off we set. A shortish walk up the side of the quarry, through part of the mine, lights on, out the other side, lights off and then to the beginning of the ‘Via Ferrata’. Mark took us through the safety aspect of the climb. Basically, the 2 carabiners clip onto a metal cable which is attached to the quarry. When you reach a junction, you detach one carabiner and attach to the other side of the junction, then repeat with the second carabiner. That way you should always be attached. That done off we went.
Wow, what a view! Although the weather was poor when we were nearing the summit so we didn’t get the view, it started off OK, and the landscape was beautiful. At this point I was able to appreciate the view although unfortunately I didn’t have the courage to keep getting my camera out of my rucksack. I’m relying on some fellow climbers to send in photos. The climb was definitely challenging, with a very scary vertical face dropping to at least 50 feet, climbing up a slight overhang, boy were my arms aching the next day, think I need to work on my technique! How our film team Al and Elliott manage to carry all of their equipment as well as climb and film I don’t know, but they did a great job and were good fun to have on the climb.
My fellow climbers were brilliant; they looked like they spent every day hanging off the side of a quarry! Their enthusiasm was fantastic and they definitely supported me rather than the other way around.
The zip wire across a 500 foot drop was exhilarating and by far my favourite part! We all enjoyed the feeling of flying through the air and taking in the beautiful surroundings.
I would recommend the Honister Via Ferrata to anyone. You don’t need to have any climbing experience it is something different that is challenging and safe! The feeling of great achievement was profound, what a fantastic experience and one I would definitely repeat!
There is a video of our climb on the Honister Via Ferrata available to look at on Rohantime.