/ Best Via Ferrata in Switzerland!?

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magicmartin - on 20 Nov 2013
I'm looking for some advice on doing my first Via Ferrata in Switzerland.

Ive done plenty of outdoor climbing in the uk Sport and Trad up to about a 6A/6b. Multipitch etc Plus Mountaneering. Ropework is good and equipment isnt a problem.

I will be hopefully be going in June at some point. I would like to Fly into Geneva and go from there and its likely that I will only have two full days.

There should be three of us in total and one friend has extensive winter alpine experience/Mountain leader ETC so we would like to do something that pushes our limits technically while we have his support.

Something with EPIC exposure is what I'm thinking.

Your thoughts and advice on this are appreciated :-)
JohnnyW - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to magicmartin:
Jegihorn from Saas Grund. Mind, the best bit was damaged by a storm a year or so ago, and I'm not sure it's been repaired yet?
Toerag - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to magicmartin: VF grades go up for E of F, you won't have any trouble with D's and E's (there's not many of those) if you're climbing 6a. In June the problem you may have is snow on ledges and in gullies on north and east faces, and as it's 'early' in VF season there may be cable damage. apart from that I've never done any in Switzerland so can't comment.
shantaram - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to magicmartin: The Leukerbad VF is pretty awesome and has got to be one of the most spectacular VF's in Switzerland. http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/leukerbad-the-top-of-switzerland-and-possibly-the-alps.html It's easy to get to from Geneva, probably about 3 hours drive, maybe 4. The only issue might be that June is a bit early in the season as there might still be a lot of snow around.
rockcatch - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to magicmartin:

I went to Grindelwald last year and found three good ones:
1) Eiger Rotstock - quite easy via ferrata ascent and a walk off down a gully
2) Schwarzhorn - a fairly long walk in with a relatively short but fun via ferrata and then a walk off
3) Murren sports via ferrata - good fun with a Tyrolean and a Nepal Bridge as well as some good exposure

I think the third here would probably be what you are looking for.

Photos are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockcatch/sets/72157630586799862/
The Ivanator - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to JohnnyW: Jegihorn Wire bridge certainly gave EPIC exposure, but as you say that section has gone - no idea if there are plans to replace it. It can still be done via the original Col route which is a really good day out, puts you on a pointy 3200m summit with great views (Mischabel and Wiessmies groups, at least 9 4000m peaks in your 360 panorama) and a pretty straightforward scrambly walk down to the lift station - where you can hire a monster scooter and freewheel back down to Saas Grund using the grassy winter ski piste.
Or stay at the Weissmies hut and go do one of the long easy bolted routes on the Jegihorn face the next day. Alpendurst is 14 pitches and goes at 4+ and there are a couple of slightly harder lines (5+ ish).
Gustav - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to magicmartin:
The Leukerbad VF is the best I've done - it's a long day out and feels pretty committing - although I've always done it from the Kandersteg side biking up and down Gemmi pass to start (it would be a shorter day from the Leukerbad side).

As mentioned the Jegihorn one is also a great day out. Both that and Leukerbad finish on good summits up at 3000m or so.

A good bet could be to head into Vallais and stay at Sion or Visp or similar and then decide based on the weather - as Leukerbad and Saastal sometimes get different weather.

I've done the one in Murren and it had some nice bits, but a lot of walking through forests - at one point we were in a cow field!
Jonathan Lagoe - UKC - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to magicmartin:

I've done quite a few in Switzerland and Daubenhorn (Leukerbad) is by far the most impressive https://sites.google.com/site/viaferratae/home

June may well not yet be open though.

Kandersteg one is much lower altitude and likely to be open then. This is short but very spectacular around a waterfall.
JohnnyW - on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to The Ivanator:
> > Or stay at the Weissmies hut and go do one of the long easy bolted routes on the Jegihorn face the next day. Alpendurst is 14 pitches and goes at 4+ and there are a couple of slightly harder lines (5+ ish).

Really wanted to get on that face each time I've gone, so fully intend to this year :)
The Ivanator - on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to JohnnyW: Alpendurst is great, but start early to avoid queues. We got the first lift and hotfooted it to the face which worked out well - staying at the Weissmies hut would allow an even earlier start though. The climbing is pretty consistent at around S/HS UK standard, and well bolted, some pitches can be run together if you are not in a traffic jam. Not done the other lines there, but they look decent too.
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colin struthers - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to magicmartin: I did the Daubenhorn in Sept this year - a proper big day out that will test your fitness. Steep and massively exposed but very well equipped. Easily the best VF I have done. The face stands proud and shouldn't be too badly affected by drainage early in the season. Even if it is damp it's a VF and you should be able to press on. Useful tip on the descent - descend the little glacier (you might appreciate instep crampons or similar early in the season) but don't stray too far to the right, I did and nearly ended up on a horrendous tottering mountainside. Keep descending leftwards and you can't go far wrong. Also on the approach the guide I had to Swiss via ferreta mentions the approach traverse as following blue blobs - they are actually yellow. A second via ferrata that looks interesting but a lot less gnarly follows a loop on the crags above the lake near Belalp. I didn't get the chance to do it but my sister, who is a local, says its very popular. Its about an hour further up the Rhone valley but still pretty convenient for getting back to Geneva.

Have fun

Have fun

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