Via Ferrata Climbing Adventure- Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

Riding my bike from Quebec City towards Montmorency Falls, I excitedly anticipated doing my first via ferrata route.

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

My enthusiasm was oblivious to the fact that I didn’t have a clear idea what exactly via ferrata was, only that it sounded like a fun adventure.

So with no preconceived notions or expectations, I readied myself for anything and everything!

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

What is Via Ferrata?

Via ferrata is a rock climbing experience that makes use of steel cables fixed to the rock. Climbers, outfitted in a climbing harness, can clip themselves to the cable using carabiners, and then navigate a route of iron rungs, pegs and natural steps.

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

Via ferrata routes can be found around the world, in varying lengths and degrees of difficulty. Via ferratas make climbing more accessible to people without mountaineering experience, yet still provide a challenge for experienced climbers.

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec
travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

The first step in any via ferrata experience is to get decked out in the proper gear. When you sign up for via ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, you’ll be provided with everything you need- helmet, harness and carabiners.

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata Adventure at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

Once we all looked the part, we headed out to see if we were as good of climbers as we looked. (Spoiler alert- we were!)

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

The course that our guide took us to was the Explorer route. This is the easiest of Montmorency’s three via ferrata routes- perfect for first-timers. I’d describe it as a mix of hiking and climbing.

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata in Quebec- Montmorency Falls Park

Before beginning the climb, our guide told us what to expect on the via ferrata and gave us instruction on how to use the equipment and safely traverse along the rock.

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

Next, we got to try out our new skills in the training area at the trailhead. I was relieved we had some practice time because it does require consciously coaching your body to do certain movements (most notably, choosing one hand to move the carabiners between cable sections).

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

Fresh off the practice route, we timidly began the descent, following our guide into the Boischatel fault.

It was easy going at first. So easy going that I felt ridiculous being strapped to a cable to walk down an ordinary set of stairs. Oh, but that sense of security didn’t last long.

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata Adventure at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

Soon I was scaling down a vertical rock face. Slowly and deliberately I went through the motions- climb down a few rungs, brace myself with one hand, move the carabiner to the next section with the other.

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec
travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata in Quebec- Montmorency Falls Park

Even though there were steps and pegs to assist my climb, I had to concentrate intently until the movements became more familiar.

After that first steep section I gained a confidence that allowed me to relax and fully enjoy the experience.

Our group as a whole became more trusting too, and picked up the pace as we went along the route.

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

We climbed up, down and across the rocky cliff, sometimes even daring ourselves to lean back and let the cable hold us as we relished the forested scenery around us.

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

Soon I was not only comfortable, but having an incredible amount of fun. I even began challenging myself to use the grooves in the rock to support myself instead of the metal rungs.

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

The last leg of the course was the highlight because it was so steep, the views dramatic. I almost felt like a legitimate mountaineer!

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

Returning to the top of the canyon, I felt a rush of adrenaline. I wanted to keep going, try a harder course.

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata in Quebec- Montmorency Falls Park

In the span of a few hours, I went from not knowing what via ferrata was, to being self-assured and eager to do it again. It was the perfect step up from hiking, and who knows, maybe even a lead in to rock climbing…if I’m brave enough!

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

Tips for Doing the Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park

  • Montmorency Falls Park is a 15 minute drive from Old Quebec. It’s also an easy cycle on a dedicated bike path. There is a hefty fee to park here, so I recommend cycling (you can rent a bike in Quebec City).
  • The via ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park is open from June to October (exact dates can change from year to year).
  • There are three circuits- one beginner and two intermediate. The hikes/climbs take place in small groups with a professional guide. They also take place at predetermined times, so plan accordingly.
  • Make sure to wear hiking boots or sturdy athletic shoes with good grips, and comfortable clothes that allow for ease of movement.
  • If you’re afraid of heights, this activity might be stressful.
  • Other attractions at Montmorency Park include the waterfall, zipline, cable car, suspension bridge, panoramic walking route and restaurant.

travelyesplease.com | Via Ferrata at Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec

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