/ Via Ferrata Lanyards vs Dynamic Rope

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Morgan P - on 11 May 2013
Haven't been Via Ferrata'ing before but I've always been interested by the use of the energy-absorbing lanyards.

I understand that a sling can't take dynamic falls so the use of VF lanyard over that is clear. But why can't two short lengths of dynamic rope with a figure of eight for the screwgate at either end be used? Seeing as a VF lanyard (I believe) has to be chucked if you've taken a fall on it?
GridNorth - on 11 May 2013
In reply to Morgan P: A metre of dynamic rope doesn't really absorb that much energy that's why the braking on a VF specific lanyard is done by having either sewn tape, similar to ripstop "screamers", or by passing the rope through a metal inhibitor/friction plate. I don't believe that the latter requires binning after falling on but I could be wrong about that.
bigbobbyking - on 11 May 2013
In reply to Morgan P:

If you fall when on a Via Ferrata you will likely fall several meters. Given the lanyard is only 1m long this makes for a very high fall factor potentially >> 2.
In normal use the highest fall factor you can generate on a climbing rope is 2 (falling past the belay on a multipitch route) and this is what it is designed for.


Enty - on 11 May 2013
In reply to Morgan P:

I did a cracking Via Ferrata near Sisteron last month and to be honest I'd prefer the correct gear if I was doing it often. The gear we all had all had screamers on.

E
Morgan P - on 11 May 2013
In reply to bigbobbyking:
> (In reply to Morgan P)
>
> If you fall when on a Via Ferrata you will likely fall several meters. Given the lanyard is only 1m long...

This confused me at first but I'm assuming because you can be going up ladders and so the carabiner will slide down to the next bolt before it catches you. Makes sense now, thanks guys!

mike kann - on 11 May 2013
In reply to Morgan P: The long and the sort of the situation is that if you fall on a via ferrata, with a large enough impact to partially or even fully deploy the lanyard shock absorber, you WILL NOT be completing the via ferrata, you will be getting a ride in a chopper to the hospital. There is this myth about Via Ferrata that it's safe. A fall on a VF is just about one of the most serious falls you'll take - do not underestimate the forces involved...
GridNorth - on 11 May 2013
In reply to mike kann: Agreed. I would rather take a fall on a well protected graded climb than a VF.
The Ex-Engineer - on 11 May 2013
In reply to mike kann: I did have a client fall on a VF without any injuries as thankfully it was on an overhanging section. The Petzl rig worked as designed with 1/3 of the stitching deploying.

It is absolutely not something I would have wanted to happen without a proper rig so I'd strongly advise people not to just use rope or worse slings.
sarahjk - on 11 May 2013
In reply to GridNorth:

I have the Lanyards with rope through what looks like a mini figure 8 descender. The fall is absorbed by the rope moving through this descender, it is a tight fit so I can see how it works, reducing the impact. This type doesnt have to be binned after a fall, which is one of the main reasons I brought it. Oh and it isnt subject to safety recalls like the sewn ones are now.

I also thought slings or similar would be good enough, but brought the correct kit anyway. After a few fun routes in the Dolomites last summer and more planned for this summer I am really glad I paid for the right kit, not a place to be taking unnecessary chances.
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redsonja - on 11 May 2013
In reply to mike kann: totally agree. if you were to fall off, say on a ladder, you could potentially take a long fall which would create a massive shock to the equipment. I wouldn't like to fall off a VF, that's for sure

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