Via ferratas with children – you should definitely pay attention to that!

The topic of via ferrata with children is very topical for many families. Climbing parents in particular want to make this beautiful sport tasty for their little ones too. Sooner or later, the youngsters should go on the great via ferrata excursions. However, there are some aspects to consider. On the one hand, methodical preparation and tour planning are of central importance. On the other hand, it is important to master the correct safety technology when performing the tour. uses the example of the Climbing Arena Damm High and the Klettersteig Kölnbreinsperre to explain how to proceed. With our tips, parents should be able to experience a safe and fun via ferrata day with their children.

The Damm High climbing arena is presented in the Maltatal climbing guide with other via ferrata routes in the Maltatal. In addition, 400 sport climbing routes, 80 multi-pitch routes as well as 400 boulder routes and 20 attractive alpine tours are described!

Fun is the main principle when you want to introduce children to the alpine disciplines! Photo: Oliver Derfler –

Methodical preparation

In order to be able to climb via ferratas with children, you should get used to the little ones “in the familiar environment”. That on harness, via ferrata set or carabiner and also on climbing in the top rope.

Our recommendation for this would be to learn how to use carabiners in a playful way. These can be simple “clip games” in the garden or on the playground. In addition, maybe something fun to do when you visit a via ferrata area at the base of the wall. Simply deposit a few expresses or carabiners at point A and set the following task: Who can bring the carabiners to point B faster and hang them there?

A sensible methodological increase would then be a playful via ferrata. Simply set up a rope with several attachment points (= hanging points) in the garden or in the forest. Here the children can then cross the “dangerous” jungle path without any worries. But be careful! Don’t let the evil papa crocodile snap you &# 128578;

At the end of this methodical series, a real via ferrata could be the reward. First, it should be a short and easy practice via ferrata. Ideally only at a low height.

Children are not adults!

When it comes to via ferratas with children, it should be noted that they are not adults. Slowly and carefully introduce the children to the task. Work she with positive reinforcement and reward the individual steps when your children climb a "learning level" higher. We also give you the following tips:

  • Children dehydrate faster than adults, be sure to drink enough
  • Children can lose interest from one moment to the next, provide attractive tasks and rewards, such as about small games at safe stopovers or that mom is waiting and cheering on the exit
  • Verme >

    The Damm High climbing arena is ideal for climbing via ferrata with children; Photo: Oliver Derfler –

Via ferratas with children – in the Damm High climbing arena

In the climbing arena at the Kölnbreinsperre in Malta Valley you will find ideal conditions to prepare your children for the via ferrata adventure. First, there is a large and flat area to warm up during games. Second, a very easy and short practice via ferrata at a low height. Ideal conditions to get a taste of the climbing via ferrata. And thirdly, you always have the “right” via ferrata with difficulty A / B as motivation in mind.

After the tour preparation comes security technology

If you have acquired a sufficient level of surefootedness, fitness and technique or safety technology for your children, you can take the next methodical step. Namely walk a child-friendly via ferrata. These are usually characterized by a corresponding distance between the treads and the safety rope and tether. In addition, additional experience elements such as rope bridges and a flying fox should not be missing.

When it comes to via ferratas with children, correct safety technology is of central importance. Each child uses their own via ferrata set or alternatively a 60cm sling with a large snap carabiner. In addition, each child must be secured separately. Consequently, climbing is 1: 1. An adult surely a child.

For older children, they can already operate a via ferrata set independently, adults help specifically in the difficult places!

How to do it

Put on a suitable harness for your child. This can be a seat belt-chest belt combination (small children) or a normal children’s hip belt (larger children). Tie a 60cm sling with an anchor stitch directly into the safety loop of the belt or even a full via ferrata set. Then need A rope about 10m long, which is fastened in the child’s belt with a regular figure-eight knot.

Then leave 1-2m of loose rope and then tie yourself e.g. into the rope with a figure of eight knot and screw carabiner. Take up the remaining rope. This ensures that you as an adult climbing ahead (we assume that you have the appropriate level of ability!) Can give the child pull on this "short rope" at any time. So it will with the entire body weight of the adult secured! The key is: the rope must always be slightly taut! The child should never fall and the sling should not be subjected to dynamic loads when using this system. The adult is always secured with the via ferrata and can give the child support by pulling a rope in the steep passages, or also help with moving.

Everything is great in the Damm High climbing arena! Here the children have fun with the right approach via ferrata! Photo: Oliver Derfler –

Via ferrata with children – watch out for crossings

If there are crossings or rope bridges along the via ferrata, the safety rope must also be passed through a moving carabiner. This ensures that the safety rope runs from the child "up". In addition, the youngster also hangs in his "sling safety device" or in the via ferrata set.

If the safety rope is too high for the child, or if it is too far away for the "sling safety device", this safety device can also be dispensed with if the "short rope" is deflected with a carabiner.

If the children are older and use a via ferrata set independently, the additional rope safety device must not be omitted. However, a second child can be integrated into the "short rope" with a rope switch. A distance of approx. 2-3m is used between the adult and the 1st child or the 1st and 2nd child. This ensures that everyone can move around ideally.

After the via ferrata has been successfully completed, the deserved reward awaits the entire via ferrata troop. The Damm High via ferrata ideally takes you straight to the Malta mountain restaurant, where you can enjoy a delicious ice cream or cocoa with a wonderfully fragrant apple strudel.

Equipment rental at the Berghotel Maltatal

As a partner of, guests at the Berghotel Malta have the opportunity to borrow rental equipment free of charge. Family climbing helmets, climbing harnesses, via ferrata sets and other sports climbing equipment from our equipment partner FIXE are available.

Rental equipment from partners from FIXE

Free toll with the Kärnten Card

If you want to visit the Damm High climbing arena, we recommend the Kärnten Card. With the attractive card, the toll on the Malta Hochalmstrasse is free and you can also visit over 100 excursion destinations throughout Carinthia for free!


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Christina Cherry
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