Safety Instructions

For your safety ...

Fixed-cable via ferrata climbing is a challenging sport enjoyed amid rugged, magnificent nature. For your own safety, please obey the following simple rules:

1. Via ferrata tours are demanding and require a good level of fitness, a head for heights, and sure-footedness.

2. Always bring a helmet and via ferrata kit, and hook onto the safety line. Many mountain rescue missions are a result of carelessness and bad weather conditions.

3. Many routes require most of the day to complete. When planning a tour, always include the possibility of a sudden change in weather and bring a change of clothing and food supplies as appropriate.

4. Always act with respect towards other mountaineers. Inform them about potential dangers if needs be.

5. Be careful with nature!

 

Alpine Emergency Numbers

Mountain Rescue 140

European Emergency Number 112

 

Via ferrata difficulty ratings

Via ferrata difficulty ratings, just like in rock climbing, are subjective and intended purely as a point of reference. Though the standardized rating system does attempt to be as objective as possible. Furthermore, individual factors such as a person’s height, technique, and fitness level, equipment, or mental state as well as the actual ambient circumstances (weather conditions, humidity, ice, elevation, length, etc.) make the rating even more difficult.

A = EASY (green)

Easy, protected paths with flat (longer) or vertical (short) ladders and iron rungs in mostly not very steep terrain. Some parts may be exposed, but are still easy to walk on (e. g. ledges, small suspension bridges). The terrain is easy to walk on even without safety gear (exception: ladders across small rock steps) and has good grips and steps. In general, if you are sure-footed and unafraid of heights, no additional safety equipment for self-belaying is necessary. Children and less experienced climbers, however, are recommended to use additional safety equipment such as a short safety rope.

 

B = MODERATELY DIFFICULT (blue)

Already somewhat steep and rocky terrain with some exposed passages and small grips. There are vertical, longer ladders, and iron stemples, pegs, or chains. Some stretches are quite demanding. Without the installed safety features, the difficulty reaches grade 2 or 3. Even the experienced mountaineer will use a basic via ferrata kit. For the less experienced and for children, a via ferrata safety kit is absolutely necessary, as well as a safety rope for longer climbing passages

 

C = DIFFICULT (yellow)

Steep to very steep rocky terrain. For the most part, there are passages that have small footholds and that are nearly always exposed. The overhanging ladders, iron stemples and pegs can also be quite far apart (in particular for children and persons of short stature). There are often vertical stretches that are only secured by a steel cable; the route is sometimes quite exhausting. Without installed safety features, some of the steep passages would be graded 3 or 4. Longer ascents of this level are already considered to be major via ferrata challenges. Less experienced climbers and children need to be belayed by an experienced partner. Self-belaying is highly recommended even for experienced mountaineers.

 

D = VERY DIFFICULT (red)

Vertical and often overhanging terrain with wide gaps between iron stemples and pegs. The very exposed and steep rock is secured by a steel cable only. The long vertical and even overhanging stretches require good upper body strength and a very high level of fitness. Still, there may be some short passages that involve easy climbing (1 - 2) and that can be overcome without safety gear. Even for the very experienced mountaineer, a complete via ferrata kit is obligatory (climbing boots with a profile rubber sole are the best choice). This difficulty grade is not suitable for beginners or less experienced mountaineers. Usually this level is climbed in rope teams.

 

E = EXTREMELY DIFFICULT (black)

 

Extremely demanding in terms of strength, sure-footedness (proper climbing boots!) and a truly good head for heights (no dizziness issues) are a precondition. This level of difficulty does not occur very often on via ferrata routes. Rope teams are obligatory, mostly combined with rock climbing. Otherwise, all indications as stated under "D" apply, though are even more demanding.

Schladming - Dachstein