Photo Credits

Via Ferrata on Mount Kinabalu

Climbers on the via ferrata route on Low’s Peak of Mount Kinabalu, Borneo, Malaysia.

Creative Commons Licensed: Travelmate Holidays

Multiple Via Ferrata Recalls

 

Recalled Edelrid via ferrata setIn August 2012 a climber on a via ferrata in Tirol, Austria fell several meters and both of his energy absorbing lanyards broke. This event involved an Edelrid via ferrata set that met UIAA standards (this model is pictured to the right). Testing by Edelrid, and later other manufacturers, revealed that many via ferrata sets (which feature two tethers/lanyards and associated carabiners) can weaken over time and potentially fail. This led to an initial wave of recalls in the fall on 2012.


Further testing by manufacturers and an emergency meeting of the UIAA has led to the recall of additional via ferreta systems. This effects most, though not all, of the companies manufacturing this equipment.

Climber on a via ferrata climbing routeVia ferratas (“iron ways”) are popular in Europe, though there are routes in mountains around the world (there are at least a dozen via ferratas in the US and Canada, and one in Mexico). The routes are protected by fixed cables the climber clips into for safety with a via ferrata set. The climbing is typically fairly easy and may

include fixed aids such as steel rungs installed in the rock. If a climber falls the via ferrata set is designed to absorb some of the impact of the fall.


Falling on a via ferrata is never a good idea (the the sets should not break during the uses they are intended for). The sets do absorb some of the shock of a fall, however the fall will be nothing like the relatively soft catches that can be provided by a roped climbing belay.

Because of the many recalls from at least 10 manufacturers, we are linking to the recall information and related resources. While it is concerning that these via ferrata sets do not function as well as intended, it is reassuring to see the UIAA and climbing manufacturers respond to this issue in a timely manner.

Singing Rock Easy Go XP Lock Via Ferrata Lanyard Recall
- This is the only recall we are aware of that has been run through the US CPSC (OSI post).



UIAA List of Recalls as of 2/25/13
- This is the most comprehensive listing of recalls we are aware of.



UIAA on Second Wave of Recalls (2/25/13)

UIAA Original Warning on via ferrata sets (9/13/12)

Black Diamond QC Labs on via ferratas - BD's two via ferrata sets have NOT been recalled. This is an interesting post on via ferrata safety systems, standards, gear inspection, and testing.

The Trouble with Tethers (OSI Article) - While not specific to via ferrata sets, this article addresses concerns around the high forces generated through the use of climbing safety tethers.


* OSI has no control over and is not responsible for the content of the links listed here. Not all relevant details, information or images included in the original releases are shared here. This website presents selected outdoor product recalls that may be of interest to our readers. This website does not present a complete list of product recalls. For complete listings of official product recalls visit recalls.gov (US), Health Canada or the recall agency in your country. Please contact the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, other agencies listed on recalls.govHealth Canada or the product manufacturer if you need any additional information regarding a specific recall.



Small via ferrata image by Babette Polman

Posted by

OSI Staff

on 3/5/13
Categories: 
Recalls

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