A failure of crucial safety equipment leads to a tragic death. Major manufacturers issue urgent recalls of the equipment and an emergency meeting of the industry body decides to review safety standards.
If this were a story about a major consumer product, it would be major news. It’s not. This is a story about a piece of specialist mountaineering equipment – via ferrata lanyards. For this reason you won’t find this story mentioned outside the specialist press. It’s a story with a lot of the features of a crisis. Although the response to it has been swift, it raises all sorts of questions about the regulation of mountain sports and the accessibility of the mountains to the public.
Vie ferrate are a way of enabling access to mountainous areas that would normally only be accessible to experienced mountaineers or rock climbers. These “iron roads” have a mixture of attachments to the rock to help people climb past the sections where the rock climbing is a bit harder. Read more