/ Honister via Ferrata

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Kate Edhouse - on 09 Feb 2013
Hi all, was wondering if anyone has any info on the honister via Ferrata?

Can the public use it without booking onto a 'day out' with guides the local companies. If so are there any guides to it? We are both competent climbers and have all our own equipment so are there any access problems?

Thankyou in advance for any information!

Kate
Carolyn - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Kate Edhouse:

I'm afraid not - the official line is most certainly that it's guided trips only....
Simon Caldwell - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Kate Edhouse:
Most of it is on open access land so whatever they try to tell you, you have every right to be there.
Of course you might not have the right to use the fixed gear - but though I've not done it I'm told that it's not a real via ferrata anyway, more a walk with cables.
Carolyn - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Toreador:

> Most of it is on open access land so whatever they try to tell you, you have every right to be there.
> Of course you might not have the right to use the fixed gear - but though I've not done it I'm told that it's not a real via ferrata anyway, more a walk with cables.

I think the reality is that you'd be likely to be challenged, though, rightly or wrongly.

And yes, it much of it follows a route that was possible as a walk/scramble (rather than a roped climb) before the wires went in - apart obviously from the bits of bridge/zip wire.
Simon Caldwell - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Carolyn:
> I think the reality is that you'd be likely to be challenged, though, rightly or wrongly.

I agree. But if you stand your ground there's not a lot they can do.

I'd still sooner go somewhere quieter (and more challenging in the right sort of way!)
Carolyn - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Toreador:

I'm well aware ;-)
sihills - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Toreador: you havent done it? yet you seem to know an awful lot about it? you sound like you have an agenda against honister which seems odd as your in York.

Kate you need to pay for a guide really, parts of the via ferrata cross working mine tunnels aswell as disused mine tunnels, the area is also a sssi due to its flora and fauna (which orginally created lots of problems with planning permission and access) most attempts to join the via ferrata at other points so as to avoid paying would see you climbing/scrambling straight through these areas and possibly damaging the rare species that honister crag is home to!

If you are as you say a keen climber then im fairly certain that youd have a much more fun and cheaper day out exploring some of the fantastic crags around the place, the via ferrata in my eyes is aimed much more at the general tourist/hill walkers who have no experience of scrambling/climbing! then it is a fantastic experience.

oh and if you have any interest in the history (or just want to see some cool tunnels and caverns) the mine tours are brilliant.

simon
Simon Caldwell - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to sihills:
Not sure how you got that out of my post! If the mine folk want to charge people for doing something that's available for free then good luck to them.
Robin VdH - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Kate Edhouse:

Hi,

I did the Honister Via Ferrata last autumn and it's good fun. There are two versions of the via ferrata - the original and the "extreme" (which opened last year). There seem to be several different ways that the extreme route can go, but the route I took involved ladders, traversing and climbing on stemples, a long (and very tiring) wire bridge and a finish up a rope cargo net. The big difference between it and a via ferrata in the Dolomites is that there is almost nowhere on the route where (when you are climbing) you are not holding on to a bit of metal work, with very little actual rock climbing.

The guide I had wasn't a mountain guide, but was a helpful, nice guy who made sure everyone was having a good time and had an eye out in case anyone got into trouble. I'd be interested to know what happens if someone gets into real trouble on the via ferrata, but that's probably a discussion for a different thread.

A slightly annoying rule of Honister Slate Mines is that you are not allowed to take photos on the via ferrata. Instead, the guide takes photos of people climbing and you can then buy a DVD for 15. I'm guessing the reason for this is that they don't want tourists focusing so much on taking photos of their mates that they fall off.

I'd second the view that the mine tour is good. You can do a package with the via ferrata.

I hope that helps.

Best wishes,
biscuit - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to sihills:

> Kate you need to pay for a guide really, parts of the via ferrata cross working mine tunnels aswell as disused mine tunnels, the area is also a sssi due to its flora and fauna (which orginally created lots of problems with planning permission and access)


No it didn't Mark Weir built it on some one elses land without planning permission. No problem there.
biscuit - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Robin VdH:

>
> A slightly annoying rule of Honister Slate Mines is that you are not allowed to take photos on the via ferrata. Instead, the guide takes photos of people climbing and you can then buy a DVD for 15. I'm guessing the reason for this is that they don't want tourists focusing so much on taking photos of their mates that they fall off.
>

No it's so they can make more money. Who would you rather have not focussing on what they are doing ? Clients or guides ? There are many places where it's suitable to stop and take piccies.

I used to work on it but stopped working for the mine and only took my own clients on it after 3 or 4 times of working for Mark Weir and ending up in a blazing row with him.The photos were just one of the issues i had.

All that aside it is a ( expensive ) fun trip and everyone i saw on it enjoyed it for sure.
butteredfrog - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to biscuit:
> (In reply to sihills)
>
> No it didn't Mark Weir built it on some one elses land.......

Are you sure...? The VF is built on the mine sett leased by the owners.

biscuit - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to butteredfrog:

AFAIK he had to pay a local farmer ( Willy ) compensation. This isn't rumour and conjecture but from one of the guys who actually built it. Something to do with owning the mining rights = you can do what you like inside the mountain but doesn't give you the right to do what you like on the surface.

He's no reason to lie.
biscuit - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to biscuit:

Either way it didn't have permission when it was built.
Carolyn - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to biscuit:

My understanding is very similar to yours - that Willy owns the land, apart from that immediately around the mine buildings. The mines (Mark Weir at the time) own the mining rights to a much wider area, including the area where the VF is. But mining rights don't include constructing and charging for a VF.....
callwild - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Kate Edhouse:
If you are a competent scrambler or have via ferrata experience I don't see why you can't just go do it. Its safe enough and far easier than the grade 4 scramble described in The lakes North scramble guide up the front of Honister Crag which is pretty much the same area of hillside. You probably would be challenged by mine staff if you blatantly did it between their groups during work hours, as they can claim you shouldn't be using their fixed gear.
Just go after hours, and as its open fell I don't see how you could be accused of trespass.
biscuit - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Carolyn:

'Word on the street ' was that when he applied for the zip wire 1st time he withdrew the application the day before the hearing as they had said they would reject it due to his other 14 outstanding planning violations he still hadn't sorted out.

He never let little things like rules get in his way.

In all fairness although i didn't like the guy he was a good businessman.
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Wiley Coyote - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Kate Edhouse:
For anyone who clilmbs the Via Ferrata is pretty dull. I went on with some non-climbing friends and they found it quite spectacular but most of the way you could walk around with your hands in your pockets and TBH the constant clipping in and out of the wire got quite irritating.
WE accessed the VF from the mine tunnels so how easy it is to g et to without going rough the mine I don't know.

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