Other equipment for klettersteig (via ferrata)

Mountaineering rope on a klettersteig

On protected routes it is used only in unforeseen situations. It is wise, however, to have at least a short rope with you (min. 20 – 30 m for small groups of people). It enables you to autonomously secure a section of the route which is not permanently secured or has been damaged. It is particularly useful when the weather takes a turn, when otherwise easy routes change into poorly accessible terrain. We also use rope if it will be necessary to help someone weaker, who has gotten into trouble. If a team of hikers brings a rope with them, then it will also be necessary to bring along the following items for each team member:

  • belay and protection device with a carabiner with locking sleeve
  • shorter prusiking sling
  • two loose D-shaped carabiners with a locking gate
  • a longer webbing runner

The most experienced of the group should have additional loose carabiners (around five to six) so that if necessary she might be able to build a rope railing (anchor a fixed rope). This manoeuvre presumes experience with movement in a mountaineering environment, handling of mountaineering equipment.

Certain protected routes have been built in such a way that at certain spacings only metal stemples are placed in the cliff, and sections between them are not at all protected. If a person wishes to be belayed on such protected routes, the use of a rope is essential.

Helmet

Absolutely necessary. Usually a lot of people move around on a protected route, causing rocks to come free, which can strike a person. Without a helmet there is the danger that during a fall a person can be injured by a blow to the head.

A helmet worn on a protected route must be a mountaineering helmet in its structure. The structure of various boating, construction, or cycling helmets are not suitable.

Gloves

It is definitely an advantage to have these with you. Steel rope, which tends to be used most frequently on the trails of klettersteigs, is made by the binding of smaller steel wires. Sometimes this bundle of wires starts to fray, and the individual barbed wires can painfully injure the palm of your hand. Aside from this the friction of pulling yourself up by your hands along a steel cable is grueling in and of itself. A person unaccustomed to rough manual labour can have blisters and calluses all over his hands after a one day hike with no gloves. Gloves should be made of durable material, leather, or leather with rubberised palms are good.

Woven gloves are unsuitable, they slip along the steel cable and quickly fray.

Footwear

On simpler routes we select hiking boots as our footwear, which are useful for advancing through scree or other rocky terrain. In hiking boots you can also stand well on stemples and artificial iron steps, and therefore more complicated klettersteigs can be overcome in them as well.

For the truly most complicated protected routes, where there is a lot of climbing with the legs along natural rock, comfortable mountaineering shoes with ankle support come in handy.

If the terrain of the secure route varies widely, there is no other option than to head out in one type of footwear and keep a second type of footwear in your backpack, and change shoes at an appropriate moment. Or to purchase universal klettersteig shoes which are light mountaineering shoes with a well fixed foot, whereas the toe is modified to facilitate stepping on rock. Such footwear is suitable both for rugged routes and for climbing segments up to UIAA level III of difficulty.

Other equipment

An outing on a klettersteig in the mountains can be considered something of a simplified entry to an exposed high altitude mountain environment. Anyone who sets off on one should have the following with them:

  • basic first aid kit
  • helmet lamp
  • backup clothing for bad weather (windbreaker and pants, cap)
  • bivouac sack for emergency bivouac
  • map, compass, and altimeter

This content is preview from e-book.

Title Part 4Mountaineering Methodology – Part 4 – The Mountains

ISBN 978-80-87715-10-9

MMPublishing, 2013

Available for download from Apple iTunes (in the Books section).

For example U.S. store – link

Another countries – look on the page Download

See layout.

Another possibility is Google Play. This version is a simplified (as PDF).

Title Part 4 GPMountaineering Methodology – Part 4 – The Mountains

ISBN 978-80-87715-15-4

MMPublishing, 2014

Available for download from Google Play.