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Ultimate Guide to Via Feratta Gear

By: Bailey Reker

So you want to go on a via feratta adventure, but you aren’t totally sure on what gear you may need.

Most importantly, if you don’t know what type of gear you need please consider not doing this by yourself and looking into getting a tour guide or going on a commercial trip that supplies everything.

Guided Tours

Via Ferrata Colorado

AVA has two locations that have a via feratta course and they both give you the gear that you need and take you up on course to enjoy the breathtaking views. AVA tour guides will walk you through what to do and they never leave your side the whole time.

Here are some things that come to mind on what you may need to get before your via feratta adventure! 

The Basics

Harness

So let’s go over the basics first: you will need a good and comfortable harness. I would recommend the brand petzl as they have harnesses that are very comfy and very well padded.

Climbing Helmet

You also want to purchase a good climbing helmet, I would go with a black diamond helmet. On most via feratta courses there can be many loose items like rocks or twigs that can fall from above and a helmet could potentially save your life from loose debris.

Getting a helmet and harness are must haves but there are a few other things that are required in order to complete a course safely.

Carabiners

Lobster Claws

You will need to find some good lobster claws, I would recommend a pair that only unlock one carabiner at a time. Lobster claws are a set up that let you transfer around points safely so that you are always clipped in to one point even when you have one undone to go around something like an anchor point in the wall that is keeping the cable secured.

Lanyards

You can always get two lanyards and attach them to your harness safely and add a carabiner to each end and transfer that way but we always recommend being connected to something at all times. You never want to be free and disconnected on a via feratta course.

Extra Carabiners

On top of getting high quality lobster claws you may want to get a few extra carabiners to hold some of your things like a rain coat, water bottle, or a strap that is holding your phone or camera. Always make sure you are buying climbing carabiners that have a weight capacity that can hold at least 500lbs!  

Gloves

Some people like to wear gloves when they are traversing as there can be random things sticking out that may injure your hand, or if it is cold then gloves will help keep your hands warm and functional so that you can manipulate your carabiners! While gloves aren’t necessary I would highly recommend getting a pair.

Light-weight Water Bottle

I would also look into getting a light water bottle that isn’t clunky. The last thing that you want to worry about or be focused on is an annoying and heavy water bottle that won’t stop making noise and hitting your leg!

Not must-haves but definitely recommended

Small Video Camera

You want to enjoy the traverse and be able to take everything in, which is why you should think about getting a video camera like a go-pro and just strapping that to your helmet or chest so that you can show and brag about what you had the courage to do!

Headlamp

If this is a longer traverse or you just want to be cautious go ahead and bring a headlamp with you, they’re light enough that it shouldn’t bother you and can be a life saver if you get stuck up there in the dark!  

Attire

Via Ferrata Colorado

Last but not least please consider what you are wearing while you are traversing, I wouldn’t recommend super loose clothing as you are against a rock wall typically and you don’t want to be constantly getting caught on things like twigs or sharp rocks.

Also look into getting a nice sturdy pair of shoes that have a good grip on the sole.

I hope this helps to prepare you for your via feratta adventure where ever it may be! Again please do not attempt to do this if you are unsure of what you are doing, there could be fatal consequences.

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