Via ferrata with a child - Petzl USA
Search

Via ferrata with a child

Many parents think they can bring their children on via ferrata routes without any particular technical rope skills. However, when doing via ferrata with children, belaying with a rope is mandatory.

Warnings

  • Read the technical notice before viewing the following techniques.
  • It is important to fully understand the information provided in the technical notice before using this complementary information
  • Mastering these techniques requires training.
  • Consult a professional before attempting to perform these techniques on your own.

Why use a rope with children on a via ferrata?

  • A child can lack focus and/or tire more quickly than an adult. A child could accidentally unclip his/her lanyard from the cable while on the route.
  • The SCORPIO lanyard is designed for users from 40 to 120 kg: most children weigh less than 40 kg.

It is therefore essential to belay the child with a dynamic rope. The techniques for belaying with a rope presented below are very similar to those used in multi-pitch climbing and mountaineering. So it is essential to become competent in these techniques if you want to take a child on a via ferrata. Otherwise, hire a professional.

Below, we give recommendations on possible techniques for taking a child on via ferrata. Consult a professional in the activity on possible techniques and routes in your area: certain course elements may not be suitable for children (tyroleans, monkey bridges)

Progression on a steep vertical section

In this case, we recommend belaying from a suitable anchor with a dynamic single rope.

Via ferrata with a child: progression on a steep vertical section

To avoid using the lanyard and to facilitate the child's progression, you can attach the two lanyard ends to the child's harness.

A lanyard can be used by the child for educational purposes.

Be sure to add intermediate protection points between you and the child if the belay is not vertically aligned with the child.

Via ferrata with a child: take care to never allow slack in the rope 1/2
Via ferrata with a child: take care to never allow slack in the rope 2/2

WARNING: the rope must always be taut. In case of a fall, the fall must be stopped by the rope and not by the lanyard, if it is used.

Progression when traversing

In this case, use simultaneous progression.

Via ferrata with a child: use simultaneous progression 1/2
Via ferrata with a child: take care to never allow slack in the rope 1/2

Short roping (3 to 6 m). Be sure to always have a protection point (pigtail or quickdraw ) between you and the child.

Belaying with the rope running through pigtails. If there are no pigtails, place a quickdraw before every anchor.

- Using a lanyard is essential to avoid a pendulum in case of a fall.

Via ferrata with a child: using a lanyard is essential to avoid a pendulum in case of a fall.
Via ferrata with a child: using a lanyard is essential to avoid a pendulum in case of a fall.

WARNING: the child must always remain below the cable.

Specific warnings related to the use of a SCORPIO lanyard with a child of less than 40 kg
Specific warnings related to the use of a SCORPIO lanyard with a child of less than 40 kg

Specific warnings related to the use of a SCORPIO lanyard with a child of less than 40 kg

Information

Apart from technique, pay attention to the child's emotional state: fear, vertigo... Ideally, another adult would follow behind the child for help and reassurance if necessary.