Any favourites? Wil be out there with my girlfriend this summer (July) so some beginner friendly and intermediate grade routes please. She climbs indoors; Iíve done some VFís as acclimatisation climbs including the Daubenhorn.
In reply to Dom Slater: The Jegihorn is fantastic, although the spectacular wire bridge option appears to be no longer available: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=116099
There are a few others in the same area (Saas Valley, Switzerland) although I've not done them, I saw the cables on the Mittaghorn nearby when we climbed a route on that mountain.
I've done three, all of which I would class as intermediate, possibly on the hard side (although I'm not familiar with the grading scales for klettersteigs). They are all worthwhile, and in the logbook database:
- Eggstocke (Braunwald)
There is a klettersteig guidebook to Switzerland "die klettersteige der schweiz". Also found this showing a few options (in german but gives some grades): http://www.balmer-kunz.ch/2009_07_25-26_Braunwald/klettersteige_def.pdf
Ivan: Thanks for that. +1 for the Jegihorn, although Iíve not done it since 2007 when the bridge was still there. The Mittaghorn is good too, though itís less of a sport VF than the Jegi. Makes a good fun addition to the normal route to the Britannia Hut.
In reply to rlrs: Thanks for those. Nice to get a recommendation for the Eggstocke as Iíd been looking at it but whilst I know I can do it having done the Daubenhorn (if you havenít and get the chance do it cos itís a fantastic route) itís difficult to know whatís going to be right for my girlfriend by just looking at topos.
In reply to Dom Slater: It's several years since I did the Eggstocke, but what I remember is mostly steep ladders, an equally steep but short traverse on a cable...and a short bridge.
When you reach the ridge / plateau there is a bit of more scrambling type terrain, then you have the option to continue on the final harder section (which I omitted due to a slow party ahead, and a gathering murk). Descending from that point was not so pleasant, being mainly on steep grass with only thin cables to hold on to, but with one challenging steep step to descend.
I would say it's between the Schwarzhorn and the Tallistock in terms of difficulty, length and interest. While the location in the Glarus Alps (Glarner Alpen) is probably not so well known to most Brits, you do have in the immediate locality also the Ortstock (walk / trivial scramble, see logbook) and the Bos Fulen (scramble, probably 3s but I haven't done it, not in UKC logbook).
In reply to Dom Slater:
Another vote for the Schwarzhorn. A couple of 'pitches' on the vertical ladders which look worse than what they are ;-)
There's another one down in Kandersteg which we didn't have time to do but looks fantastic through binoculars, it actually starts in the village.
There's another one on the East side of the Eiger which I can't remember the name, it's really
good but I've never seen anyone else on it. It can be a bit tiring on the arms tho because the way down is the same as up (there was prob another way but we never had a guide book, so don't know). I'll hunt down the name for that one and post it back up.
In reply to Dom Slater: There are a few shorter VFs in the Valais which might be good for starters. Evolene (quite steep), Nax (east but scenic) and Saillon are all good. There's a nice one at the Moiry dam too. http://www.viaferrata.org/c2suisse.html
I did the one in Kandersteg with my gf last summer. Turned out to be a lot steeper and harder than I'd expected and I ended up using a rope for the top half. So probably worth doing a couple before that and taking a confidence rope. http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=112102