Whether you are a climbing gym operator or a specialist in performing rescues at height: Vertical Pro, the trade fair for all aspects of the operation of high rope courses and climbing structures as well as rescue, rope, and safety technique will be exhibiting the entire spectrum of work at heights from November 25 to 26 in Friedrichshafen. The event will be of interest to anyone and everyone who spends time at height as part of their job. “The Vertical Pro offers a platform for interdisciplinary applications in the vertical dimension at the interface between sport, industry, and rescue,” explains Messe Friedrichshafen’s Managing Director Klaus Wellmann. The fair will include the renowned climbing gym meet-up “Halls & Walls” of the German Alpine Association (DAV). The press conference and press tour presented selected highlights and product innovations one day before the start of the fair.
With harnesses, carabiners, and workwear as well as climbing holds, ropes, and equipment on display in two halls, the Vertical Pro will play host to 139 exhibitors from 26 countries representing the incredible range of activity at height. Trade fair partners DAV, the International Adventure Park Association (IAPA), the Professional and Interest Association for Rope-Assisted Working Techniques (FISAT), the German Red Cross Mountain Rescue Württemberg, and the Working Group for Rescue at Height of the Fire Departments of Baden-Württemberg will also be participating. “The extensive supporting program with expert presentations and panel discussions, as well as the numerous demo and test areas, invite visitors to enter into conversation, to try things out, to ask questions, and to stay informed,” says Project Manager Annika Raff.
Qualified for safe work at height by FISAT certificate
Whether performing assembly work on wind turbines, drilling cores at nuclear power plants, or shoring up dams, working at height sounds like an adventurous affair. “People working at height use rope access techniques to reach their workplace for the day and to position themselves so that a specific task can be completed. The spectrum ranges from simple, semi-skilled tasks to skilled trade services through to inspection and testing work, but there is no vocational training to become an industrial climber,” says Sven Drangeid, Head of the Professional and Interest Association for Rope-Assisted Working Techniques (FISAT). Instead, those who work at height obtain qualifications through testing bodies such as FISAT. “Our top priority is continuous improvement of safety and health at workplaces at height. With our presence at Vertical Pro, we reach people who were not previously familiar with FISAT or who only knew the organization in its role as a certification body.”
Greater diversity in route construction
Nora Caterin Born discovered her passion for climbing at an early age. The native of Darmstadt, Germany, began climbing and bouldering at the age of 14. Later she turned her hobby into a job. For six years now, she has been working as a commercial routesetter, a profession which involves constantly adding new and challenging routes to climbing and bouldering walls all over Europe. “I particularly enjoy the variety during routesetting, because you can never set the same boulder twice,” Nora Caterin Born explains. At the Vertical Pro, the expert will be part of the Routesetting Symposium, a group that advocates for more diversity in route setting: “I’ve experienced discrimination in my work. Then I came to the realization a few years ago that something had to change. The Routesetting Symposium’s presence at Vertical Pro can give this topic a larger forum for discussion, create more awareness, and reach climbing gym operators directly.”
Sustainable climbing holds for the walls of the future
Manufacturing climbing holds on a sustainable basis – is it even possible? The Allholds Network developed a polyurethane casting resin derived from 40 percent renewable sources, thus reducing the CO2 footprint of their climbing holds. Since the company offsets the remaining CO2 emissions, Allholds products are the first CO2-neutral climbing holds on the market. The network’s objective is to sustainably develop and manufacture the holds without the use of CO2 offsets. To make this possible, Allholds has already revolutionized their manufacturing process so that 80 percent of the base materials can be dispensed with.
Benky Climbing: Climbing walls and other training opportunities
Whether climbing walls, kilterframes, kilterboards, hangboards, or other training equipment, the brand Benky from Ulm makes everything that climbing gyms and climbing parks need for bouldering, climbing, and serious training. One of Benky’s innovations includes the development of the first frame with a slab option. The highlight of this new product is that the “slab” has the fastest electronic adjustment on the market and is always 100 percent synchronous. From vertical to really steep: the wall can be adjusted from a tilt of -10° to 70°+, either through the app or on an analog basis.
Doubly safe rappelling in every situation with Edelrid
Vaude’s sister brand Edelrid, which is based in Isny in the Allgäu region of Bavaria, has a long tradition, and it’s not surprising that the brand regularly launches innovations and products that break new ground. Edelrid is setting benchmarks with the Megawatt and Fuse rappelling safety set. The universal descender device Megawatt for industrial and rescue operations and the accompanying fall-arrest device Fuse are designed so that both products would already provide absolute safety by themselves. However, the international standards of the German Statutory Accident Insurance (DGUV) require the use of both devices at the same time so that people working at height are redundantly secured.
Tinez Workwear: Protective clothing to be worn at height
It was not until 2021 that Hamburg-based clothing specialist Tinez Workwear was launched. The new company sounded out the market and determined that there is no functional workwear for workers at height despite the existence of suitable workwear for many other occupational groups. The clothing experts thus developed work textiles with functional details and styles that are essential when performing work high above the ground.
Working Group for Rescue at Height of the Fire Departments of Baden-Württemberg: Help in times of need
Some of the worst possible places for an emergency to occur would probably be the roof of a building or the bottom of a silo. At Vertical Pro, the Working Group for Rescue at Height provides practical insights into the work they do and where they do it. Up to what point can the fire department rescue people on its own, and when is it necessary to ask for assistance from rescue-at-height specialists? There will be practical demonstrations of equipment classified as suitable for “Easy Rescue from Heights and Depths” (ERHD) and for “Special Rescue from Heights and Depths” (SRHD).