Monday, August 8, 2022

Underestimating through Swiss ferratas – getting into trouble

Recently, a family in Austria with young children had to be rescued by means of a ferrata. Even in Switzerland, many people underestimate the dangers.

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  • In Austria, a family with young children was rescued through a ferrata.
  • They had underestimated oversight – something that often happens in Switzerland.
  • Sack Mountain Guides point out that the risk is especially high in tourist areas.

Last week in Austria a German family had to be rescued via a ferrata: in sandals and with three children aged 5, 7 and 12.

The young children were tired, but at first the parents refused the help of another climber. Ultimately the family had to be escorted by the rescue service about 200 meters away.

«Ferrata is often underestimated by means of»

Switzerland also has this problem. “The climb through the ferrata is often underestimated,” warns Sack Mountain guide and training manager Rolf Segeser. People will think that “cables, ladders and ladders are installed – so no problem”.

Have you ever gone through a ferrata?

But through ferratus, or via ferratus, the sport is different from climbing. Because the route is already protected with a steel cable. In addition, pins or stairs made of metal often help to climb the mountain.

In Switzerland, via ferratas which are more or less easy to reach, are particularly confusing. “In tourist areas, ferratas that are marketed through flyers and brochures also pose a higher risk,” explains Sagser.

According to the expert, it often happens that especially inexperienced people have to be saved. However, he does not know whether families with children in Austria have also been affected.

According to Sägesser, a number of factors commonly get people into trouble through a ferrata: overconfidence, an incorrect assessment of their abilities, poor or inadequate equipment, time management or interruptions. The latter are the most common reasons.

Kundersteg BE. In through the ferrata on moderately difficult but only a few incidents

Such incidents are rare on the Allmenalp via Ferrata in the Kundersteg Bey. “With 4,000 inspections, someone is overwhelmed about once a year,” says Sven Scherer. According to mountain guides and president of the Via Ferrata Interest Group, most visitors behave exemplary and are appropriately equipped.

“But I can imagine that people are less prepared for the easy climb,” says Shire. He classifies allmenalp through ferrata as “moderately tough”.

Helicopter rescue is often not possible

But if you do get stuck, it’s usually difficult to rescue from an emergency. “It is not possible to defend directly with a helicopter or only in difficult conditions,” warns Sagser. “You always have to keep that in mind.”

Then only a so-called terrestrial defense remains. Mountain rescuers reach people on foot and by ropes. “It’s easier than other terrains,” explains Swiss Alpine Rescue, “because through ferrets are already secured with ropes and hooks.” “So rescuers can secure themselves faster than on a mountaintop route.”

More on the topic:

Kundersteg Helicopter


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