Via Ferrata

Climb in Safety

If climbing up sheer rock on the end of a piece of rope sounds a bit scary then Via Ferrata climbing offers an element of security that still allows beginners to enjoy the achievement of having scaled a mountain! Be at one with the mountain in complete safety, whether you are a beginner or an experienced climber.

What is it?

This form of climbing was invented by Italian soldiers in the Dolomites who used it to enable them to scale vertiginous faces easily and quickly. These days it is a popular sport that makes the thrill of mountain climbing more accessible to children, beginners and those who want a bit more security when they climb.

Via Ferratas are protected rocky scrambling routes. Thanks to the ladders, ramps and cables fixed to the rock ledge, you do not have to be an experienced climber to find yourself perched on a rock face. The sport requires special equipment, but those who enjoy thrills in total safety, can go independently or accompanied by a pro.


In order to do the activity one must have the correct equipment:

  1. Harness
  2. Helmet
  3. Carabiners
  4. Ropes/tethers.

It can all be rented from La Montagne Sports in Bourg d’Oisans.

La Montagne Sports


There are more and more Via Ferrate routes being created every year. Vaujany has two, both climbing up through forested cliffs and passing up near the waterfall ‘Cascade de la Far’ with a built in Nepalese bridge. Your reward is a picnic in the Alpine meadows followed by an easy descent with raspberries to pick at every turn along the baker’s trail back down to the valley. These are perfect for families who want to attack the mountain together.

You can rent the equipment from Ride4Life which is near the lift station

Ride4Life hire shop

Via-ferrata  a tight squeeze Via Ferrata 4

More technical Via Ferrata’s

Les Gorges de Sarenne / Pierre Ronde

Location Alpe d’Huez (1860-3330m)
Approx length 1 hours
Height gain 250m
Max altitude 1885m

L'Aiguillette du Lauzet

Location Alpe d’Huez (1860-3330m)
Approx length 1½ hours
Height gain 590m
Max altitude 2611m

There is also a good Via Ferrata at St Christophe in the Veneon (about half an hours drive away) and another excellent one at Le Casset about an hour away and near Serre Chevalier.

More Via Ferrta's

Via-ferrata equipment required