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Video: What happens to an 80 kg person who falls on a via ferrata?

May 30th, 2014 Posted in Via Ferrata

Video Lesson: Testing Via Ferrata Mechanisms 

The last post on the via ferrata accident stirred some emotion from quite a few of you. We owe you the learnings of the story and will show you a video of what happens when someone takes a fall on a via ferrata. Here’s the cold hard truth on what happens if they use static lanyards without an energy absorbing mechanism… and what’s the difference if they use a properly set up via ferrata kit?

via ferrata gear test

Via ferrata – one of the best ways to explore mountains IF you have the right equipment and skill

Not to scare you off or anything, but…

Take about a minute to appreciate what happens to you when falling on a via ferrata – depending on the equipment you use.

Pretty brutal, huh? It’s evident from the video that you should

  • avoid falling on a via ferrata at all cost
  • use only proper ferrata safety mechanisms with a proper energy absorbing system.

Even though using a properly set up via ferrata mechanism will keep you from tumbling to the parking lot, there’s still a high risk of bad injury. Just think about all the stuff you can smash into. For starters, you have the iron rods attaching the cable to the mountain face… other than the rocks.

Do you know the rules of safe via ferrata? Can you rescue a friend if they get into trouble?

If yes, happy via ferrata. You can stop reading here. But, if you’re not so sure or you want to tackle serious routes without a mountain guide or an experienced climber, then we have something for ya.

We’re about to publish a detailed guide on all the things to look out for on a via ferrata. Get it here.blog banner-1

We put our heads together with a couple seasoned climbing instructors, guides, via ferrata freaks and figured out the best way to help you learn ferrata safety without us being there in person to teach you.

This online mini-course will help you and your buddies stay safe.

If you’re interested, you can get it here.

So, what can you learn from the EAS-tearing via ferrata accident that we blogged the other day? Two things stand out:

1. Choosing the right route

First of all, he probably misjudged his abilities. He opted for an E-difficulty ferrata. It probably consumed so much of his energy, that not enough attention was left for “small details”. Like clipping…

2. Knowledge of basic via ferrata skills

The order of things is: you get to the end of a section, then clip, and only then do you climb on the the next section, not the other way around. As soon as you can clip a section above you, you should clip it. 


Can I ask you a favor? If you find this info useful, share it in email or social media. Your friends will probably thank you.

If you want to get the detailed online course on via ferrata skills, click here to sign up for free.

4 Responses to “Video: What happens to an 80 kg person who falls on a via ferrata?”

  1. Via Ferrata Accidents – what you don’t know might hurt you | the Severe climber Says:

    […] such a homemade set-up arresting a via ferrata fall is very low to nil. This is demonstrated by an excellent video of what happens when an 80kg person (represented in the test by a big lump of wood) falls off a via […]

  2. Sara Espuelas Says:

    Useful video thanks! Scary sport

  3. John Nelles Says:

    I couldn’t get the via ferrata 5 tips when I clicked on the gold button. Is it still available?
    I see that Mammut has stopped making via ferrata sets…is that due to accidents and the recalls?
    None of the sites I’ve read has said what to do if there is a fall enroute and your harness deploys. Now what do you do? If you are safe and survived, now you have to go back down, or continue to safety…how do you do that with the set that has been deployed?
    thanks, this is very informative.

  4. zsalti Says:

    Hi John, yes it’s available and we’ll email you the link if you haven’t been able to download it.

    When your set deploys, you have to figure out the closest/safest point of exit – in other words, where is the next place where you can safely leave the ferrata.

    In the Five Commandments guide, we tell you that a climbing rope is an essential piece of safety equipment – so if your set stops functioning, a partner can still belay you on the ferrata with a rope. And descending is much much safer too.

    Hope this helps.

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