A Via Ferrata is a fixed climbing route up and along a natural rock face. Climbers wear a simple harness with two short ropes that clip onto a fixed cable, which runs along a defined path with a range of other climbing aids include pegs, carved steps, iron rungs, bridges and ladders.
The Via Ferrata (which translates as “iron path”) concept originally comes from Northern Italy and we can now find routes all over the Alps. The main element is a steel cable that runs along a defined path and is regularly bolted into the rock. The first Via Ferrata routes were developed by smugglers who sought to traverse rugged sections of the Italian Alps quickly and discreetly. These routes crossed borders in remote and inaccessible areas, and were later used by military personnel during World War II.
The Via Ferrata concept has since developed into a leisure activity. These days, the idea is to create routes on spectacular cliff faces to facilitate access and introduce inexperienced climbers to the joys of rock climbing.
With the help of a Via Ferrata, beginner-level climbers can taste the adrenaline of rock climbing in a risk free environment. With no previous climbing experience, climbers can easily reach places otherwise only accessible to avid mountaineers.
Via Ferrata is a new adventure activity and is often tried by people looking for something slightly more challenging than alpine hiking and basic rock climbing, gaining popularity amongst serious climbers and amateurs alike.
In Samoens we’re lucky enough to have a fabulous Via Ferrata just a few kilometres from the village centre. The Via du Mont is located between Samoëns and Sixt Fer-A-Cheval, and is a great route for first timers. The Via du Mont is rated AD, which means it is not too tiring and not too technical, but it will allow you to enjoy great views over the village of Sixt, the Giffre river and the surrounding alpine peaks. The Giffre valley is an incredible playground which offers a wide range of summer and outdoor activities.
Visit our Via Ferrata page for more information about doing the Via du Mont in Samoens.
If you have already tried thie Via ferrata du Mont or are looking for something more challenging, our Guides can take you further afield to try other routes. Depending on what you are looking for we can offer a wide range of choices. What is the most important aspect for you? Is it the technicality? The scenery? Or maybe the length? Our guides can bring you the via in Passy, Saint-Gervais, Annecy or Saint-Jean d’Aulps.
The Via Ferrata in Sixt is family-friendly and accessible for adults and children.
No experience is necessary, but participants must be at least 140cm tall in order to be able to reach certain elements and complete the itinerary safely. This route is not recommended for children under 10 years of age, as certain sections can be emotionally overwhelming for younger children.
You can do a Via Ferrata with or without a Guide. Those with experience and equipment can go independently, while a Guide is strongly recommend for inexperienced climbers and those new to Via Ferrata. Booking a Guide for your first time on a new route is a good idea, that way you’ll learn with an expert the basic techniques of climbing and the safety measures needed to traverse the route without taking any unnecessary risks.
A Guide is particularly strongly recommended if you intend to do a Via Ferrata with children.
Being with one of our climbing instructors or High Mountain Guides will offer you peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy the adventure without any fear of doing something silly that might ruin the experience.
The main risk when doing a Via Ferrata is getting stuck halfway due to fear, vertigo or fatigue. A professional Guide knows how to spot participants who might need extra encouragement or assistance, so they’ll make sure to support you both physically and mentally to ensure you complete the route in a positive frame of mind. The advantage of being accompanied by a professional is also the opportunity to try more technical routes, which will require the use of ropes and specific climbing techniques.
ZigZag’s English speaking Guides will provide you with the following equipment :
Participants are asked to bring :
To book your next Via Ferrata experience in Samoens simply contact us at the ZigZag booking office by telephone on +33631204410 or via the button below.
This page is also available in: French