Romsdalsstigen Via Ferrata comprises two different routes, both with a great risk potential if they are not used correctly and with the correct equipment. It is very important that everyone who uses Romsdalsstigen complies with these safety regulations, so that no one puts themselves or others at unnecessary risk.
The Romsdalsstigen West Wall Via Ferrata route is very steep and demanding. You must be in good physical shape and master climbing in steep terrain. There are no toilet facilities en route and nor is water available on any of the routes.
1. Use a safety lanyard and avoid falling
The Via Ferrata is designed to withstand the weight of people falling with a safety lanyard, but the height of the fall could be great in several places. Given that the steel wire and anchor points are non-dynamic, using a safety lanyard is a prerequisite for safety.
If you fall, there is also a risk that you will fall onto rock or equipment such as wires, iron rungs etc. A fall could thereby lead to serious injuries even though a safety line or a lanyard will stop the fall. Safety equipment will thus not always be able to prevent the risk of injuries in the event of a fall.
2. Use the correct equipment
It is not permitted to use other equipment than equipment approved for use on a Via Ferrata. Ordinary climbing equipment or other equipment is dangerous and not approved for use. The Norwegian Mountaineering Centre hires out approved equipment consisting of a harness, safety line with carabiners and a helmet. In addition, we recommend thin gloves with a good grip and good mountain boots with a stiff sole and good grip. Bring appropriate clothing for the weather conditions, enough to drink and a packed lunch.
3. Follow the route marking and always stay attached to the steel wire
It is not permitted to stray from the marked route, which has been cleared of loose stones. Leaving the marked path on transport stages without a steel wire can endanger life.
The safety wire must always be firmly attached to the climbing harness and with two carabiners at the other end. They must always be fastened to the steel wire and locked. When you come to points where the steel wire is fastened to the rock, the carabiners must be connected beyond that point. This is done by moving one carabiner at a time so that at least one carabiner is always fastened to the steel wire.
It is easy to focus so much on the climbing that you forget to fasten the carabiners past the anchor points so that the safety line is taut. It is a good idea to fasten the carabiners past the anchor points before you pass these points with your harness. That way, you avoid having to climb down again to move the carabiners past the anchor point.
4. Keep your distance
In the event of a fall, the person ahead of you will fall to the next anchor point on the steel wire, plus the length of the safety line and safety lanyard that are released. This means that it is possible to fall two metres past the first anchor point. If you are below this person and do not maintain a sufficient distance, the person could fall onto you. It is important, therefore, to keep enough distance.
This also means that you must never fasten yourself to the same section of wire as the person ahead of you. You must also make sure that the person behind (below) you never fastens him or herself to the same section of the steel wire as you are currently on. You also have to keep a good distance to the next anchor point until the person ahead of (above) you has fastened him or herself to the next section of steel wire. It is strictly forbidden to pass the person ahead of you.
En route there is a minimum of one rest resting point with a bench. Underneath the bench, there is a steel wire that you must always be attached to while at the resting point.
On benches and sections with horizontal walkways, it is permitted for several people to attach themselves to the same section of the wire. Participants are also allowed to swap places on these sections. This is done by participants connecting themselves past each other. At least one carabiner must be attached to the steel wire at all times.
5. Pay attention to weather conditions
Make sure that you have the right clothes for the weather conditions and take into account that you might be stuck on the mountain if the weather gets really bad. Also remember that the Via Ferrata and surrounding rock gets slippery when it rains. The Via Ferrata must never be used in thunder and lightning because the steel wire and the iron rungs attract lightning and can carry electricity. If it starts to thunder en route, you must as soon as possible find a point to get off and away from the Via Ferrata.
6. Hold onto the wire if you want to and look after each other
The most important thing is that you are safe and don’t fall. If you feel safer when holding onto the wire, then do so.
Keep an eye on each other and make sure that everyone uses the equipment correctly and that they are attached to the steel wire at all times.
7. Use a helmet and watch out for falling objects
Make sure that you don’t dislodge stones or rocks or drop equipment. If you are unfortunate enough to dislodge a stone or rock or drop something, you must loudly shout out ‘stone’ as a warning. If someone shouts out a warning, get as close to the mountain face as you can and don’t look up (it is much better if the rock hits your helmet and not your face). Loose objects such as drinking bottles and mobile phones can injure people below you in the same way as loose stones. You must therefore keep such equipment in your backpack or securely fastened to your harness.
8. Take care
If you are climbing with a guide, follow all the advice and instructions he or she gives. Show consideration for nature and always take any waste back with you. In case of accidents, the emergency number is 113.
9. Equipment hire
If you are climbing with a guide, hire equipment must be handed back to the Mountaineering Centre by 18.00 unless agreed otherwise in advance. If you hand in equipment later than agreed, you will be charged an additional day’s rental fee per day.
The equipment must be in order and in one piece when you hand it back in. You must pay compensation for damage to equipment over and above normal wear and tear, and for any ruined or lost equipment.