Nelson Rocks

April 11, 2019—West Virginia

A fin from the road

Nelson Rocks is a rock formation owned and operated by NROCKS Outdoor Adventures. John and I chose to do the Via Ferrata adventure; neither of us had done anything like this before. For the nerds out there: (1) Via Ferrata is Italian for “iron path.” They were created in the Dolomites and were instrumental during World War I for getting military and equipment in position in the mountains. (2) Nelson Rocks is a fin (actually a double fin): a narrow wall of hard sedimentary rock that remains after surrounding rock erodes away.

Various angles of the fins

We started the adventure by getting fitted with a harness and helmet, as well as instruction on the Double Carabiner Lanyard System. This means that we are always clipped into the belay cable with at least one carabiner at a time. Then we had a short walk to the start of the fun.

Fixed anchors and cable
I was completely safe on the cable system

We made our way up the first fin to the suspension bridge (150′ high and 200′ long). The only thing that had me nervous about crossing this was how much it would move and if I would feel motion sickness from it; I was pleased that I had no problem on it, at all, though I got across it as quickly as I could.

Once across we had more climbing to do before we maxed out the 1,085′ of gain and could take in the amazing views.

The trickiest part of it all was climbing down the way we had just come up. John made it look so easy.

Once we finished the “tricky” part, we made our way down via a path, so it was a loop, and we didn’t have to go back over everything we had just done, though I would have loved it. We both had a blast and highly recommend this adventure.

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