Mammut Via Ferrata Step-Web
Climber’s Weight no Longer an Issue
Via Ferrata, a major trend in modern mountain sports, gives hikers an impression of what it’s like to climb vertically. But you need an understanding of the risks involved, and you have to have good equipment and know how to use it. Until now, children and adults below a certain weight have been more at risk on via ferratas, as the special braking systems have been designed with the weight of an adult in mind.
With the launch of its new Via Ferrata Step–Web which won the ispo Outdoor Award and the OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD, Mammut is signaling the dawn of a new era – one where all falls are intercepted gently and securely.
Right at the start of the braking action, conventional via ferrata sets using traditionnal ropebrake designs characteristically generate a short, initial peak of braking force which is transmitted as a sudden and relatively high impact force through which most of the energy is absorbed. Provided a via ferrata brake meets the appropriate safety standards, this impact force lies within permissible limits, making it suitable for adults of normal weight. Lighter adults, adolescents or children, however, are at greater risk, as the set barely travels down the braking rope during a fall; here, friction cannot work and the brake’s effect is virtually static; this generates high forces that can put children at risk of injury.
Solution: An innovative strap-braking system
Mammut’s new design of via ferrata brake has a braking strap that incorporates three incremental steps of thickness, which means all falls can now be gently and securely intercepted. The specially manufactured braking strap is pulled through a slit in the braking plate during the early stages of a fall, which benefits lighter-weight climbers including children (the initial shock generated can be half that of conventional systems). Heavier or faster-falling weights are absorbed more forcefully by the next level of strap thickness: The new design readily absorbs even high loads. Effectively, what the brake is doing is adapting to the weight of the climber and keeping the forces acting on the body and on the safety devices as low as possible.