They closed to secure the “Malyovitsa” via ferrata

There is no clear information on how to use it – what is the appropriate equipment and experience, as well as compliance with basic safety rules, say the Rila National Park

With its 360 meters, it is the longest railway equipped so far in Bulgaria

Via ferrata “Malyovitsa” is temporarily closed, and employees of the National Park “Rila” have placed warning signs at the beginning of the so-called iron Road. In an attempt to climb the route, a 19-year-old girl died there at the end of August.

“Passing the route is extremely dangerous, don’t use it! Talks are pending with the creators of the route about its correct regulation, better security, categorization in order to create maximum security during its passage”, the park management warned.

The purpose of the temporary ban is

ensure a well-secured route and post sufficient information

for the normal functioning of the via ferrata, as there are similar facilities in the Alps in Italy, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

Via ferrata is a special infrastructure in the mountain that allows inexperienced climbers to climb the high and steep rocks. Steps, safety metal ropes or railings are installed.

The mandatory equipment required is an alpine seat, a helmet and a set consisting of safety ropes and carabiners strictly specific for this type of climbing.

Carabiners are self-locking. The set has two straps with a fall energy absorption system, reducing the force of the impact. In an accident, a person will not fall, but will hang.

At the end of August, a 19-year-old girl died on “Malyovitsa” when she fell from the cliff. The girl was without the necessary equipment, without experience and without a mountain guide. Years ago, a DANS employee also died there in a fall without insurance.

The “Rila” park claims on their Facebook page that the via ferrata “Malyovitsa” is potentially dangerous, at the very least, because there is nowhere enough clear and specific information on how it should be used.

There is no information on both the appropriate equipment and the necessary experience and compliance with basic safety rules on the route.

They specify that the closure of the route is only temporary and is the first step in the process of regulation and improvement of its condition and information security.

It is necessary to clearly regulate the functioning, including the conditions under which it is used. It should then be clarified who is responsible for the maintenance of the facility and provide the information for any visitor who does not know how to traverse the route and what risks it entails.

Via ferrata “Malyovitsa” was built in 2010 by the then lodger of the “Malyovitsa” hut, climber Ivan Maslarov and his colleagues. It is the longest railway equipped so far in Bulgaria – 360 meters.

There is also a 400 meter option, but it is extremely difficult and is only for climbers. That is why there is a sign “Not for everyone” at the beginning of the dangerous section. Depending on the tourist’s physical condition, it takes 2-3 hours to climb.

There are platforms from which a beautiful panoramic view is revealed. 6 vertical walls between 15 and 30 meters are overcome, and between them there are horizontal or slightly inclined sections.

There are over 1,000 similar routes in the Alps, but each route has a degree of difficulty,

marked either with colors or with letters, so that the tourist can orient himself and choose according to his possibilities.

Rila Park says that Malyovitsa was built illegally in violation of the Law on Protected Areas and the National Park Management Plan.

“There is a lack of clear and specific instructions for using the facility, because of this, and sometimes the route is used by inappropriately equipped and unprepared people. There are sections of the via ferrata that are not well secured.

There is no organization or person responsible for maintaining the facility and its information provision. The legal way to build such a facility is only after coordination with the directorate of the Rila National Park.

Now there is no specific organization that bears responsibility

“There must be a legal entity that submits documents to us for approval and is responsible for maintenance,” said the director of the park, Vladimir Milushev.

He believes that the technical requirements to which such a railway must meet can be prepared relatively quickly, using the experience of the Alps.

Mountain and alpine guides who lead groups for the ascent say that they themselves take care of the condition of the elements and if they notice a problem, they fix it. If necessary, ladders, bolts or connections are replaced, stones are removed.

Similar to the “Malyovitsa” via ferrata in our country in the Rhodope Mountains and Stara Planina, they are supported by clubs that take tourists there, although this form of management is not entirely regulated.

The temporary ban on crossing caused serious discussions on social networks. Most climbers approve of the decision to secure the via ferrata and define clear rules and an entity to be responsible for maintenance.

Others blame the ignorance of the users for the accidents, not the route.

“Even if you put up 100 signs, you will still find someone trying without equipment

and to have fun”, “Climbing is a risky sport and everyone is responsible for their actions”, “The problem is in the equipment. Even on the most certified ferrata, a person without the necessary equipment will be killed”, “The ferrata is not a problem, the problem is that a lame, crippled and crippled man went up the mountains, underestimating his own capabilities”, are some of the comments under the park’s announcement about the temporary closure.

Mountaineers also give suggestions to make an information campaign for movement, a sign in front of the hut with a description of the route, what the difficulties are, what equipment should be used.

“Thus, people themselves will refrain from excessive heroism, for the rest, even if you put a padlock, they will still pass”, commented extreme tourists.

“Do you have to close the mountain because some walk in flip-flops and freeze to death,” commented others who did not understand that the ban was temporary until the status of the railway was clarified.

There are also recommendations that the state, through the various institutions, even help to create other similar facilities, because there are many suitable places in our mountains and thus attract additional mountaineer tourists.

A meeting is scheduled for September 27 with representatives of the Bulgarian Climbing and Alpinism Federation, the Mountain Rescue Service, the “Mountains and People” Association, mountain guides, as well as people who participated in the creation of the Malyovitsa via ferrata.

It will discuss what and how to do to make the route well maintained and its visitors informed.


The article is in bulgaria

Tags: closed secure Malyovitsa ferrata

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