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Via ferrata equipment

Ready for rocky adventures?

Climbing is a sport for people who love checklists. Before you start a well-planned via ferrata tour there are more than just a few bits and pieces to gather properly. We have researched for you what you absolutely need on a via ferrata tour and which nice-to-haves are also useful. Here you can take a look at our equipment tips for your ingenious via ferrata experience in Ötztal!

1. Climbing harness

You need the climbing harness to be able to tie yourself in with a via ferrata set. Light all-round climbing harnesses that are easy to adjust, have a small pack size and offer 100% freedom of movement are best suited for this purpose. Via ferrata harnesses do not necessarily have to be generously padded, as you will hardly put any strain on the harness except when taking a rest.

2. Via ferrata set

The via ferrata set consists of the tie-in loop to which the via ferrata set is attached to the climbing harness with an anchor hitch, the shock absorbing lanyard and the two load arms with the carabiners that you use to hang onto the wire rope. Important: at least one carabiner always remains attached to the via ferrata set! Get expert advice on the different models and take your time to try out which one you can best cope with by tying it into the rope loop on the hip belt and handling the carabiner.

3. Climbing helmet

A climbing helmet must be well ventilated, sit comfortably and have a flexible, easy-to-use locking system. Basically, you can choose between a robust, durable hard-shell helmet and a lighter but more sensitive inmold helmet. Special tip: black helmets also heat up in the sun, so it’s better to use other colors!

4. Sling with carabiner

Perfect for a short, safe break: with the strap sling and a screw or HMS carabiner you can simply relax and sit in the harness for a moment or two. The sling prevents you from putting too much strain on the via ferrata set or from hanging too far away from the steel rope.

5. Via ferrata gloves

Robust, breathable via ferrata gloves, for example made of leather, help you to hold onto the rock more firmly and protect your hands, which are heavily stressed by sharp-edged rock, wire ropes, etc. In this way, you can prevent unpleasant calluses and abrasions but also dangerous chaps and cuts. If you still want to feel everything you touch, half finger gloves are the right choice.

6. Via ferrata shoes

Via ferrata shoes look like normal mountain boots and can categorized between light, flexible approach shoes and trekking boots. They are characterized by a firmer grip sole and a shaft that is narrower. Easy via ferrata routes in particular can also be climbed with normal mountaineering boots, but it's even more fun with versatile via ferrata shoes.

7. Backpack

There is as much as necessary and as little as possible in the backpack, because every gram counts. It is best to choose a model that is as simple as possible without many loops, ribbons and compartments, which can get stuck when climbing and make the backpack unnecessarily heavy. All the better if the model is equipped with a drinking tube and water bladder.

This is how you are properly dressed for the via ferrata

Rule number one: adapt yourself to the circumstances. Depending on season, weather, altitude, type and duration of the tour, you will dress differently. Breathable outdoor clothing works best according to the onion principle. When it comes to shoes, it is important to pay attention to fit, lacing, a robust sole edge and a grip profile. For tours in high Alpine terrain, you better use via ferrata shoes with a higher shaft instead of multifunctional approach shoes. Gloves do a good job on rough rock, especially if you have to grip hard over a longer period of time. Depending on the temperature, we recommend a hat for the ascent and descent or a thin headband that also fits under the climbing helmet.
climbing via ferrata Lehner Wasserfall Längenfeld Ötztal
climbing via ferrata Obergurgl Ötztal Schwärzenkamm

Via ferrata backpack: lightly packed is half the battle

A via ferrata backpack should be light, compact and yet spacious enough to have everything you need with you at all times. Its size depends on the route planning. On a day tour to high Alpine climbing routes, for example to Schwärzenkamm via ferrata near Obergurgl, you will choose a model with more volume than on a short sports tour such as the Stuibenfall via ferrata in Umhausen. In any case, drinks and energy in the form of muesli bars, cubes of dextrose etc. have to fit in. In addition, sun protection, first aid kit, fully charged mobile phone including emergency numbers, money/EC card and an additional layer of warm clothing. An area guide or map, camera, compass, altimeter and binoculars are optional or useful for one person per group.

Buy or rent via ferrata equipment?

Those who climb regularly, not just on vacation, will quickly invest in their own equipment. Everyone else is happy about the offer in Ötztal to try out the countless pieces of equipment first. However, there are heaps of brands so that you can easily lose track of things without professional help. The great advantage of personal advice in a sports shop or at the rental service spot of a professional provider: you can have the correct use explained again and ask all the questions that prey on your mind.

Climbing equipment rental and shops in Ötztal

climbing via ferrata Zirbenwald Obergurgl Ötztal