- Posted March 20, 2012 by
Cap Jaseux, Quebec
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Climbing a Via Ferrata in the Saguenay Fjord, Quebec
I had heard of the fjords in Norway and Scandinavia, but never in Canada. My week-long journey in the Saguenay Fjord in Quebec would take me from one end of the fjord to the other, staying in different locations each night and competing by day in various activities. What distinguishes this fjord from others is its southern location – being the southernmost fjord in North America that is navigable and inhabited.
I pride myself on being an adventurous type, unafraid of a physical or mental challenge, so doing a Via Ferrata, which literally means “Way of Iron,” seemed exciting. It consists of rock climbing, scaling steep cliffs with the Fjord’s waters 30 feet or more below with nothing to ensure your safety but a couple of carabiners and a helmet.
The practice was developed around 1916 to find a better way of ensuring the safety of soldiers fighting along the Dolomites in the First World War. Many years later, it became a recreational activity for thrill-seekers.
At Cap Jaseux in Quebec, I climbed the Via Ferrata. Exhilarating it was, but let’s just say, it’s nothing like the rock climbing wall at your local gym. At times, vertigo sets in and you have to trust that your feet and hands, quadriceps and forearms are going to do their job.
Adventures abound in the Saguenay region, from sailing and whale watching in summer to ice fishing and snowshoeing in the winter. The best part? It's still relatively off the tourists' radar, so you get a truly authentic experience in one of the world's most picturesque locations.