Via Ferrata, Ruta Vertigo in Monterrey
January 1, 1970
by Camila Magallanes
What is Via Ferrata?
For those who do not know what Via Ferrata is, it is a protected climbing route that includes several features like steel cables, ladders, suspended bridges, etc. All of these additions, make the entire route easier and more friendly even for new climbers.
Via Ferrata can be located in many parts of the world and fortunately, there is one in the beautiful great city of Monterrey, Mexico, which is a city surrounded by canyons and mountains, in the ones you can do several activities. Monterrey is known for being an industrial city but it also well known for having amazing mountains that are excellent for hiking and climbing. Many people from Mexico and even expert climbers from other countries come to Monterrey to try its mountains. So if you are passionate about climbing and adventure I would highly recommend you to come to Monterrey and give it a try to Via Ferrata.
In order to be part of this amazing experience, you need special equipment as a helmet, harness, and more. When I decided to do this great adventure, I did not have any equipment because it was my first time doing something similar. Fortunately, there are several experienced tour companies that take you to do the climbing with an experienced guide. Some of them include the transportation, equipment, and even some snacks since the whole experience can last up to 8 hours or more.
Let the adventure begin…
I contacted a company called Geo Aventura and they are really professional. In their tour, you have to climb two mountains “Pico Independencia” and “Pico 15” that are about 300 meters each. The tour starts early so you have to be in the ecological park “La Huasteca” at 8 a.m. Our guide took us from the entrance of the mountain to the point of starting. He provided us the necessary equipment in order to be safe the whole trip. You are also allowed to bring with you a small backpack in the one you can carry your water or some cereal bars. I highly recommend bringing 2 liters of water especially when you are doing it during summer since the temperature can rise up to 40° C. Another good advice is to use leggings that cover your legs totally and a long sleeve shirt. You don’t want to get burnt! Don’t forget your sunblock!!
Suspended bridge and ladder
The first step to start Via Ferrata is to do some hiking up to the mountain. It can be tiring so it would be good to train your core before doing something similar. The route is 90% vertical so it is when the real adventure starts. You start climbing up using the harness and the steel cables. If you are not afraid of heights there is nothing to worry about, but in case you are a little afraid I would recommend to not look down while climbing. Remember, you will be completely safe since you are using special equipment. While climbing the first mountain you will have to cross a suspended bridge. Crazy experience but incredible fun. Since it is suspended it is moving a lot but you just have to get courage and cross it. After the bridge, you continue climbing. If the whole group gets tired they can stop for a while to get some water, take some pictures but it cannot last too much since the tour has to end before the sun goes down. At some point, you also have to use a ladder that is hanging to continue the trip. This was really nuts but after you see yourself in the picture that the tour guide took you while going up of the ladder you will know that it worth it.
As you may see in the picture, the ladder is literally hanging and although it can look scary, it is completely fun. You need to go up the ladder so you arrive at the top of the mountain. There you will have an amazing view of the whole canyon. It is incredibly beautiful. You can see part of the city but at the same time, you can see the immensity of the park “La Huasteca”. You will feel an enormous peace and will be shocked by all the mountains that are surrounding you. Here is the best time to take some water, eat your snacks. By this point, you are almost done and the most difficult parts are over.
After your break of 15 minutes approximately, it will be time for the zipline that is pretty unbelievable. The whole zipline is about 200 meters and you are crossing from a mountain to the other one. You will have an even better view while crossing. You are going pretty fast, so listen carefully to the instructions to stop when are getting close to the end to avoid any injury. Then you have to keep climbing a little more until the tour guide tells you it is time to descend. For descending you will have to do some rappel. Since it was the first time I was doing rappel, I found it a bit difficult. The rope can get to burn your hands while going down. I would extremely recommend taking some gloves that can protect your hands, however, many people do not take them and they are completely fine. The whole rappel is about 80 meters and once you are down you just need to walk all the way down until you are done with the tour. Be careful while coming down because of the inclination you could felt. You should also be careful because you could find several cactuses or plants with spikes. Monterrey has a dry weather.
Great job, now it is time to eat!
Once you are done with the whole tour you will be really proud of yourself for completing the whole trip of 8 hours. Now it will be time to try some local food. You will be starving after the whole adventure, fortunately, you will be able to find several restaurants around the area that are going to provide you excellent typical food as tacos, enchiladas, pozole or even cabrito, our local typical dish as a reward for your effort. There are some big restaurants but in my point of view you will want to go to little places because there is where you can find food with a home-made taste.
Things to not forget…
Clothes: Longs pants, snickers in optimum condition, long sleeve shirt, gloves for climbing.
Food: 2 liters of water, energetic beverages, cereal bars, apples…
Others: Sunblock, camera.
I was really happy about doing it. The bridge, the ladder, and zipline are amazing activities that you will hardly find in any other place. The views are amazing and I am pretty sure you will want to keep coming to Monterrey to try other extreme activities located in nature. I invite you to come and discover Mexico as never before.