Via Ferrata Jumped the Pond

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Used by soldiers in the Italian Dolomites during WWI and popular throughout the Alps, these mountain-climbing routes rigged with iron ladders and cables have finally arrived in North America. In 2001, Torrent Falls Climbing Adventure built a six-section, 4,000-foot route in Kentucky's Red River Gorge. Day trips, $32; In 2005, two Ogden, Utah, locals built three routes just outside the city limits in Waterfall Canyon. Sherpa Logistics guides trips that skirt a 350-foot waterfall. Daytrips, $150 per person with two people; 801-550-1761. Last July, Canadian Mountain Holidays finished a route on Trundle Ridge, in British Columbia's Bugaboos, that climbs nearly 1,000 vertical feet and tops out on a ridge with views of a sea of peaks, glaciers, and granite spires. US$2,510 for a three-day all-inclusive stay at CMH's Bugaboo Lodge; And Canada's Banff and Yoho national parks are considering installing routes.

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