Mer de Glace Via Ferrata in Chamonix Mont Blanc

 
Last Updated: 
Fri, 13 Sep 2019

Mer de Glace Via Ferrata

Les Balcons de la Mer de Glace was not technically designed as a Via Ferrata, but due to the fixed equipment in place, is very similar to a one.

You should keep in mind that this route was graded as D (difficult) since it represents a high mountain itinerary and it contains ladders, moraine screes and boulders and glacier crossing.

However, not only experienced climbers can access the Mer de Glace Via Ferrata. The route is accessible to beginners as well, however, having to cross a glacier and the length of the route make it necessary to hire a competent guide.

Les Balcons de la Mer de Glace Via Ferrata, photo source @passeportpourlemonde.fr
Les Balcons de la Mer de Glace Via Ferrata, photo source @passeportpourlemonde.fr
Les Balcons de la Mer de Glace Via Ferrata, photo source @passeportpourlemonde.fr

Access

You can walk to Mer de Glace or take the train from Chamonix to Montenvers train station.

You will need to traverse the glacier to the Echellets. From there, you will go up to the Couvercle refuge.

This route should be traversed in around 4 - 5 hours.

Remember to check the glacier and snow conditions, as you might also need crampons and rope to travel safely over the glacier.

Required material:

  • Classical sports climbing route 4+ level max.
  • helmet;
  • gloves;
  • studs;
  • rope;
  • a specialized via ferrata harness (with an energy absorbing lanyard designed for this purpose).​
  • ! Do not attempt to use a standard climbing harness or slings to connect to the cable. Without energy absorber (rope or ribbon passing through a friction brake or block containing detachable straps), the probability of a significant fall is high.