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I'd like to know approximately how long it takes to do the Telluride Via Ferrata route. I've seen estimates anywhere from 2 hours to 6+ hours which seems extremely wide to me. How long does the actual route take assuming / how long is it? Assume reasonable fitness and not scared of heights.

I'm going to attempt it next week so if no one answers, I'll probably fill this in.

  • I don't know but my experience a route where it may be hard to pass is do it early on a week day. – paparazzo Aug 31 '16 at 3:00
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    no first hand experience, but this time frame is accurate if you either won't stop for pictures and snacks (2hrs) or take pictures and have a stop here and there (4+ to up to 6+ hrs). So you did provide your own answer, or there is no definite answer at all :) – Peter1807 Aug 31 '16 at 6:11
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The thing with Via Ferrata routes is how long you take often depends on the size of your group, their fitness, and how comfortable everyone is with heights and using their gear.

I've seen people at a crawl on some simple via ferrata lines that provide some assistance on high exposure parts of popular hikes. They have both hands on the cable, bodies as low as they can get them and close to the rock, terrified of the drop to their side, while others would comfortably walk past them without even touching the line.

Not everyone is going to do the route in the same amount of time, you need to take the average and apply that to your level of speed and fitness, but you also need to factor in the possibility of traffic jams, you could get stuck behind a slow group. If I were you, I'd give myself a lot of extra time, get an early start, plan on somewhere around 4 hours and see how you do.

  • I understand what you're pointing out with your caving example, but it's pretty different imo. There is no rigging of lines or really anything complicated involved with tellurides via ferrata from what I understand. – m4tt1mus Aug 31 '16 at 16:19
  • They're very different, but a lot of via farratas have some variety to them, like walking on ledges, vertical climbs, bridges. I was referring to bottle necks in general in my answer, I didn't realize tellurides was a solid traverse the whole way. But still, some people might fatigue in their arms and go slower, there may be some people trying it out who aren't totally comfortable with heights, there may even still be some bottle necks if there are any features that require some extra maneuvering to get around. I could see myself getting stuck behind some city tourist on that traverse. – ShemSeger Aug 31 '16 at 20:11
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I talked to a local guide and they said typically on a weekday it will take someone in reasonable shape who isn't afraid of heights 2 to 3 hours to complete Telluride's Via Ferrata route. I will update my answer after I complete the route for accuracy and conditions.

I completed it in ~4 hours with 2 friends who are avid hikers but none of us had any experience on via ferrata. We took a 30 minute lunch break in the middle and went at a medium pace in my opinion. Most of it was just hiking on a cliff side trail. There we're ~3 parts that were more intense and required hanging from "the iron road". Most of it was goat path hiking or narrow ledge hiking.

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    To me this question looks like it has a lot of variables, but that may be because I've never heard of this stuff before! I did find an interesting website, which I linked to in your question body, so now I know what that route looks like. I'll be looking forward to hearing about your experience. Have fun and be careful! – Sue Sep 3 '16 at 23:04

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