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Mt Buller set to open Via Ferrata adventure experience

Mt Buller set to open Via Ferrata adventure experience
January 16, 2024

Victoria’s Mt Buller is counting down to the opening of RockWire, a new Via Ferrata adventure tourism experience that is the first of its kind in Australia.

Based on Via Ferrata experiences and traverses in the Italian, Swiss and French Alps, RockWire Mt Buller which opens on 3rd February, is described as “bringing the safety of indoor climbing to the excitement of outside”.

In operation, RockWire sees climbers safely clipped onto a continual steel cable system - similar to that used on BridgeClimb Sydney - while ascending the west face of Mt Buller’s Summit.

Designed for entry-level climbers, route 1 traverses along two main rock bands with two wire bridges and two wire ladders helping climbers scale the exposed west face with the Delatite Valley 1000 metres below.

Introducing the attraction, Buller Ski Lifts General Manager, Noel Landry advised "we recognise that each visitor to Mt Buller seeks a special connection with nature and adventure (and) RockWire is our way of enhancing that experience, offering an exciting journey amidst the breathtaking beauty of our mountain.

“Opening up access to a part of a mountain that once could only be looked at from afar but can now be explored up close, offering a taste of mountaineering is very special. We've designed it with enjoyment and safety in mind, ensuring a memorable and comfortable adventure for all ages.”

Landry added “I understand the hard work and long hours that have gone into RockWire. It's our collective effort that makes experiences like RockWire not just possible, but exceptional. My thanks and great appreciation go to every team member who worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality for our visitors.”

With two ladders and two bridges, RockWire follows a 400 metre course starting at height of 1722 metres.

It takes three hours to traverse.

Rockwire Mt Buller has been driven by outdoor adventure expert, James Webb who explains “as a guide working on Via Ferratas in the northern hemisphere, I always thought this would be a great experience to bring to Australia and give a taste of mountaineering to all levels of climbers right down to novices.

“Choosing Mt Buller as the location of RockWire was a no-brainer for its stunning vistas and challenging rocky western face. One of the highlights of RockWire at Mt Buller is the combination of physical challenge and stunning natural beauty. The wildflowers and native animals in the alpine environment on Taungurung country takes everyone’s breath away.”

Rockwire Mt Buller has been driven by outdoor adventure expert and experienced mountaineer, James Webb who explains “as a guide working on Via Ferratas in the northern hemisphere, I always thought this would be a great experience to bring to Australia and give a taste of mountaineering to all levels of climbers right down to novices.

“Choosing Mt Buller as the location of RockWire was a no-brainer for its stunning vistas and challenging rocky western face. One of the highlights of RockWire at Mt Buller is the combination of physical challenge and stunning natural beauty. The wildflowers and native animals in the alpine environment on Taungurung country takes everyone’s breath away.”

Inspired by travels around Europe and Asia and guiding on North America’s Via Ferrata routes, Webb recognised the potential for such an adventure in Australia.

While finding the perfect location wasn’t simple, a chance visit to Mt Buller and standing on the Summit ridge line saw him realise how the western face - with its challenging cliffs and stunning views - would be ideal for the attraction.

Despite the mountain's unpredictable weather and the extensive planning and permits required, Webb’s unwavering commitment over the past four years has culminated in RockWire's exhilarating route.

‘Via Ferrata’
Literally meaning ‘iron road’, the concept of the Via Ferrata originated in the First World War when they were used help transport troops and equipment across steep Alpine mountain ranges.

Created with metal rungs and cables fixed into the cliffs and mountainsides, they have been adapted by mountaineers and climbers to create recreational climbing routes, becoming very popular across Europe and North America.

They include man-made features like ladders, iron stemples, bridges and steps were placed along routes to make mountain walls traversable using a steel cable that runs along a route (periodically fixed to the rock).

RockWire opens on 3rd February 2024.

Images courtesy of Mt Buller.

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