What to know and how to do in only 10 minutes!
The technic of progression in via ferrata is easy, but there are some important suggestions to know to prevent the dangerous situations that can happen. In this via ferrata handbook is concentred the most salient aspect of these casisitics of situations. An Via Ferrata tutorial don’t need have too many and dispersive info, few important suggestions to increase at best your safety…. with a bit of humor…..
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The Via Ferrata equipments
The components of the technical equipments for via ferrata are few and are provided from your mountain guide: Via Ferrata kit (composed of: twin carabiners + extendable slings + shock absorber), helmet, harness, via ferrata gloves, and lastly an daily backpack (20 L.). If you would buy these elements it read my specific article.
Composition of your backpack
Remember that you will be on the mountains and so you need dress basic hiking clothing with high trekking boot (not light hiking shoes) because especially at the first part of the summer season we will traverse extended snow field during the approach and descent of the via ferratas.
The list of composition for your daily backpack is easy:
(1) Sun glasses (2) Light camera (NO standard reflex cameras) (3) Warm gloves (4) Waterproof (Goretex) over pants (5) Warm beanie (6) Sun cap (7) Waterproof (Goretex) jacket (8) Warm fleece (9) Sun creme (10) Daily backpack (20 L.) (11) Beverages (12) Sandwiches or energy bars. For a multi-day trekking read the suggestions in my specific programs webpages.
Helmet and harness regulation
Remember to adjust always your helmet to the right size and close always the strap under the chin! Set the belt of the harness in high and good fastened position!!! Absolutely no loose and low!!!
Via Ferrata handbook – lesson 4: Never climb in two on the same section of iron wire
On the same section of iron wire (between two pegs) can climb only one person, image what can happen if there are two or more and the first fall down….
Never climb in two persons on the same section of iron wire
On the same section of iron wire (between two pitons) can climb only one person, image what can happen if there are two or more and the first fall down….
How carry the via ferrata kit around your body
On the scrambling or walking sections of the via ferrata (without iron wire) clip the carabiners around your body. NEVER low on the harness! It’s potential really dangerous!!!
Rock falling danger
If you will heard noisy of rocks fall: DON’T look the provenience and minimise the possible area of impact of your body with a stable position. Remember that helmet and backpack are your shields!
Clip the carabiners on the iron wire with opposite directions and climb always with both carabiners front of your hand. At the pitons change the carabiners one per time and DON’T disconnect both contemporarily. Don’t forget the carabiners low during the climbing, it can be a bad dangerous situation!
Climbing technique on the iron wire
Don’t climb directly on the vertical line of the iron wire… It’s very exhausting! Use the natural elasticity of the iron wire to facilitate your climbing. Pull the iron wire of the via ferrata as one arc, where you are the arrow that fly up! This technique is not exhausting and really much more elegant!
Suggestions for difficult via ferratas
On the difficult via ferratas: use the “third carabiner” with a short sling to seat on the change on the piton…. and don’t take selfie along the climbing!!!! Increase your safety on the difficult sections with the “auto blocking system”, ask about this device at your mountain guide.
Do you need more help? …don’t hesitate to ask it!
If during the climbing of the Via Ferrata you are afraid for the exposition or if you are too tired: don’t hesitate to ask the help of the additional climbing rope at your mountain guide. He can manage a extra safety rope for you!
Storms and lightning danger
Check the local meteo forecast with particular attention. The via ferratas are a perfect “high voltage line” in case of storm!
Plan an appropriate preparative period of physical training before your via ferrata trek in the Dolomites. (running, gym, etc…). Your fitness is a focal aspect for every via ferrata trek.
The informative phase is always important
Assume information as you be an Napoleonic General, or better: an “old style mafia organisation”. KGB and CIA at your comparison will be dabblers….. 1) Read the descriptions of the via ferratas of your tour. 2) Learn the local maps (only for Big Bosses). 3) Ask more info at your mountain guide