Everything You Need to Know About Via Ferratas

Everything You Need to Know About Via Ferratas

11th March 2020

If you know some Italian words then you may already understand that via ferrata means “road with iron”. But what exactly is it and why have they suddenly become so popular all over the world?

What Is It?

This is a type of climbing route that includes metal objects such as ladders, cables and rungs that have been drilled into the mountain. This means that they offer climbers a way of accessing climbing routes that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to try. It is a sort of mixture of climbing and hiking.

The history of this type of path can be traced back to the Alps in the 19th century. However, you can now find them in just about every part of the planet. They are rated from A (easy) all the way up to E (extremely difficult).

The Highest Via Ferrata

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the spectacular Mountain Torq Via Ferrata is the highest path of this type. It is in Malaysia, on the island of Borneo, and helps climbers to get close to the towering summit of Mount Kinabalu.  

There are two distinct routes available here. The easiest one is called Walk the Torq and it is suitable for beginners and youngsters who want to reach up to 3,541 metres.  

The other option is called Low’s Peak Circuit. This climbs up to 3,776 metres and it will take you up to 6 hours to reach the top. You need to be in decent condition to take on this challenge, which enables you enjoy one of the planet’s highest suspension bridges along the way.

The World’s Highest Via Ferrata Waterfall Climb

New Zealand is the place to go if you plan on enjoying the pleasure of climbing up a giant waterfall. This route includes over 975 metres of cable and 2,500 individual rungs as it runs up the Twin Falls in Wanaka, in the country’s South Island.   

You will cross seven bridges and cover nine vertical sections on your way to the end.  There is even a horizontal zipline that you need to pull yourself across before you get to see the amazing view at the end of it all. 

The Longest Via Ferrata in the World?

There appears to no clear winner in terms of the longest climb of this type. One of the contenders is the extremely difficult Daubenhorn. With 2,000 metres of steel cables and 215 metres of fixed access ladder, this is the longest via ferrata in Switzerland.

In 2019, the longest climbing path in Austria was opened above the village of Hinterstoder. This is known as the Priel Via Ferrata and it has a total climbing length of 2,130 metres that lets you climb vertically by some 900 metres.

A completely different setting can be found at the Sacred Valley Via Ferrata in Peru. This route gives you a 300 metres vertical climb using a long series of steel rungs. Getting back down again involves either using the zipline or rappelling.