Via Ferrata is the Italian for “iron road”, and in the world of rock-climbing it, it denotes a protected route with a steel cable guiding the climber.
As you can imagine, these routes are insanely rocky and hellishly steep, with endless drops that would leave you past hope of any survival. So, it’s safe to say that the routes weren’t made for mountain bikes, and that nobody has ever even dreamed of taking one down them – until Harald Philipp came along that is.
This four-minute film documents the first descent of a fixed-rope climbing-route, completed in the Brenta Dolomites and with Philipp riding more than 90 percent of all the downhill sections. Why didn’t he ride the other ten-odd percent? Well, he would’ve fallen off the cliffs and died of course.
As Harald puts it in the Vimeo description: “I honestly don’t want to do this ride again. It’s stupidly dangerous, feels triple as exposed as it looks and there is a lot more uphill-climbing and ladders involved than the video shows.
“You think about doing this tour as well? I really recommend to walk these fantastic route without a bicycle.”
As crazy as it all sounds, it’s not hard to see why Philipp gave this a go when you watch the film. Every shot from the route is stunning, with terrain like nothing we’ve seen before and an adrenaline burst you probably couldn’t get anywhere else.
Just make sure you use your common sense like Philipp did if you go for it and pick up the bike when you need to!