If the Glacier Skywalk allows you an amazing view of the mountains, another brand-new attraction, Via Ferrata at Mount Norquay, gets you on to the mountain – no climbing experience necessary.
Popular in Europe, via ferrata (Italian for “iron road”) is a means to access climbing routes that would be too dangerous for non-climbers. At Norquay, you start by taking a 15-minute chairlift ride up the mountain. A certified guide leads the group up the cliffs above the ski area along the Via Ferrata, assisted by a fixed anchoring system of cables, ladders and a suspension bridge.
Two out of the planned three routes have been installed. The quickest route is about two hours, the second route is four hours and the final route, scheduled to be completed in summer 2015, will take a full day. Thankfully, the Cliff House bistro, the highest patio in Banff, offers craft beers on tap because, after you’ve headed up a few pitches and crossed swaying suspension bridges, you are going to want a beer.