Thomas Senf

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Construction of a via ferrata set

In principle, all via ferrata sets have a similar structure: A rope or cable connects the body to the safety guide cable to which it is attached by carabiners. It passes through a braking mechanism attached to the climbing harness. It is the sophisticated details that reveal the differences that are of crucial importance for safety and comfort.


1. Attachment to the harness

The via ferrata set is attached to the tie-in point of the climbing harness using the cable loop, in the same way as a climbing rope. In the Mammut Tec Step sets, this cable loop is designed to be long enough to allow the set to be secured using the upper and lower tie-in points of the climbing harness.

2. Swifel

Some via ferrata sets (e.g. Mammut Tec Step Via Ferrata Bionic Turn 2 have a swivel joint called a "Swifel".) The "Swifel" prevents the two strands of the via ferrata set from becoming entangled. The patented position of the “Swifel” swivel joint on the Mammut Tec Step Bionic Turn 2, between the tie-in loop and the braking element, helps to prevent the “Swifel” from bouncing against the wearer's legs and is also far more effective in preventing the rotation of the elastic lanyards.

3. The heart of the system

Braking force booster. This can either be a webbing brake or a rope brake construction (for details of the differences, see Braking systems).

4. Rope or webbing

A section of rope or an elastic webbing sling connects the via ferrata climber to the guide cable. It passes through the brake system in a Y-shape, with the carabiners directly incorporated at its ends. The elastic carabiner arms on the Mammut Tec Step Set 2 naturally meet the latest alpine association safety requirements.

5. Der Karabiner

The carabiners are attached to the safety cable or guide bars. This requires a large clip aperture; while a locking device prevents unintentional detachment, it must also be easy to release when swapping.