/ Via Cordata - what are they?

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Ross McGibbon - on 10 Apr 2019

I've noticed that some Southern Spanish crags have Via Cordata now, often where there is not a Via Ferrata. They distinguish these from Via Ferrata but I can't find a definition or what kit I'd need.

My guess from the couple of pictures I can find is that the difference between a Ferrata and a Cordata is that the ironmongery for progression is present but not the safety wire - meaning you would want a rope to safeguard sections without metalwork.

The French seem to have a different understanding, suggesting it is cheaty bits to overcome short difficulties on otherwise straightforward alpine outings.

Does anyone have experience? I'm wondering about packing my harness and cowtails on the next family holiday.

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gravy - on 10 Apr 2019
In reply to Ross McGibbon:

A VC is usually a VF without the wire and pigtails for bolts.  You rope up as for a sports climb but you don't need any quickdraws (other than those you'd take for a VF for rests or to hang your sarnies off).  You progress like a normal VF (using stemples, ladders etc) and put your rope through the pigtails to protect againsts falls.  Either "pitch" or "move together" as you like. 

Think of it as a half way house between VF and multi-pitch sport climbing and you won't go too far wrong (where this breaks down is that VC/VF tend to wander around the crag and have "sporting" features such as bridges etc whereas sports climbs are much more up/down and a lot harder).

You need to consider extra kit (to belay with), usually some slings and crabs and a guide mode belay device is very handy. Other than that as for a VF, so generally boots/approach shoes (not rock shoes) harness, helmet etc.

You need to check the guides books carefully before leaving the VF kit behind as I think there are hybrid routes out there (there are definitely VF with pigtails which you can climb in a VF or VC style).

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Dan Arkle - on 10 Apr 2019
In reply to gravy:

That sounds like a great idea - and much safer than via ferrata. 

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Ross McGibbon - on 10 Apr 2019
In reply to gravy:

Thanks Gravy. Sounds good - except VFs have been a treat for me, as I can pop on one on my own. So, until my kids are old enough to be trained as belay bunnies, Via Cordata will have to wait.

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