The Iron Road

Via Ferrata route on the Punta Ana in the Dolomites

During the first World War fierce hand to hand fighting took place between elite Alpine regiments in the Dolomite mountains on the Austrian-Italian border. Large numbers died in the conflict and also from the severe winter weather at altitude. The troops were lead by highly experienced mountaineers, and an extensive network of fixed cables, ladders and even wire bridges was built to speed the movement of the soldiers over extreme rock faces.

Today these  climbing aids are used for much happier purposes. Known as Via Ferratas or iron roads, climbers of all abilities can explore the mountains securely by clipping onto these safety lines which are now carefully maintained by the Italian Alpine Club, and by using double ropes you are always protected. You can click on the photo (right) for an excellent briefing on the scheme, together with more technical advice. Similar Via Ferratas have been developed throughout Europe and in North America, and a number of travel companies arrange professionally guided holidays which cater for both beginners and experts. If you would like to learn more take a look at the video below. Collet’s is a well respected company and offers a wide range of mountain vacations to suit all tastes.

If that looks fun then you can explore the possibilities on the Collet’s website by clicking on their logo:

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