Finally it is warm outside and the dry days are back. The blue sky invites you to come outside and to climb up into the big rocks. You finally want to try a via ferrata? But how did that go again? What does one need for it?
For beginners and all those of you, who’d like to refresh their memories: We have made the perfect packing list for you, so you won’t have to think for too long but instead can spend all your valuable time outdoors.
It’s Key: The right equipment
For a via ferrata you need a comfortable and well fitting climbing harness and a via ferrata set that is easy for you to handle. You also need an appropriate and well fitting helmet.
We recommend you our set-configurator. With it, you can easily create your own set and get a reduced price for it too.
Harness – The link between you and the rope
There are special harnesses for via ferratas, that are only minimally padded. Since you’ll only be sitting in your harness for a limited amount of time, you should also take a good look at the weight and freedom of movement in it. But above all, you should be comfortable in it.
Via ferrata set – In the case of a fall
There are various systems by the different brands, that are continuously being tested and improved. There is a new DIN safety-norm since 2017, which is particularly crucial at a very low or high bodyweight. The via ferrata „break“, which will release in the case of a fall, can cushion the fall. It is well worth trying out different via ferrata sets in the store, as not all carabiners are comfortable to everyone. There are also many sets available now that have a flexible joint, which prevent the device from entangling too much. In addition, there is a difference between sets with and without the 180° error prevention. Sets that have this feature will also cushion the fall, if only one arm of the set is clicked in. Sets without it, however, will only release if both arms of the set are clicked into the rope.
Helmet – Protection against rockfall and falls
For the climbing helmet it is particularly important that it fits well and comfortably. You should also try various models, because not every helmet fits every head. In addition, there is generally a distinction between two different kinds of helmets – the hardshell helmet, which is very robust and durable and the inmold helmet, which is lighter, but also more sensitive. They both offer a solid protection, the choice is one of your personal preference.
Sling – For a short breather
You may want to also get a sling with an HMS or screwgate carabiner attached. With it you can just sit into the harness to relax every now and then, without putting too much strain on the arms of the via ferrata set or getting to far away from the metal rope.
Clothing – Always pleasant, no matter whether ascending or descending
The most important part of your clothing are, of course, the shoes. Depending on the difficulty of the via ferrata, we recommend approach shoes. You should take a good look at the fitting, binding and a robust edge of the sole, as well as a profile with a „Climbing Zone“.
Besides that, we recommend flexible and robust climbing apparel, and it’s best to wear it layered. Because even though you may sweat on your way up, you don’t want to catch a cold, when you descend later.
Backpack – Lightweight, compact but spacious
We recommend for you to take a light and small climbing backpack, and one without a lot of ribbons on the outside. Try to avoid attaching things to the outside anyway, as those could get you stuck somewhere and get you into uncomfortable situations.
Inside your backpack there should be the following:
- Gloves: There are special via-ferrata gloves, that are especially useful if you have sensitive hands and if you are planning longer routes.
- Water & Bars: Don’t forget to take enough water with you. Especially for long tours, it is crucial not to dehydrate. To take an energy-bar with you is also never a bad idea.
- Rain-jacket: The Alps are known for fast changing weather. A light rain-jacket should be packed into each backpack.
- Sun-protection: Especially in summer the sun in the rocks gets pretty strong. Protect yourself with sunglasses, a cap and sunscreen.
- First Aid Kit: It might just be a scratch, but in a via ferrata you’ll be thankful for a band-aid. A first aid kit should always be in your pack.
- Headlamp: The headlamp is another important part of your emergency kit.
- Cellphone: For safety-reasons it always makes sense to bring a cellphone. If you are not sure, check ahead of time, whether you will have reception on the route you chose.
- Bivybag: To be able to build an emergency bivouak, you should always carry a bivybag in your pack.