Called ”via ferrata” (Italian) or ”klettersteig” (German) this activity is a great mix between walking and rock climbing very well developed in the Alps. In our Carpathians these routes are developing also, step by step, in different areas.
At the beginning of this summer season we have been in the Alps for a couple of days with a group of Englishmen, enjoying some lovely via ferratas in Italian Alps (Dolomites – Civetta and further west – Ortler), including a difficult one.
Below few notes about from Neville, one of the participants…
”…I was enthusiastic when Marian warned us that the route was long and hard. How hard could a Via Ferrata be when there is a metal wire with bolts at intervals running in front of you. Mark was a little worried but I suggested that nothing could go wrong with Marian in front and myself at the rear. We could of course push and pull him.
The difference between this and other Via Ferratas that I have climbed is that there were no rings or plates for your hands or feet. Not really a problem on the easy ground where we enjoyed the airy positions and fantastic views.
The crux was a different matter. Mark gained (a very small amount of) help from a collection of slings made into a ladder by Marian. I made sure that my cows tail was securely attached and set off on an energetic traverse with hands pulling on the wire and feet up by chest in big boots on minuscule foot holds. It’s a long time since I been so out of breath after a few rock moves.
Back at the Tabaretta hut with a bowl of noodle soup, we agreed that it was a fantastic excursion. But I will think again if Marian says – “It’s long and hard”…