Indispensable for professional mountaineers and climbers, the via Ferrata kit is a set of equipment that allows you to climb safely. Here’s how to choose it.
Even if summer is long over, many people who love hiking and sport climbing prefer to the artificial environment of the gym, real outdoor climbing, in contact with nature and live rock. Via Ferrata excursions can only be carried out at their best and with a good level of safety if you have, however, a suitable via Ferrata kit. But what does a via Ferrata set include and what is important to buy?
Here are a few tips to make it easier for you to choose your equipment.
What to use when climbing? A suitable climbing kit for you
As with other disciplines such as ski touring, every sport requires the targeted purchase of suitable equipment. The main specific equipment for sports climbing is the so-called via Ferrata kit.
A basic climbing kit is a complete system consisting of a heatsink to which are connected lanyards or webbing to the ends of which are inserted two self-closing carabiners. The specific Ferrata carabiners, in addition to allowing easy attachment of even large surfaces such as steps or chains, are more robust and support higher breaking loads than normal carabiners.
The most commonly used equipment is a “Y” shaped Ferrata kit with a tearing heatsink. The heatsink aims to mitigate the “fall factor”. The consequences of a fall without a heat sink can be very serious, in fact! But fortunately, the equipment is becoming more and more avant-garde. The vast majority of the Ferrata sets today are those equipped with webbing to easily connect the set to the harness.
The harness is the main element of all the equipment and it will then be tied to the set to be fixed, the return carabiners and possibly the rope in case of rope excursions. But how do you tie up your climbing set? That’s quickly said! The kit is connected directly to the loop of the harness by means of the webbing with which it ends. For the via ferrata, we recommend adjustable harnesses that give the possibility to adapt the width of the thigh to the thickness of the clothing used.
The climbing helmet
As with a motorcycle helmet, a helmet is also essential for climbing to protect you from falling rocks from above, from any blows that you may face during the climb or from the bumps received during a fall. It is always better to choose a light and airy one. Before leaving for your adventure, remember that are essential for you, especially for the most challenging routes, even a pair of boots, gloves, backpack, rope and everything you need to tackle a hike, also taking into account the sudden changes in the weather.
How to choose the right via Ferrata kit for you
A Ferrata kit should also be comfortable, lightweight, easy to wear and not too much of a hindrance when climbing. Be wary of kits that are too complicated, as well as kits with excessive amounts of iron, metal and other heavy materials. Each kit has a certain breaking load, i.e. a maximum bearable weight above which it could give way. A breaking load of around 30-40 kN is ideal for weight fluctuations and for adapting to the weight of even different people.
One mistake that is often made, especially when you are a beginner, is to buy climbing equipment from time to time. Unlike climbing holds, which can also be purchased individually, the best equipment is always the one found in a climbing kit, which consists of tools assembled according to specific criteria by experts. Individual tools purchased separately, on the other hand, are not always compatible.
As you will have understood, to move safely in your climbs, you must have a good specific climbing kit, built with simplicity and resistant materials but also capable of not weighing you down too much, both to avoid excessive waste of energy, both to resist to the maximum wherever you are!