Can Frau Hitt be perilous?


Bus Stop: Höttinger Au | West

Imagine you are planning a hike up the mountain to Frau Hitt: what are you going to wear? What are you taking with you? And what kind of equipment do you need?

Through research and development in the field of sports science, as it is also conducted at the University of Innsbruck, there has been a significant improvement in both mountaineering equipment and safety in the last decades. Did you know, for instance, that most hiking accidents happen in good weather with normal trail conditions? Or that 75% of those falls occur during descent? And would you dare to go climbing with those historic alpine boots you can see on display?

Alpine Boots

Would you like to compare historical and modern sporting goods and find out what has changed? At the IVB stop “Höttinger Au/West” you can do so.


Do you know the via ferrata from Hafelekar to Frau Hitt-Peak? Did you already go there? Or on any other via ferrata?

No matter if you are an absolute beginner, a professional climber or something in between, you can test your knowledge about via ferrata routes here.





How much distance should you maintain to the person in front of you on a via ferrata?

There should always be only 1 person between 2 fixed points on the cable.

The distance has to be at least 2 metres.

There is no minimum distance.

Why is the impact force from a fall on a via ferrata dangerous?

One could pull other people off the mountain.

The impact force itself is very high and can cause injuries.

As the arms of the energy absorber are elastic, it could pull you back up and you could be propelled against the rock.

What’s the main cause of fatal accidents on via ferrata routes?

Climbing under the influence of alcohol.

Falls due to equipment failure.

Falls because the via ferrata set is not attached to the rope or because people climb without any safety equipment at all.

What’s the main cause of non-fatal emergencies on via ferrata routes?

Injuries through rockfall.

Mental block resulting from overestimating one’s abilities.

Climbing under the influence of alcohol.

Quiz based on the paper „Equipment, Risk Awareness and Safety-Relevant Behaviour of Via Ferrata Climbers” by M. Faulhaber, E. Pocecco, E. Ritter, H. Bilek, M. Kopp, M. Burtscher. [1]

Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science

Department of Sport Science

Nordkette Via Ferrata Route to Frau Hitt

Faulhaber/E. Pocecco/E. Ritter/H. Bilek/M. Kopp/M. Burtscher, Equipment, Risk Awareness and Safety-Relevant Behaviour of Via Ferrata Climbers, in: Sportverletzung Sportschaden 29 (2015), Nr. 03, S. 151-156.

Faulhaber/E. Pocecco/M. Niedermeier/G. Ruedl/D. Walter/R. Sterr/H. Ebner/W. Schobersberger/M. Burtscher, Fall-related accidents among hikers in the Austrian Alps. A 9-year retrospective study, in: BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine 3 (2017), Nr. 1. []

Image (1): © Stadtarchiv Innsbruck
Image (2): © Paul Treichl 2019

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