Via Ferrata, Evolène

For those of you unfamiliar with the term Via ferrata, let me briefly explain…

It literally means ‘Iron way’ and it provides a means of climbing up a rockface with ‘protection’.  By that I mean there is a fixed cable to which you can attach yourself, so that you don’t completely fall to the ground.  You wear a climbing harness attached to two short ropes which you then clip onto the cable.  In Switzerland, there are often metal rungs or plates or even sometimes ladders to help you climb.   In the Dolomites, (where many via ferrata were built during the First World War to aid the movement of the troops to protect the frontier), the climbing is more often on the rock, but the cable is always there as a safety mechanism.  At various points along the cable, it’s firmly fixed to the rock, so you have to unclip from one section to move onto the next.  Having climbed to the top, you simply walk back down a path to the start, as there is no need to climb back down again. (Indeed you shouldn’t, otherwise you might block the way up for anyone climbing up behind you).

We are lucky enough to have a Via ferrata route here in Evolène and Malcolm, one of our guests this week, was keen to do it.  Both he and I haven’t done it for over 4 years, so I know that I’ve never posted anything about this before… 🙂  I hope you’re not scared of heights!

 

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