A via ferrata (Italian for “iron road”, plural vie ferrate or in English via ferratas ) is a protected climbing route found in the Alps and certain other locations. The essence of a modern via ferrata is a steel cable which runs along the route and is periodically (every 3 to 10 metres (9.8 to 33 ft)) fixed to the rock. Using a via ferrata kit the climber can secure themselves to the cable, limiting any fall. The cable can also be used as aid to climbing, and additional climbing aids, such as iron rungs (stemples), pegs, carved steps and even ladders and bridges are often provided. Thus via ferrata allow otherwise dangerous routes to be undertaken without the risks associated with unprotected scrambling and climbing or need for climbing equipment (e.g. ropes). They enable the relatively inexperienced a means of enjoying the dramatic positions and accessing difficult peaks normally the preserve of the serious mountaineer, although as there is a need for some equipment, a good head for heights and basic technique, via ferrata can be seen as a distinct step up from ordinary mountain walking. Nonetheless the modest equipment requirements, ability to do them solo and potential to cover a lot of ground, mean that via ferrata can also appeal to more experienced climbers.