|highway = via_ferrata|
|A mountain route equipped with fixed cables, stemples, ladders, and bridges.|
|Used on these elements|
|Status: in use|
|Tools for this tag|
See Proposed features/via ferrata for details of mapping.
How to map
Draw a way and tag it with highway=via_ferrata.
Add via_ferrata_scale=* and details along the way such as
- bridges, usually bridge=yes+bridge:structure=simple-suspension+cable_number=*
highway=via_ferrata implies wheelchair=no and unsuitability for bicycles, horses and vehicles. If the via ferrata is walkable without special equipment by experienced hikers add a corresponding difficulty level as sac_scale=*.
In rare cases when the ferrata is extremely steep it can be drawn as a single node.
Alternatives and history
For walkable (without a ferrata set) paths with an additional security rope or other security elements see the approved proposal Safety measures on hiking trails. The distinction is largely by designation, difficulty and actual usage - do people use ferrata gear there? Paths by default do not imply anything about usability and access for horses, bicycles etc which should be tagged additionally.
Before highway=via_ferrata was proposed various methods were in use some of which remain in widespread use until now. sport=via_ferrata was the earliest known proposal - Proposed features/via ferrata version 1. While sport=via_ferrata is rarely used today it might have some utility if it would be defined to have a meaning like other contemporary sport tags.
After the sport=ferrata proposal was inactive highway=path in combination with various tags that would declare the path to be a ferrata became the method of choice and as of May 2019 almost half ferratas are still mapped as highway=path+via_ferrata_scale=* (although the numbers should be used with caution as a significant share of objects mapped with either method may be actually hiking paths with additional security features). Historically there were tags such as ferrata=yes which would make a path into a ferrata. In March 2019 a proposal for this method was launched (Via Ferrata Simplified) which was abandoned after not receiving support during the RFC.
Currently, mapping of ways which can be used as either hiking path or a ferrata with highway=path + via_ferrata_scale=* + sac_scale=* seems acceptable (as long as the hiking difficulty fits into the range covered by sac_scale). The combination of highway=via_ferrata + via_ferrata_scale=* + sac_scale=* would be also acceptable for this purpose. On the other hand mapping of ferratas as highway=path merely for the purpose of having them rendered in some of the few renderers not supporting highway=via_ferrata would be considered troll tag and mapping for the renderer.
- (approved) Proposed features/Safety measures on hiking trails
- climbing=* - mapping of climbing routes