We love good jokes, but we don’t joke about security. Our guests shall be safe during their entire adventure up Hornelen!

Safety rules

To ensure your safety during the whole experience, we have spent a lot of time developing safety rules, routines, protocols and courses. The rules are there so you can enjoy the trip, and challenge yourself within safe boundaries. You will of course receive extensive instructions before you start, but we recommend reading through, so you come prepared.

1. Personal fitness level and medical conditions

Prior to joining Hornelen Via Ferrata’s guided tours, it is Your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the skills/fitness level necessary for joining. Furthermore, it is your responsibility to communicate any medical conditions (for example (former) injuries, allergies, medication, EpiPen, pregnancy, intoxication, etc.) to Hornelen Via Ferrata AS prior to joining the trip. If you do not do that, you cannot hold Hornelen Via Ferrata responsible if anything happens to you during the trip, and Hornelen Via Ferrata might hold you responsible if this results in damage to others.

2. Prepare for the mountain with the right equipment

It is not permitted to use any other equipment than equipment approved for use on a Via Ferrata. Hornelen Via Ferrata AS hires out approved equipment consisting of a harness, via ferrata set and a helmet. The via ferrata set includes two carabiner arms and a shock absorber. In addition, we recommend thin gloves with a good grip and good mountain boots with a stiff sole and good grip. Bring appropriate clothing for the weather conditions, enough to drink and a large packed lunch. Drinking water is not available en route.

3. Use the equipment correctly and avoid falling

The Via Ferrata is designed to facilitate safe climbing. Given that the steel wire and anchor points are non-dynamic, using a via ferrata set is a prerequisite for safety. In addition, you need to have the knowledge on how to use it correctly, otherwise safe climbing can’t be guaranteed. Even though a via ferrata set will soften the fall, falling should be avoided by any means. The height of the fall could be great in several places. If you fall, there is also a risk that you will fall onto rock or equipment such as wires, iron rungs etc. A fall could thereby lead to serious injuries. Safety equipment will thus not always be able to prevent the risk of injuries in the event of a fall. Use the resting carabiner when you are getting tired and/or ask your guide to give additional assistance by rope.

4. Follow the route marking and stay attached to the steel wire at all times

It is not permitted to stray from the marked route, which has been cleared of loose rocks. Leaving the marked path without a steel wire can endanger life. The via ferrata set must always be attached to the climbing harness and wire. When climbing, both of the two carabiners need to be clipped into the steel wire facing away from each other and locked. When you get to a new wire section, the carabiners must be moved beyond that point. This is done by moving one carabiner at a time so that at least one carabiner is always fastened to the steel wire. It is easy to forget to move the carabiners past the anchoring when you are climbing. This can lead to a dangerous situation because you might be falling all the way back to the last anchoring. A way to prevent this, is to move them in front of your hand so you won’t forget when you arrive at the anchoring.

5. Keep your distance

In the event of a fall, the person ahead of you will fall to the last anchoring on the steel wire, plus the length of the shock absorber of the via ferrata set that is being released. This means that it is possible to fall two meters or more past the first anchoring. If you are below this person and do not maintain a sufficient distance, the person could fall onto you. It is therefore important to keep enough distance. This means one person per wire section only! It is also your responsibility to make sure the person behind keeps enough distance. This is especially important where the risk of falling is bigger due to increased difficulty. You also have to keep a good distance to the next anchor point until the person ahead of (above) you has moved on to the next wire section. It is strictly forbidden to pass the person ahead of you. On the route, there will be resting points with benches. Underneath the bench, there is a steel wire that you must always be attached to while at the resting point. On benches and sections with horizontal walkways, it is permitted for several people to attach them­selves to the same section of the wire. Participants are also allowed to swap places on these sections. This is done by participants connecting themselves past each other. At least one carabiner must be attached to the steel wire at all times.

6. Dress and prepare for challenging weather conditions

Make sure that you have the right clothes for the weather conditions and take into account that you might be stuck on the mountain if the weather gets really bad. Also remember that the Via Ferrata and surrounding rock gets slippery when it rains. The return walks can get very slippery and muddy as well, making route finding complicated. Be careful in your decision-making if there is a possibility of lightning. The Via Ferrata must never be used in thunder and lightning because the steel wire and the iron rungs attract lightning and can carry electricity. If it starts to thunder en route, you must as soon as possible find a point to get off and away from the Via Ferrata.

7. Hold onto the wire if you want to and look after each other

The most important thing is that you are safe and don’t fall. If you feel safer when holding onto the wire, then do so. Keep an eye on each other and make sure that everyone uses the equipment correctly and that they are attached to the steel wire at all times. Don’t hesitate to ask your guide and others for help. Better one check-up too many than too little!

8. Use a helmet and watch out for falling objects

Make sure that you don’t dislodge stones or rocks or drop equipment. If you dislodge a stone or rock or drop something, you must loudly shout out “ROCK” as a warning. If someone shouts “ROCK”, get as close to the mountain face as you can and don’t look up (it is much better if the rock hits your helmet and not your face). Loose objects such as drinking bottles and mobile phones can injure people below you in the same way as loose stones. You must therefore keep such equipment in your backpack or securely fastened to your harness.

9. Take care of your environment

Show consideration for nature and always take any waste back with you. Do not leave traces in nature, this can harm the ecosystem and alter the experience for others in the future.

10. Equipment hire

The equipment must be in order and in one piece when you hand it back in. You must pay compensation for loss or damage to equipment over and above normal wear and tear. You also have to be within the height and weight requirements, as specified in the booking-details. This is due to the specifications of the equipment we use.

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