What’s for dessert ?: Mountaineering – My first ferrata (Gradiška tour)
All my mountaineering successes are dear to me, but the one I will write about today is my favorite. Ferata – this word has sounded so scary and unattainable for months, and yet so appealing. Ferata is a hiking trail secured with cables, wedges, ladders. Such roads are demanding, progress is made with the use of hands, and self-insurance equipment is mandatory.
When we finally set a date for going on the Gradiška tour, I studied photos and videos for days. Everyone was telling me how she looks scarier in the photos than she actually is. When I came to the foothills, I was impressed. I look at the balcony and think how far it is. The path to the balcony is less demanding, and after the balcony follows the so-called. aerial part of the hiking trail. I’m figuring I’ll get to the balcony somehow, so if I don’t like it, I won’t move on. I’m not afraid of heights, nor the difficulty of the road, the only thing that worries me is that I won’t be able to do it physically.
|The initial part|
We get to the beginning of the ferrata and I start as hypnotized. I take the first step on the rock and think to myself “that’s it, no giving up”. I’m still impressed, but I’m going. At times I have no idea where to put my foot, some blades are not noticeable at first (or it’s just not noticeable to me). There are three of us, and I am the last and I am lagging behind. I yell at them that I have no idea where to put my foot and the decision is made to move to the middle in the first convenient place. Every now and then we look at where the balcony is and when we will see it. Suddenly we see him and he is not so far away from us anymore. We take a short break on the balcony. There is a smile on my face. I comment on how I thought it would be harder. I’m not impressed anymore and that little grain of fear is gone.
|View from the balcony on the ferrata|
The sequel is a bit more difficult, as we exit to the aerial part (marked as “Part II” in the first photo). I would love to take photos all the way and I’m sorry I took the little camera. But every now and then I take it out of my backpack belt pocket and snap it. Suddenly the wind is felt, I am on the air part. I look down and think to myself “so it’s not that scary at all”. It really looks a lot harder and scary in the photos.
|In the second part|
Just when I am completely relaxed, I come to the narrower part between the rocks. My backpack got stuck to the rock on my left side, and I put my right leg so silly that I blocked the strap with my knee that I tied to the cable and I can’t go back and forth. A moment of panic – I will stay stuck like this! Luckily, just a moment, because already in the next I manage to remove the strap below the knee and find a place for my leg and I pull up with my hands. Below me I hear the comment “you climb like a man”. I’ve heard before that women climb on technique and men on strength. I needed to do smaller steps and use minimal hand strength, and I did just the opposite.
|View from the top|
Just a little more and we’re on top, the ferrata is done. There is no end to happiness. I would like to call the whole world as I climbed my first ferrata, but I refrain and only call my closest ones. We comment on how great it was and how quickly our time passed. A smile never leaves my face, and I believe you can see the pride I feel.
Of course I had arm muscle inflammation the next day, but let it be. Every time I feel muscle pain, a smile appears on my face. My first ferrata …