Via ferrata is a climbing modality that has gained popularity in recent years as an adventure sport. It is a route equipped with nails, staples, steps and steel cables, which allows climbers to advance along a previously marked route. But did you know that the via ferrata has a fascinating history dating back to World War I? Next, you will discover the origins of the via ferrata and its evolution to become a popular sporting activity around the world.
The origins of the via ferrata: its military use in the First World War.
During World War I , soldiers needed to move quickly and safely through the mountains. The solution they found was to create tracks equipped with nails, staples and steel cables to facilitate progress through difficult terrain. These tracks, which were known as “klettersteig” in German, were used by Austro-Hungarian and Italian troops in the Dolomite Alps.
The word “via ferrata” comes from Italian and means “iron path”. This name refers to the cables and clips that are installed in the rock to create the climbing route.
After the First World War, the via ferratas fell into disuse. It was in the 50s when some climbers began to recover these military routes to use them as a new type of climbing. The first sports via ferrata was installed in 1958 on the Brenta mountain, in Italy.
The evolution of via ferrata in Europe after the First World War.
During the 1960s and 1970s, via ferrata continued to evolve in Europe. In this period new equipped routes were created in the Swiss, Austrian, French and Italian Alps. In the 1980s, via ferrata became popular in Europe as a sporting activity, and new equipped routes began to emerge in Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland and Austria.
The popularization of the via ferrata as an adventure sport in the 80s and 90s.
In the 1980s, via ferrata became an increasingly popular sporting activity in Europe. The creation of new equipped routes and the promotion of climbing in specialized media were some of the factors that contributed to its popularization. In the 1990s, the via ferrata began to spread beyond Europe, reaching countries like Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
The different types of via ferrata: the differences between basic, medium and difficult level routes.
There are different types of via ferrata , classified according to their level of difficulty. Basic level via ferratas are those that do not present technical difficulties and are accessible to most people. On these routes, the terrain is easy to climb and the cables are very close to the wall, allowing easy progress.
The intermediate level via ferrata present certain technical difficulties and require some previous climbing experience. On these routes, the terrain is steeper and the cables are further from the wall, requiring greater skill and physical strength.
Finally, difficult level via ferratas are those that present great technical difficulty and require great experience and climbing skills. On these routes, the terrain is very steep and the cables are very far from the wall, which requires great physical and mental strength to move forward.
The necessary equipment to practice via ferrata safely
To practice the via ferrata safely, it is necessary to have adequate equipment. First of all, it is essential to have a helmet to protect the head in case of falling stones or other objects. It is also advisable to have a harness and a belay system, which allows the climber to be secured in case of loss of balance or fall.
Another important element is footwear, which must be suitable for climbing and have good grip. It is advisable to use hiking shoes or boots with non-slip soles and good ankle support.
In addition, it is advisable to bring a backpack with water, food and warm clothes, as well as sun and rain protection depending on the weather conditions.
What skills are necessary to practice via ferrata? Tips and recommendations
To practice via ferrata safely, it is necessary to have certain skills and knowledge . First of all, it is important to be in good physical condition, since climbing requires great physical and mental effort.
It is also necessary to have basic climbing skills, such as the ability to correctly use climbing equipment, grappling technique and balance in high-altitude situations. It is advisable to receive training and advice from a climbing expert to improve the technique and ensure the safe practice of via ferrata.
Another important aspect is respect for the environment. It is essential not to leave residues or damage the surrounding flora and fauna, and to follow the rules established in each climbing area.
The importance of respecting the environment when practicing via ferrata.
The via ferrata is practiced in natural environments of great beauty and ecological value. Therefore, it is essential to respect the environment and minimize the impact of the activity on the environment.
It is important not to leave waste, use the areas set up for climbing and follow the rules and recommendations established in each area. It is also advisable to avoid the hours of greatest influx of visitors and use sustainable means of transport to reach the starting point of the route.
The best via ferrata destinations in the world.
The via ferrata has become a very popular sporting activity all over the world. Some of the most popular destinations to practice via ferrata are:
- The Alps: the alpine region is one of the most popular destinations for practicing via ferrata. With a large number of routes of different levels of difficulty, the Alps offer a unique climbing experience in settings of great natural beauty.
- Dolomites: Located in northern Italy, the Dolomites offer a wide variety of via ferratas of different levels of difficulty. In addition, the region has a large accommodation infrastructure and tourist services.
- Sierra de Guara: located in the province of Huesca, in Spain, the Sierra de Guara has some of the most spectacular via ferratas in Europe. With a wide variety of routes of different levels of difficulty, the Sierra de Guara is an ideal destination for lovers of climbing.
- Mont Blanc – Located on the border between France and Italy, Mont Blanc is the highest peak in Western Europe and offers some of the most impressive via ferrata in the world. With spectacular views and an incomparable natural environment, Mont Blanc is an essential destination for lovers of climbing.
What will the future of via ferrata hold for us? The latest trends in the world of climbing and adventure.
In recent years, the via ferrata has experienced tremendous growth as a sporting and tourist activity around the world. More and more climbing fans are looking for new experiences and challenges in natural environments.
In the future, the via ferrata is expected to continue to evolve and adapt to new trends and user demands. A greater professionalization of the sector is expected, with the creation of new routes and the improvement of infrastructure and tourist services.
In addition, greater awareness and respect for the environment is expected in the practice of via ferrata, with the promotion of sustainable practices and education on the impact of the activity on the natural environment.
In short, the via ferrata is a sporting and tourist activity in constant evolution, which offers a unique climbing experience in natural surroundings of great beauty. Sm Experiences is a leading brand in the Organization of via ferrata routes and other adventure sports, which guarantees a safe and respectful practice with the environment. Don’t wait any longer to experience the via ferrata adventure with Sm Experiences!