A new tour enables almost anyone to scale the rocky face of Mt Buller in the Victorian Alps.

If there’s a reason why I’ve never previously found myself perched on steel rebar rungs glued to a vertical rock face a thousand metres above Victoria’s Delatite Valley, it’s because until now it hasn’t been possible for the average schmuck to get into such a position.

My slightly clammy hands grip the rungs – stemples is the technical term – which form a ladder up the imposing west face of Mt Buller, part of the resort’s new RockWire mountain climbing course.

I’m wearing a harness with a lanyard clipped to a steel wire that forms a 400m loop of the lichen-encrusted rock face. It gives me the confidence to lean into the abyss and feel the wind rush up from the valley and smack me flush in the face.

Mist starts rolling in, smothering the foothills and closing in around me, until all I can see is a line of bright yellow everlasting daises sprouting from cracks in the crevice.

I follow the flowers up and scale the sandstone slab like a pro, even though I’ve never rock-climbed in my life. The magic of a via feratta.

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