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Literally meaning ‘iron way’, ‘Via Ferrata’ or ‘Klettersteig’ (the German word) are narrow routes cut into steep mountainsides. They originated in the Dolomites on the Austrian/Italian border to allow First World War troops to move across otherwise impassable terrain.
The high-level paths take you up routes and across terrain where additional help may be needed! This may include wire ropes, ladders, ‘staples’ and bridges, to which you clip yourself using ropes and a special harness.
Not for the faint hearted, these activities offer outdoor enthusiasts a challenging and exciting venture, witnessing some of the most impressive mountain scenery along the way.
www.climbingclub.co.uk (Interesting information on all aspects of climbing)
www.hola-andorra.com/arinsal/english/viaferratagb.html (The 11 via ferratas in Andorra)
www.viaferrata.nl (For via ferrata enthusiasts in the Netherlands)
www.jagged-globe.co.uk (Expeditions, treks and courses)
(Photo by Graham Fletcher from 'Via Ferratas of Italian Dolomites: Vol 1')