Via Ferratas date back all the way to the 19th century. However, they are most popular due to their usage in the First World War to help move troops over the Dolomite Mountains in Italy. Via Ferratas can vary in length, with shorter routes only taking around an hour, and longer routes demanding more physical ability to complete. The longer routes can cover significant amounts of elevation and rock face and can take up to eight hours. More modern Ferratas have a steel cable that runs along the route, bolted to the mountain side around every three to thirty-two feet, allowing the guest to clip their carabiners in for safety. Some features of this rock pathway can be, but are not limited to, iron rungs (stemples), pegs, carved steps and, more recently, ladders and bridges. As for difficulty, Via Ferratas can range from routes that are a little more like walk paths, albeit in dramatic and exposed situations, to very steep and strenuous routes that are taxing in sections and severely demanding in strength and technique, making it some serious rock climbing. Generally, Via Ferratas are done in ascent, although it is possible to descend them.