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Old 17.06.2019, 16:15
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Re: Trying out a Via Ferrata

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Safety is the number one concern...the course should be well-maintained and regularly inspected, no iron ferrata bits coming loose in one's grip etc. A range of levels should be available including courses suitable for beginners (but not so easy that it's boring). Thanks for any recommendations!
Hi, not to be too negative, but VF/KS are inherently dangerous, esp. if wet. People get injured &/or have to be airlifted off these all the time; some even die. But if you know what you are doing, start easy, & be very careful, then it's great fun.

There are v. few low grade VFs in CH, but equally not many extremely difficult ones (like in the Dolomites) either. I see no one has yet mentioned Pinut, the Flims VF that is also grade A-B (KS2) and is good for seasoned hikers & people beginning VFs. It is rather long (in 3 stages), but the hike down to Bargis, where the Alpaufzug occurs in Sept., is lovely.

PPS: The SAC has a section on over 50 VFs on their website...

As mentioned the Brunnistockli in Engelberg is easy, but v. short & the others in that region, like the Rigdalstock are hard (KS3-4). I am hoping to do the Engstligenalp VF in Adelboden (Unter dem Birg) soon (once the weather is dry), as this is a fairly short 300m KS2 beside a waterfall.

The Diavolo at Andermatt would (in my opinion) be quite scary for a beginner but OK if you go with someone experienced. The N. face of the Eiger: Rotstock VF is also classed as KS2, but with the nasty scramble down on the other side to the Glacier station I would put it as KS2+ overall - great fun though.

Once you have tried 1-2, then I would suggest the Murren-Gimmelwald traverse VF, it has some great wire bridges & lots of exposure, but overall is only KS3. I also found the Nax Belvedere VF to be not as bad as some reviews make out, although there are two minor overhangs - the mid-route exit may also be blocked by rockfall at present.

The Braunwald VFs (Eggstock) are also daunting for beginners, plus to get off you have to climb down which is harder than going up. I was quite tired after doing the two upward climbs, the long traverse & then the down climb, plus the hiking (allow lots of time for this).

Something easier might be the Alpbachfalls near Meiringen where you climb up a T4 hiking path in a gorge beside the waterfall and have 2 bridges/look-out points. If you're good you don't need a VF kit for this (I only used mine for safety in the wet x1-2) but it can only be done one-way (up).

Other combined T4 hikes/VF/Scrambles include the Sunninghorn in Wemmis (but at least take a helmet for the rockfall) and the Speer, although I haven't done that one as yet. Always check the weather, never attempt in the wet, or if there is a risk of a storm. Always plan well, get there early, use the appropriate equipment & keep within your personal limits.

Good luck...

PS: I just checked my VF Log and forgot about the Varner Ladders at Leuk VS, again they could be done without VF kit - but a helmet is essential for all the loose scree. Also the VF Angelino at Monte Generoso has a low official rating at KS2, but I could not see how to easily get across the 2m gap with just a wire & no footholds, so I went back top the top & down-climbed the rest. I would put this one at KS3.
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Old 17.06.2019, 16:27
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Re: Trying out a Via Ferrata

Join your local CAS (Club Alpine Suisse)
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