Complete set―Made by EDELRID
Complete set―Made by EDELRID
WHICH VIA FERRATA SET SHOULD I USE?
Here you will find all the information you need when purchasing your via ferrata set!
The via ferrata boom continues. Every year new "iron routes" seem to pop up like mushrooms. There is no end in sight. The range of via ferratas extends from hiking trails equipped with safety cables, to extremely difficult routes with ropes, nets and zip lines. The main equipment needed for a via ferrata is the via ferrata set. Like an umbilical cord, this connects the climber to the safety wire.
Currently, there is a multitude of innovative via ferrata sets and climbing equipment on the market.
To complete a via ferrata safely, the correct equipment is essential. The basic kit comprises:
Depending on requirements and the difficulty of the via ferrata, additional safety equipment is recommended.
THE VIA FERRATA LANYARD
The lanyard is the main equipment needed for any via ferrata. Like an umbilical cord, the lanyard connects the climber to the safety wire. Shaped like a "Y", the lanyard comprises two carabiners which are connected to a fabric shock absorber via two arms. In case of a fall, the shock absorber tears, the impact energy is absorbed, and the fall is therefore dynamically decelerated. Using a girth hitch (lark's foot), the via ferrata lanyard is connected directly into the tie-in loop of the harness using the sewn-in webbing loop. To ensure there is always a safe connection between the climber and the safety wire, one carabiner must always be connected to the wire. As a backup, both carabiners should be connected to the wire, except when the climber is re-clipping across a wire anchor.
WHAT COMPRISES A MODERN VIA FERRATA LANYARD?
1. Lanyard carabiners
2. Elastic arms
4. Shock absorber
5. Tie-in loop
It won't work without a harness! The lanyard is connected to the front of the harness via the tie-in loop. If the climber falls, the load is transferred to the thigh and lumbar area. This means there is less pressure on the spine. Ideally, the hip belt is not too tight and is comfortable on long trips. For children and inexperienced climbers, in addition to the hip belt, a chest harness or full body harness is recommended. This means that in the case of a fall, the climber will be in the upright position and there is no risk of falling head first. If the climber is wearing a heavy backpack, the combination of hip and chest harness is also recommended.
A WORLD FIRST FROM EDELRID: JESTER & JESTER COMFORT
A world first from EDELRID! The Jester Comfort is the first harness to be developed specifically for via ferratas. What makes this so innovative, is that the shock absorber has been integrated into the harness leg loops. Therefore, the Jester is a via ferrata set and a harness in one. The main advantages of this design are that it offers full freedom of movement and incomparable ease of use. By doing away with the need for an external shock absorber, the entire system is effectively 'self-enclosed' and far clearer and simpler for wearers to use. There is no external shock absorber to dangle between the legs during walking and climbing. Thanks to the integrated shock absorber, it is also no longer necessary to attach an external set to a harness using a girth hitch (lark's foot) – thereby eliminating the possible error of a set being attached incorrectly. Would you like to know more about the Jester harness?
The helmet protects the climber from rock falls and injuries to the head in case of a fall. The helmet should be light, fit well, be ventilated and should adapt to any head size and shape
without any issues.
It is always advisable to wear tight-fitting leather gloves when completing a via ferrata. Because wire cable may have sharp threads or spiky ends, abrasions to the hand can occur if guiding the carabiners without gloves. A snug wrist cinch is important. If sweating a lot, this will prevent the hands slipping out of the gloves.
There are some situations where additional belaying is recommended. It may be to give inexperienced climbers or children an added sense of security or to minimize the risk of falling in vertical or difficult sections. Currently there are no via ferrata sets for light people weighing less than 40 kg. In this case there is no option but to belay from a fixed point. This requires the necessary skills and knowledge in rope and belay techniques.
To belay from above, the following are necessary: an additional short rope (20-30 metres should suffice), an HMS carabiner, a 60 cm tape sling and, if required, 2 or 3 quickdraws to secure the climber during traverses and to avoid unpleasant swinging during falls.
The additional belay method is used primarily to assist during very steep or technically challenging sections. Generally, it should not be used during the entire route, as it is relatively time-consuming (risk of a bottleneck). Rather, it is important to keep the use of the belay securing method to a minimum by route selection suited to personal skill level.
THE COMPLETE VIA FERRATA BELAY KIT
To belay children or inexperienced climbers as seconds on steep or difficult sections, it can be very useful to carry a climbing rope. However, this means the lead climber must have extensive experience as well as the necessary skills and knowledge in rope and belay techniques. The Via Ferrata Belay Kit from EDELRID makes this much easier. The Via Ferrata Belay Kit comprises a plaquette with automatic backstop and a 15 meter safety rope with sewn terminations. It is particularly light and compact and thanks to its color-coding, its operation is intuitive. Packed in a practical carry sack, this set should be in every backpack.
Would you like to know more about the Via Ferrata Belay Kit?
WHAT IS A VIA FERRATA?
HISTORY & GRADES
A via ferrata (Italian for "iron way") is an alpine route which is wholly or partially secured with a fixed steel safety wire. Depending on the terrain, the safety wire is fixed to the rock at varying distances and serves as both a climbing aid as well as a self-belay. Some via ferratas are fitted with two wires―one to hold, one for safety. As well as the safety wires, via ferratas frequently feature iron rungs, pegs, recessed steps and foot/handholds carved into the rock. With these supports and self-belay using the wire, even climbers with little experience can complete such an ascent.
In recent years via ferratas have become extremely popular. Their interesting history dates back to the 19th Century. Before this, there were already a few ways through the mountains. These were purely commercial transport routes with wooden climbing supports and without any safety devices.
First via ferratas
As early as 1843 the first via ferrata was constructed at the Dachstein in Styria, Austria. The team around Friedrich Simony permanently secured this alpine route using iron. Until 1903, further via ferratas were constructed at the Grossglockner, the Zugspitze and in the Pyrenees.
War-time via ferratas
When a bitter battle to control the peaks of the Alps errupted between Austria-Hungary and Italy during World War I, many via ferratas were contructed to help to supply the troops. For example, one such via ferrata is located at the Torre di Toblin in the Dolomites, Italy. This and similar via ferratas are listed as "historical via ferratas" in guidebooks.
Modern sports via ferratas
These days via ferratas have more of a recreational sports character. In these, special elements like zip lines or overhanging sections have been integrated. The athletic challenge clearly takes centre stage, usually crowned by an exhilarating summit experience. Today there are many pure sports or fun via ferratas. Here the focus is not the alpine ascent, but on the via ferrata itself. There are even via ferratas on old silos and similar industrial buildings.
Currently there is no standardized difficulty grade scale for via ferratas. Depending on the country and guidebook author, the scales below are used. However, there is no comparison between the grades. These can sometimes vary considerably from each other and are therefore only to be seen as a rough guide. As well as difficulty, when planning a route, it is also important to consider other factors like access, duration or height difference.