Via Ferrata Chamonix Mont-Blanc


"Iron Roads", translated from Italian, is a cross between hiking and climbing. Via Ferrata routes are built into rock faces with cables and ladders and other equipment designed to facilitate people's progression along the route and to optimize their security.

Developed by the Italian Army in the Dolomites during WW1 to access "inaccessible" peaks and equip safe passage for the troups carrying heavy equipment, Via Ferrata is now a new activity in its own right for people keen to try something a little more challenging than alpine hiking. Although no real climbing ability is needed, a via ferrata does demand a steady head for heights.

Via Ferrata at les Evettes. In the background, from left to right: Aiguille Pourrie; Col de la Glière; la Cathédrale; Col des Lacs Noirs. photo source: @Oriana Frarier
Via Ferrata Chamonix
Via Ferrata in Chamonix
Via Ferrata Chamonix Valley
Information Via Ferrata Chamonix

Where to do some Via Ferrata in Chamonix?

The first French Via Ferrata was built in 1988, and it became popular in France and Switzerland in the 90s. There are lots of Via Ferratas close to Chamonix within a 30min to 1 hour drive.

  • Mer de Glace in Chamonix
  • Passy
  • Borderan in the Col des Aravis near La Clusaz
  • Yves Pollet Villard in La Clusaz
  • Saix du Tour in Avoriaz / Morzine
  • Saix de Miolène in Chapelle / Abondance
  • Tour de Jalouvre in Grand Bornand
  • Collonges in St. Julien / Genève
  • Reclavier in St. Julien / Genève
  • du Mont in Sixt Fer à Cheval
  • la Roche à l'Agathe in Thônes

Mer de Glace - Chamonix: Starts at the Montenvers train station, traverses the Mer de Glac glacier, then at the Echellets goes up to the refuge Couvercle (4-5 hours up). Lots of ladders (30).

The Borderan Via Ferrata - Col des Aravis - La Clusaz: On the Borderan cliffs above La Clusaz are two via ferratas equipped with cables, metal ladders and suspended walkways.

Yves Pollet Villard - Col des Aravis - La Clusaz: Starts and finishes at the Col des Aravis. (3 1/2 hours roundtrip) 1 spectacular footbridge.

How to practice the Via Ferrata?

It is recommended to take a guide or an instructor, either for a first time experience or also to discover the best sites.

Via Ferrata Specialists, Providers and Guides

Required Equipment

  • a via ferrata sling equipped with a braking system and 2 carabiners - designed to prevent a fall.
  • a helmet

Also, as in any climbing activity, you should bring: a climbing rope, carabiners, appropriate footwear, gloves, and a backpack with supplies and a water bottle.

When you hire a guide, normally this specialized equipment will be provided for you.

For more information visit