What is Via Ferrata

The landscape visible from the Plan Praz Via Ferrata.

The landscape visible from the Plan Praz Via Ferrata.

Rock Climbing For Tourists

Via Ferrata (VF) is rock climbing for tourists. It is a method by which non rock climbers can ascend a cliff with a minimum of training and effort. Hand holds and foot holds are placed within easy reach of these others. Participants in this activity benefit from a new perspective on the landscape and learn to handle their fear of heights and move at the group’s rate rather than their own.


Hand holds and foot holds vary in via ferrata, there are staples, pedals and spikes. Staples are the most common on most VFs. Pedals can be found also be found. Spikes are simply rods that have been drilled in to the rock. To the right or left of the VF are metal cables. These metal cables are the via ferrata safety line. A via Ferrataist is always connected by at least one carabiner at all times.

The cable is attached to the rock every two or three metres. If someone should fall while exploring a VF they will only fall one or two metres. Via Ferrata equipment designed to today’s safety norms is designed so that beyond a specified force load it unravels and serves as a parachute to dampen and stop an individual’s fall.

Safe and enjoyable

This is a safe and enjoyable sport with routes suited to an individual’s abilities. When you look up via ferrata locations you will find information about how physical they are, how high up they are, how well equipped they are as well as the walking time to and from the via ferrata. Included is the estimated time that it should take to complete the via ferrata.

A Saturday Walk During A Pandemic

Last week it was comfortable and warm so it was tempting to go cycling. This week it has gone back to being cold. Yesterday it was cold and windy and today was cold but sunny. I went for my usual walk but rather than listen to a podcast I watched ...
Read More

Another Pandemic Weekend Without Plans

Normally at this time of year, as the snow melts and the temperatures increase the opportunity for spring and summer sports returns. These sports are via ferrata, outdoor climbing, hiking and more. This year is different because although today is Friday no plans have been made for the next two ...
Read More

Walking Through Mud

In normal times we can walk along clean paths, without walking through the mud because we can walk within a meter or two of people. During a pandemic though, the recommendation is to be at least two meters from people. Many agricultural paths are not that wide, especially when people ...
Read More

Hiking in Switzerland

In 2019 Swiss people spent 162 million hours walking and hiking in Switzerland. Hiking generates 2.5 billion CHF per year and there are 50,000 signs to help people find their way. In Switzerland people hike 20 times per year. I go for a two to three hour walk/hike every single ...
Read More
/ hiking, Swiss walks, walking

Walking from Village to Village, and Village to Town

The conversation is too often about designing cities to be car-free, but I would argue that designing the countryside to require less frequently would be more advantageous. The reason for this is that walking from village to village, and from villages to towns eliminates the need for, and appeal of ...
Read More

The Walking Paradox

Today I noticed how quiet the world, or at least the area in which I was walking, was. I saw very few cars, very few people walking, and very little noise from other people. This doesn’t mean that people weren’t out and about. Although my route was for the most ...
Read More

Day 63 of Self-Isolation in Switzerland – A 15 Kilometre Loop

Today I walked a 15-kilometre loop because I saw people walking two abreast and decided to retrace my steps a short distance before trying a new bifurcation. By the end of this walk, my legs were starting to get tired. I walked non stop for over two hours before a ...
Read More

Day 60 of Self-Isolation in Switzerland – The Sixtieth Day of Solitude.

It’s the sixtieth day of solitude for some of us and if we look at Twitter we see that people in other countries are suffering. One person spoke of the dark dog whilst another expressed distress. A third expresses another emotion. Around the world we see people suffering and trying ...
Read More

Day 59 of Self-Isolation in Switzerland – Thunder As I Got Home

For once I walked in the drizzle, rather than the rain but I could hear thunder as I got home. I have almost reading Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home during this walk. Poetically I was listening to her about walking with a storm on its way whilst a storm was ...
Read More

Day 58 of Self-Isolation in Switzerland – Writing For Future Generations Now.

I’m writing for future generations now. As I looked at the stats for the most recent posts i see that readership is low. I’m tempted to start writing about something else as a result. In two or three weeks if we’re still seeing low numbers of new cases I might ...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.