The Via Ferrata (Latin for “iron way”) is a mountain route equipped with steel cables, ladders, and other fixed anchors, for example wooden walkways, zip wires and suspended bridges. It is considered to be the connection point between hiking and climbing. In Austria and Germany, via ferratas are, also, known as Klettersteig.
The artificial equipment renders feasible an exposed route even to the inexperienced climber, and allows those not versed in climbing technique to hike on ledges, climb vertical walls, and reach the peaks of mountains. Proper equipment is MANDATORY if you decide trying via ferrata routes:
- climbing helmet
- climbing harness
- via ferrata set
Any improvisation might be potentially deadly, in case of accidents/fallings. For this reason, please be sure that you avoid doing that. Before using the equipment, it is important to check it, both at home and at the starting point of your choosen route.
Via ferrata gloves ensuring that the fingers, palms and the back of the hands remain protected and make handling more pleasant. The gloves can be full finger (that I personally prefer) or half finger. Via ferrata gloves offer the palm the necessary protection against the permanent pressures of long climbing, which prevents fatigue.
Rough rock and steel cables are the most common causes of injury in via ferrata and they can bring the trip to a premature end. Even minor injuries can represent a significant safety risk.
1-2 HMS Carabiners just for securing yourself on fixed anchors, when you decide that you need some rest.
You must be aware that the falling factor on a via ferrata route might be up to 6 (for comparison, the normal falling factor during rock climbing is 2). For this reason it’s recommended to be accompanied by a professional mountain guide that will provide you the right (and technically checked) equipment, advisory and supervisory.
For a better understanding and seeing the equipment necessary for these tours, please check the video below: