Ras Al Khaimah ups the ante for mountain adventures with its Via Ferrata

Ras Al Khaimah Via Ferrata   Travellers looking for a one-of-a-kind excursion up in the mountains are in for an adrenaline-pumping adventure in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) as the emirate launches the region’s first commercial Via Ferrata. A via ferrata, or “iron path”, is a route with interconnected steel ladders, cables and bridges that allow climbers and walkers to take in the incredible sceneries all round as they safely scale the mountains. Ras Al Khaimah’s route is a three-course Via Ferrata that spans the rocky facades of Jebel Jais, the highest peak of the country at 6,266 feet which is also part of the rugged Hajjar mountain range. The average climate in this area is 10 degrees Celsius below mean Gulf temperatures. The first in the region, RAK’s 470-metre-long Via Ferrata has three separate start and finish points, as well as three zip-lines measuring 165 feet, 195 feet and a whopping 985-feet line. The standard course, the Ledge Walk, will take the average group of eight adventurers around four hours to complete. The middle, technical route – the Middle Path - will take around 3.5 hours, and the higher, vertical route – Julphar Scare - will take around 1.5 hours. “All clients will need to prove themselves on the standard course before being allowed on one of the more technical routes,” explained Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA). “It’s a unique opportunity to experience the dramatic Jebel Jais scenery at just under 400 feet – that’s the height of a 30-storey building.” Age and weight restrictions apply. A highly skilled team will be operating the Via Ferrata with stringent safety and emergency rescue procedures in place. RAKTDA stressed that the opening this new mountain thrill is just the first in an incredible range of adventure products in the pipeline. “Already on the drawing board is the world’s longest zip-line and adventure park, which we are planning to launch in Q4 2017. We believe the Via Ferrata and our planned adventure tourism products will have strong appeal with both the domestic and overseas activity tourism and sports market,” Mattar said.