4-Hour Tour

4 hrs in / (Skill level:Introductory)


$209/Person Weekdays $235/Person Weekends

About this trip

This 4 hour Via Ferrata tour allows adventure seekers to scale the rocky peaks of Palisades Tahoe without any prior climbing experience. In this group option, you’ll be climbing in groups of 6 people or less, and you’ll be led by a trained mountain guide on one of two routes complete with monkey bridges, challenge points, and incredible views of the valley below. Whether you simply like to hike in the mountains or you have climbed big mountains, the 4 hour via ferrata tour is an outing you can’t miss! The Tahoe Via opening will be delayed this season. The opening date for Summer 2023 is  June 24th.


  • skill level


  • Duration

    4 hrs

Take your mountain experience to new heights by climbing the iconic Tram Face at Palisades Tahoe Resort!

What is the Tahoe Via Ferrata 

Owned and operated by Alpenglow Expeditions, the “Tahoe Via Ferrata” is a fixed climbing route on a towering granite peak known as the Tram Face. Via Ferrata, which means “Iron Road” in Italian, is a protected hiking and climbing experience that is accessible to all ability levels. Equipped with steel cables, bridges, and permanent steel anchors, the via ferrata aids climbers in ascending steep terrain without the need of prior climbing experience or technical knowledge.

All groups are professionally guided up one of our four routes while secured to the rock with specialized equipment including a harness, safety lanyard and helmet. The Tahoe Via sets itself apart from other Via Ferratas with its “Continuous Lifeline System”. With this system, climbers never detach from the rock and feel secure throughout the whole experience. Come climb with us!



What to Expect from your 4 hour session

Climbing gear located in the Alpenglow Expeditions office in Squaw ValleyOffice Arrival / Check In

All tours begin when climbers arrive at our booth in Tram Plaza at the start of their indicated reservation time. Check in happens immediately with our office staff and climbers will then be introduced to their climbing guide for the day.


Gearing Up

Once introduced to their climbing guide, all climbers are geared up with a rental harness, lanyard, and helmet. The safety equipment rentals are included in the cost of the tour. All climbers will quickly get fitted and the guide will go over proper fit as well as the safety features of each item.

If climbers do not have proper shoes, or want to upgrade their footwear, we offer special Via Ferrata shoe rentals for $10/day.


4×4 Mountain ShuttleThe open-safari vehicle known as "The Beast" used to transport Via Ferrata climbers

As soon as everyone is geared up, the group will head up the mountain in one of our 4×4 vehicles to the start of the climbing. During the drive to the base of the routes, we pass through the heart of the Palisades Tahoe ski area while enjoying fantastic views of the valley, forests, cliffs, and creeks. After a ten-minute drive, a short walk brings us to the base of the Tahoe Via Ferrata.

Start the climb

At the base of the routes, our climbing guide will orient climbers to the “Continuous Lifeline System” with a brief overview of all safety systems. All of the climbing routes start with a short beginner section called “Flamingo Buttress” to allow new climbers to practice sliding their carabiner along the cable before going higher.

Climb One of Two Routes

During each session, our guides assess their group after climbing the Flamingo Buttress and choose the route that fits best with everyone’s pace, ability, and comfort. One route is not harder than the other, and they both possess unique features and experiences.



Route Description: The Sundial Arête

After moving through the Flamingo Buttress, the start of the Sundial Arête shares the first 100’ with the Skyline Traverse before taking a right. Climbing through steepening terrain directly above the Village at Palisades Tahoe, climbers begin slowly gaining exposure from below. After a short but nearly vertical section, the route begins to weave back and forth among granite towers. Climbers won’t forget to wave hello to the world-famous Palisades Tahoe Tram as it passes overhead full of amazed onlookers. Nearing the top of the Tram Face, climbers find themselves scrambling along a rocky ridge with incredible views of Shirley Canyon. Topping off the route, climbers cross a final airy and steep span, ending on a tiny bluff dubbed the “Island in the Sky”. It’s at this point that both routes rejoin before finishing together with one last airy section of climbing.


Route Description: The Skyline Traverse.

Sharing the same section of climbing for about 100’ as the Sundial Arete, the Skyline Traverse breaks left while evoking an exploratory feel as it ventures up towards a series of slabs and ledges. After navigating the lower slabs, climbers will encounter a narrow chimney feature climbing right through the mountain. Once through the chimney section, the route moves through another ledge system before arriving at a bridge called “Monkey in the Middle”. Climbers will cross one at a time while posing for those instagram photos. Continuing to move up, it seems at each corner there is another angle to see and another playful section of climbing. Once near the top of the route, climbers must cross the 50-foot-long “Super Monkey Bridge,” using only one cable for their feet and one cable for hands. Once complete, the route joins the Sundial Arête for one final airy span directly below the large tram tower sitting atop the cliff.


family activity, family fun, climbing, squaw valley

Descent from the Summit

After summiting, groups will enjoy the beautiful panoramic views of Olympic Valley while taking some photos to remember the experience.

From here, a short but beautiful hike along the ridge offers stunning views of Shirley Canyon, KT-22, and many other surrounding peaks. The hike ends at a mountain road where our 4×4 vehicle will be waiting to give a quick ride back to the village, where climbers can turn around and view the epic face they just climbed. Gear gets returned to the office, and future climbing plans are made.





  • Prior Experience

    No prior climbing experience necessary. All routes were built to accommodate all skill levels and abilities.

  • Fitness Level

    Participants on the Tahoe Via Ferrata should be prepared for the same exertion level as hiking for a couple of hours. Nearly anyone can participate in this activity.

  • What to Bring

    Participants should dress appropriately for the day's weather. Your welcome email will have a link to local weather, please check this before preparing for the day. All climbers must wear closed-toe shoes and bring along a small backpack with water, snacks, and sunscreen. Check out our "What to Wear" video here. If climbers do not have appropriate footwear, they can rent specialized Via Ferrata shoes for $10/day. We also sell gloves for $3.

    • Who can participate?

      The Tahoe Via Ferrata is for everyone! No prior experience is necessary and nearly all ages can participate.

      Please note, all climbers must be at least 3’11” tall. Climbers under 3’11 cannot climb the Tahoe Via Ferrata. Additionally, climbers under 88 lbs must be in a private group. There can be a maximum of 2 climbers per group under the weight minimum. Kids under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

      For any questions and more detail, please call the Alpenglow Expeditions office: 877-873-5376.

    • What can I compare it to?

      The Tahoe Via is like nothing most people have experienced before, unless you have been rock climbing outdoors. Imagine a beautiful hike in rocky terrain in which sometimes you use your hands to get over an obstacle. Some might compare it to the cables hike on Yosemite Valley’s Half Dome, but the difference with the Via is that participants are guided by a professional mountain guide and they are connected to the route throughout the climb.

    • What happens if I fall?

      Your lanyards, attached to the steel cable adjacent to the climbing route, will arrest the fall. The Lake Tahoe Via Ferrata is designed with a Continuous Lifeline System, ensuring each climber is attached to the safety cable 100% of the time.

    • What equipment is needed?

      All technical equipment (harness, helmet and lanyards.) are provided by Alpenglow and included in the pricing. Participants are encouraged to wear clothes similar to what you would wear hiking. Light pants or shorts, and either a short sleeve or long sleeve shirt. A backpack to carry water, snacks, sunscreen and other items will also be useful. On colder weather days a jacket will come in handy. Closed toe shoes are required, and hiking shoes with sticky rubber are recommended (available for rental from Alpenglow Expeditions).

    • What time does the adventure start?

      There are morning and afternoon time slots on the hour from 8am-2pm every day of the week!

    • Do you have large group options?

      Yes! We can accommodate up to 120 people per day. Please call the office for more information: 877-873-5376

Adrian Ballinger

Adrian Ballinger is one of the USA’s premier high-altitude mountain guides, and the only American guide to have both AMGA/IFMGA guide’s certification (one of roughly 100 in the USA) and more than 10 summits of 8,000 meter peaks (14 total, including 8 summits of Mt. Everest, 1 without supplemental oxygen). As founder of Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian has been guiding full-time for fifteen years and has led over 100 international climbing expeditions on 6 continents.

In 2011 he, along with 2 Sherpa partners, became the first people to summit three 8,000 meter peaks in only 3 weeks (Everest twice and Lhotse once). He is also the first person to ski Manaslu, the 8th tallest mountain in the world, from its summit, and the first American to successfully ski two 8,000-meter peaks. These personal successes are combined with Adrian’s passion for guiding and teaching others. Adrian has led expeditions where more than 100 clients have successfully summited Everest, Lhotse (the 4th tallest mountain in world), Cho Oyu (6th tallest) and Manaslu (8th tallest).

Whether on skis, in rock shoes, or mountain boots, Adrian thrives on sharing the big mountains with friends and clients, and helping them to build their skills and experience to be successful on the world’s most beautiful mountains. In the coming seasons Adrian plans on continuing to enjoy big-mountain skiing, climbing, and guiding in the Himalaya, South America, Alaska, and of course closer to “home” in Squaw Valley, CA. Adrian is a sponsored athlete for Eddie Bauer, La Sportiva, Petzl, Kaenon, Goal Zero, Hypoxico, Alpenglow Sports and High Altitude Fitness.

Learn more about Adrian at adrianballinger.com

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Ray Hughes

Ray’s passion for the mountains ignited while growing up in Northern California, exploring the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Ranges, followed by years honing his mountain skills in Colorado and Switzerland. The lure of bigger objectives led him to travel throughout Western Canada, Iceland, and the European Alps. Sharing experiences, culture, and beautiful places with others blurs the line between work and play.

Ray is an AMGA Certified Ski and Alpine Guide, an AIARE Avalanche Course Leader and an American Avalanche Association professional member. He is an Ambassador for Backcountry Access, as well as a snow safety consultant for professional winter sport athletes and photographers.

He was a 4 x All American in Track and Field and the 250th American to ever run the Mile under 4:00, but now enjoys being an average trail jogger.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Logan Talbott

Director of Operations / Chief Guide

Logan has been guiding professionally for over a decade in the disciplines of Rock, Alpine and Ski Mountaineering. When not out guiding, Logan keeps things running smoothly as the Director of Operations at Alpenglow Expeditions. From one day ascents of El Capitan to big Alpine climbs in the Himalaya, from ski descents on Denali to backyard ski tours around Lake Tahoe, he can’t help but smile when out running around the hills. Logan is a fully certified AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, an Avalanche course leader with AIARE, as well as a wilderness EMT. In addition to guiding, Logan has extensive experience in mountain rescue, having worked for rescue teams in both Yosemite and Denali National Parks, and volunteering locally for Tahoe Nordic SAR. When not out in the hills, he lives in Truckee, CA with his lovely wife Lynette and daughter Maggie.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Tim Dobbins

With notable first descents in the Alps, Tim Dobbins represents Alpenglow’s cutting edge guiding philosophy providing only the best guides for every trip and expedition.

Growing up in Oregon, Tim started out skiing at the young age of 4 years old. Tim grew up ski racing for 9 years before he moved on to backcountry skiing in Aspen, Colorado. He spent 4 years working as ski patrol at Snowmass Ski Resort.

Tim moved to Chamonix in the mid 90’s where he spent 6 seasons skiing and climbing while studying French. Tim says that Chamonix is where he really started leaning how to ski tour, rock climb, ice climb and eventually began skiing the steepest lines he could find.

Examples of those steep lines were the North East face of Les Courtes, Couloir Barbey from Aiguille D’Argentiere, Couloir Couturier from L’Aiguille Verte, Couloir du Diable on Mont Blanc du Tacul, East face of the Matterhorn and many, many others.

Tim has recently spent the last 8 years guiding and instructing in rock, ice, alpine and skiing as well as becoming an IFMGA aspirant mountain guide, an AMGA certified ski guide and AIARE level 1 course leader. He lives on Donner Lake in Truckee with his wife Gisele and sweet daughter Manu. 

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide
  • AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor

Ben Mitchell

Ben has been in love with the mountains from a young age. He began hiking and skiing with his family and quickly decided he never wanted to stop. After finishing university in Portland, OR Ben moved back to Washington State and began guiding on Mt. Rainier and around the Cascades. For the next many years he followed the seasons, skiing, climbing and pursuing the art of human flight through out the world. He has made expeditions into both polar circles, skied first descents in Afghanistan and climbed throughout the Americas and Europe. When not looking forward to the next adventure he thoroughly enjoys roasting coffee, reading and taking his dog out for walks.

Ben is a fully certified IFMGA/AMGA mountain guide, Certified Level III Avalanche Professional, and Wilderness First Responder.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Dave Nettle

Dave’s love for outdoor challenge, adventure and fun began early on by surviving his youth growing up in the Pacific Northwest climbing trees, running around the woods shooting BB guns and learning to “Be Prepared” the hard way on numerous Boy Scout backpacking trips into the rainy heart of the North Cascades.

In 1972 he started his lifelong pursuit and joy of rock climbing with his very first climb deep in the Sierra Nevada backcountry, which remains his favorite mountain range to share and enjoy.

In 1975, at age 17, he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail solo from Mexico to Canada and the following year hiked the Continental Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico, sealing his passion  for grand adventure and the desire to accomplish what he sets out to do.

His underlying philosophy of living life fully and approaching the world of adventure travel and alpinism with “confident uncertainty” has led him to the mountain ranges of the world where his climbing accomplishments are just a part of what he values: at the heart and soul of it all is the experience of interacting with and learning from the people, places and cultures along the way and sharing the challenge and beauty of wilderness with friends.

In addition to five decades of rock and alpine climbing which have included new routes and significant ascents throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia, Dave is an accomplished ski mountaineer who hangs up his climbing shoes each winter in favor of backcountry alpine ski touring and hut to hut tours in the European Alps.

Dave brings 15 years of technical Rope Access and Rescue Training experience to the team. He has helped pioneer the use of Rope Access methods in place of traditional techniques to improve the safety and efficiency of ski lift, gondola, high angle and crevasse rescue procedures.  He is a certified level 3 SPRAT and IRATA supervisor and evaluator.

His blend of outdoor skills, professionalism and sense of humor make for memorable trips, not to mention epic slide show presentations which he loves to share with others.  Dave is the founder of a free community slideshow event in the Tahoe area that has been ongoing for over 25 years and continues to inform, entertain and inspire everyone to seek out and accomplish their dreams and goals.

Guide Certifications

Pete Fasoldt

Pete Fasoldt is a certified AMGA Rock Guide who is thrilled to call Donner Summit his “home crag”. Originally hailing from Maine, Pete has worked as a ski patroller, as the owner of a rock guiding outfit in Acadia National Park, and as a first mate on sail boats, traveling thousands of offshore miles, including a recent attempt at transiting the famed Northwest Passage. Pete has completed several ascents of El Capitan, including a one-day solo. He has established first ascents in several countries across the globe and has a particular love of hard to reach alpine granite objectives. In 2004 and 2006 Pete became certified as a Wilderness First Responder and an Outdoor Emergency Care technician, respectively. Pete has guided people of all different climbing abilities, all over the country, and brings patience, humor, and a deep love of the sport to each course he leads.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide

Glen Poulsen

A member of Squaw Valley’s pioneering founding family, Glen first ventured into the side and backcountry terrain surrounding Squaw Valley at the age of ten and has never looked back.  His forays into more remote parts of the Sierra Nevada led to numerous first descents and pioneering ski traverses throughout the range. After exploring mountains from Antarctica to the North Pole, Greenland and Spitsbergen,  Africa,  to the Andes , The Alps to Scandinavia,  Russia and China, The Himalaya, Central Asia and Oceania, Glen always returns with a greater appreciation for his home in  the “Range of Light”.  Whether its descents on skis or climbing alpine rock Glen has an intimate knowledge of the entire range. Whether its a local side country jaunt, a Sierra East side adventure, a hut tour in the alps or exploring new first descents in Greenland or Antarctica, Africa or the Andes, he can take you there. Glen has been trained by the American Mountain Guides Association and by the Canadian Ski Guide Association as a ski guide and ski mountaineering guide. He has an AIARE Level 3 Avalanche and Nols Wilderness First Responder certifications and has been an active Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team member.

Braden Mayfield

Braden was born in Yosemite Valley and raised by a community of “rock stars,” including his father the Chief Guide of the Yosemite Mountaineering School in the ’80’s. His first toys were carabiners and he began climbing rocks before he could walk.

He retired from competitive sport climbing at age 11 to pursue a skateboarding career. Quickly frustrated by a lack of smooth concrete in the valley, he returned to his roots in traditional climbing and summited most all of Yosemite’s large formations (including a handful of El Cap ascents) before his teenage years were over. Also developed a passion for rigging and walking slacklines between high peaks in the Sierra.

As an adult, Braden has put his rope skills to work as an entertainment rigger, spending the past 15 years installing complex systems to fly cameras and aerial performers/ stuntmen for movies, television and live performances.  Holds multiple Emmy awards for his contributions.

Between jobs he has travelled the world in search of unique experiences on and off the rock (mostly on.) He has built himself a house on a limestone island in Thailand. Spent many summers living in a camper-van traveling crag to crag in Europe, including Czech sandstone towers, big walls in the Dolomites, and the sea cliffs of Mallorca.

He has recently settled in the Truckee area with his Spanish wife and their two young children.

Braden’s true passions are: connecting with nature, moving over stone, and sharing these experiences with others.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor

Jarad Stiles

Jarad is a Tahoe native. A love for wild places is instilled in his nature. In 2009, he completed his AMGA Single Pitch Instructor certification and completed the Rock Guide course in Smith Rocks in 2015.

Jarad is also a certified Wilderness First Responder and has worked as a Rock Climbing Guide on Donner Summit for 8 years. Recently, he has found a new home in Joshua Tree, California, teaching rock climbing during the winter months. Climbing in Yosemite Valley honed his craft and forged his bond with the Big Stone. Multiple accents of El Cap, Half Dome, The Leaning Tower, and Washington Column (in a day) have led the way to Jarad’s success in the mountains.

Jarad, his lovely wife Dana, and their adorable puppy, Ruca embody the California spirit by chasing long days in the sun and living comfortably in balance with nature.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide
  • AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor

Nolan Van Herk

Nolan embodies the spirit, history, and progression of climbing, crimping and jamming his way through over a decade of experience on the rocks. Whether he’s scaling Sierra spires, wiggling up walls or cramming his crack-addicted (and never taped) hands into Tahoe splitters, Nolan’s enthusiasm and knowledge is contagious. Cutting his teeth on the rough granite monzonite of Joshua Tree and the polished proving grounds of Tahquitz, Nolan’s climbing developed amidst the proud ethics and traditions established by the Stonemasters. Ascents of the Rainbow Wall in Red Rock, Sierra gems such as Bastille Buttress, the Incredible Hulk, and Mt. Whitney as well as numerous Needles classics solidify Nolan’s traditional climbing resume and hint at his passion for big adventure. Nolan’s love for the mountains and appreciation for wild places cannot be contained solely by climbing; his backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering resume includes a descent from the third highest mountain in North America, Mexico’s Pico de Orizaba, as well as numerous corn-cruising missions on Mt. Shasta. Nolan is no stranger to those huge, soul-feeding days in the alpine and enjoys sharing outdoor experiences large and small with those around him. Nolan currently holds the AMGA Single Pitch Instructor and Wilderness First Responder certification.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor

What others are saying about this trip

4-Hour Tour

This 4 hour Via Ferrata tour allows adventure seekers to scale the rocky peaks of Palisades Tahoe without any prior climbing experience. In this group option, you’ll be climbing in groups of 6 people or less, and you’ll be led by a trained mountain guide on one of two routes complete with monkey bridges, challenge points, and incredible views of the valley below. Whether you simply like to hike in the mountains or you have climbed big mountains, the 4 hour via ferrata tour is an outing you can’t miss! The Tahoe Via opening will be delayed this season. The opening date for Summer 2023 is  June 24th.