Video: What happens to an 80 kg person who falls on a via ferrata?

by: Zsolt Rényi


Video Lesson: Testing Via Ferrata Mechanisms

The last post on the via ferrata accident stirred some emotion from quite a few of you. We owe you the learnings of the story and will show you a video of what happens when someone takes a fall on a via ferrata. Here’s the cold hard truth on what happens if they use static lanyards without an energy absorbing mechanism… and what’s the difference if they use a properly set up via ferrata kit?


via ferrata gear test
Via ferrata is one of the best ways to explore mountains IF you have the right equipment and skill.


Not to scare you off or anything, but…

Take about a minute to appreciate what happens to you when falling on a via ferrata – depending on the equipment you use.



Pretty brutal, huh? It’s evident from the video that you should

  • avoid falling on a via ferrata at all cost
  • use only proper ferrata safety mechanisms with a proper energy absorbing system.

Even though using a properly set up via ferrata mechanism will keep you from tumbling to the parking lot, there’s still a high risk of bad injury. Just think about all the stuff you can smash into. For starters, you have the iron rods attaching the cable to the mountain face… other than the rocks.

Do you know the rules of safe via ferrata? Can you rescue a friend if they get into trouble?

If yes, happy via ferrata. You can stop reading here. But, if you’re not so sure or you want to tackle serious routes without a mountain guide or an experienced climber, then we have something for ya.

We have published a detailed guide on all the things to look out for on a via ferrata.

We put our heads together with a couple of seasoned climbing instructors, guides, via ferrata freaks and figured out the best way to help you learn ferrata safety without us being there in person to teach you. This online mini-course will help you and your buddies stay safe.

Click on the picture below to get it. For free.

mock up_via ferrata



So, what can you learn from the EAS-tearing via ferrata accident that we blogged the other day? Two things stand out:

1. Choosing the right route
First of all, he probably misjudged his abilities. He opted for an E-difficulty ferrata. It probably consumed so much of his energy, that not enough attention was left for “small details”. Like clipping…

2. Knowledge of basic via ferrata skills
The order of things is: you get to the end of a section, then clip, and only then do you climb on the the next section, not the other way around. As soon as you can clip a section above you, you should clip it. 


Can I ask you for a favor? If you find this info useful, share it in email or social media. Your friends will probably thank you for it.



  • Pingback: Via Ferrata Accidents – what you don’t know might hurt you | the Severe climber()

  • Sara Espuelas

    Useful video thanks! Scary sport

  • John Nelles

    I couldn’t get the via ferrata 5 tips when I clicked on the gold button. Is it still available?
    I see that Mammut has stopped making via ferrata sets…is that due to accidents and the recalls?
    None of the sites I’ve read has said what to do if there is a fall enroute and your harness deploys. Now what do you do? If you are safe and survived, now you have to go back down, or continue to safety…how do you do that with the set that has been deployed?
    thanks, this is very informative.

  • zsalti

    Hi John, yes it’s available and we’ll email you the link if you haven’t been able to download it.

    When your set deploys, you have to figure out the closest/safest point of exit – in other words, where is the next place where you can safely leave the ferrata.

    In the Five Commandments guide, we tell you that a climbing rope is an essential piece of safety equipment – so if your set stops functioning, a partner can still belay you on the ferrata with a rope. And descending is much much safer too.

    Hope this helps.