Hikers can get themselves into pretty precarious situations. Sometimes it's on accident, and other times, it's all just a part of the experience. But, for one world traveler, it's all about the experience. Australian Jackson Groves posted a video to his Instagram page of a death-defying, albeit breathtaking, side of the mountain climb. The video shows him climbing down metal loops that stick out of the side of the rock, with a small guide wire about waist high. The video is captioned, "Tag a friend with an irrational fear of heights. This is the Murren Via Ferrata in Switzerland. A short 'hike' with a few exposed sections, but don't worry, you're clipped into a sturdy cable the whole time."
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Groves filmed the clip with his Insta360. Viewers can see what looked like a small town seemingly miles below. When Groves shows a wide shot, you can see his harness and cord attached to the guide. But clinging to the side of a cliff is only part of the experience. Hikers taking this 1.4-mile, (2.2 km) trail must walk on a tightrope and over a suspension bridge. They also get to zip line over a ravine. The hike takes three hours from start to finish, beginning in Murren and ending in Gimmelwald. Hikes can only be taken from June 1 to October 31 from 9 am to 6 pm. While the hike is free, you need a harness via ferrata (an iron way protected climbing route) set, hiking shoes, and a helmet to complete the adventure. Gloves are not required, but those who have made the trail highly recommend them. Most of the hike is downhill; as you would imagine, there is no two-way traffic when you are on narrow metal loops 2000 feet above the ground.
As expected, Groves' depth-defying video received lots of attention on Instagram and even made its way over to TikTok. Most viewers focused on Groves' statement, "irrational fear of heights." One viewer writes, "There is no such thing as an irrational fear of heights... its called logic and reason and a RATIONAL concern for one's safety! and NO JUST NO NO NO NOPE NO!" Others chimed in with, "No such thing as an irrational fear of heights. It's completely rational to be afraid to fall to your death."
Other viewers chose to focus on the metal loops. "Let's appreciate the person who installed the steps," one commenter said. Of course, many people had fun guessing how the steps got there. In fact, the paths are steeped in Italian history. They date back to the 19th century and were popular during World War I. The paths helped Italian troops move in and out of high-elevation locations, particularly in the Italian Dolomites. Now, via ferrata, routes are installed for fun.
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