The start of the Via Ferrata Season

The start of the Via Ferrata Season

Via Ferrata has been one of my favourite sports for five seasons and yesterday marked the first outdoor climb of the season. It took place at the Val de Tière near Champery in Switzerland.

What made this experience special was arriving at the car park near the Telepherique and seeing hundreds of cars parked. Yesterday marked the end of the ski season and with the end of the ski season the mountains are abandoned by the masses. The mountains are then left to people who love the mountains when we see rocks, plants and more.

The Val de Tière Via Ferrata (VF) is an easy one for beginners but don’t let that fool you. Just because people say that it is easy does not mean that beginners won’t be petrified. As a precaution make sure you go with someone who knows the VF well and is ready to offer assistance to those who get scared.

Yesterday one person was afraid. He was really clinging to the bars and his arms were always tense. He was afraid and tense and this tired him. As I had a spare drink I offered it to him, so that he could get some strength and re-hydrate himself. He made it to the top.

Via Ferrata are not as easy as climbing a ladder and fear does play a very important role. Always go with someone who knows Via Ferrata well and make sure that you are with a patient and attentive person. People underestimate their ability on via ferrata and then get stuck. When a person gets stuck six to eight rescuers are needed to assist and they sometimes have to drive a big distance.

If you have never rock climbed and if you have never tried Via ferrata or canyoning then make sure to go with people that will help calm you down and build up your confidence. If you take less experienced people make sure that you have spare food and drink. If someone is distressed this small anticipation may provide them with the strength to continue.

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