/ Via Ferrata in Zermatt
I have a few questions about Via Ferrata in Zermatt Via Ferrata Mammut, just in case anyone here happens to have climbed this!
I'm an experienced sport climber and am visiting Zermatt for hiking with a couple of friends. They've got a really good level of fitness but are inexperienced climbers. I was wondering if anyone had completed these via ferrata routes and would be able to give me a realistic idea of their difficulty/access etc? To be truthful, I'd like to do the most difficult/exposed ... but want to make sure they work for my friends too!
Is it possibly to do route A and then decide whether to try the others?
Perhaps you could mail one of the ukc’ers who have done it?
Been a while since I done it but from what I can remember you have 3 sections... A, B & C, with each one getting slightly harder/more exposed. You can bail out at the end of each section. Access to the start of A is a straightforward path.
If i remember correctly, the hardest part physically of the whole route is a slightly overhanging ladder (about 10° over vertical) of about 12-15 rungs. Climbing the ladder is easy but you have to be sure they can hang on long enough to move their lanyards above the safety wire supports.
You could always carry a short scrambling rope and back them up if you were worried that they might fall or get into difficulties clipping their lanyards on the steeper sections.
Hope this helps, have a great time.
Other solution is for each person to carry a couple of quickdraws and before it gets steep, clip them into belay loop of harness. Then you can easily (but very carefully) clip them onto rung of ladder for a quick rest etc (but best to still hold on and not do a complete dangle).
Obviously not as safe as a rope, and they'd have to be more confident, but might be less faff.
I think anyone doing VF should always carry a couple of slings, quickdraws, crabs etc. Just gives you a few more options if things are no longer straightforward.
I did all 3 last week. They are routes A, B and C. Finishing A which is very easy and short takes you to the start of B. You start with the wobbly overhanging ladder and thereafter a very exposed traverse with some down on large staples, planks and a fair bit of the natural rock. At the end of B you can walk back through trees to descend back to part of A and your descent route. Otherwise you walk about 200m or so to the start of C. C consists of 2 vertical sections of about 100m each with some easy ground between. C finishes quite high with a 1hr walk back down on a good path. Once C is started it is best to finish it. Take plenty water and some snacks. B and C are good. It is best to start at A however as getting to or even finding the start of B could be problematical. Best way to get to the direction signs for the "Klettersteig" is to go off the main street and up behind the Zermatt Guides office - this take you to the "English Church". Head up and right on the tarmac road from there and you will see the first signs. Straightforward after that,
Literally just did them all today. Wandered up from the campsite and followed the approach alastair described (really accessible). All pretty straightforward but good fun. One of our group hasn't done masses of climbing recently and enjoyed A, B, and C. As per the details, I'd concur with Alastair. His desriptions seem pretty spot on. Enjoy
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