Metal cables, ladders and suspended bridges through the rocks.
Via ferrata routes are equipped routes, prepared with metal cables, ladders or steps and other fixed features such as wooden walkways and suspended bridges to facilitate passage in difficult points. These man-made aids facilitate passage in difficult points such as exposed vertical rock faces.   

In addition to the equipment recommended for any type of mountain trekking (suitable clothing, robust footwear, backpack, first aid kit, food and drink), to ensure your safety when moving along a via ferrata route you need specific equipment. This consists of a protective helmet, a climbing harness, ferrata gloves and a ferrata set.
The ferrata set consists of an energy absorber, two arms that connect to the cable with carabiners, and a means of connecting to the harness. The energy absorber dissipate the energy triggered by a fall, reducing the risk of injury. You may sometimes also need an ice-axe and crampons, depending on place and season, or a headlamp if you are planning to enter some of the numerous tunnels of World War I.

Many of today’s via ferrata routes follow parts of the itineraries used by troops in World War I to approach the front. 
There are currently more than 30 via ferrata itineraries around Cortina d’Ampezzo, offering a variety of different features and difficulty levels. 
The easiest ones - such as the Ferrata dell’Averau or the Ferrata Giovanni Barbara at the Fanes waterfalls - are suitable for children and families, if accompanied by a mountain guide or an expert. The more challenging ones, such as Ferrata Sci Club 18 are for expert mountaineers only.


The easier ferrata routes are usually called sentiero ferrata (ferrata trail), while the more difficult ones are called via ferratas.
Ferrata trails are shorter excursions, ideal for families and children who would like to try the experience with a guide.

However, please note that even a simple route can easily become difficult and dangerous with icy or snowy conditions, and sudden changes in weather can make even a simple route challenging. Therefore, we advise excursionists  to tackle via ferrata routes and trails in the company of a mountain guide.