The Chamonix Via Ferrata
The new Via des Evettes is a superb concept. This is a brilliant idea of the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc with advice from the Compagnie des Guides.
Via Ferrata Chamonix (Italian for "iron path") is a new and exciting route that allows people with no climbing experience to adventure into the high mountains with exceptional safety and to realize their first experience of high alpine climbing.
The Via des Evettes is excellent for the whole family, and it can give children a take for climbing and adventure.
The Chamonix Via Ferrata is free of charge - you will just need to buy a return lift ticket for La Flégère cable car.
If you have never done any Via Ferrata or if you are unfamiliar with alpine climbing, it is highly recommended that you hire a High Mountain Guide or take a short course before embarking on this route.
The Compagnie des Guides rated the Via Ferrata des Evettes as 2 out of 5 for difficulty.
To access Via des Evettes it takes 20 min of walking from the top of the Flègère chairlift.
Turn right down the slope to the Refuge Flégère and at the signposts take a right following the traverse towards Planpraz. It is clearly indicated with a ‘Via Evettes’ signpost.
If you have kids with you, it is advised to let other groups go in front of you at the starting point, as you do not want to feel pressured from behind.
Once you start, there are three fairly vertical cliffs which will take you halfway. At this point, you can find the first exit, in case you feel too tired to continue or for other reasons.
The second half of the Via des Evettes consists of the bridge Pont des Chamois and other vertical hiking sections.
The Via des Evettes concludes with the 50m Himalayan bridge, which can be quite intimidating, so there is another exit point right before it.
After the bridge, you can either take the way back to the Flegère cable car station (marked by green daubs of paint and signposted) or you can continue up the Via Corda.
Via des Evettes is in two sections
Section 1 - Via Ferrata
- Equipped in via ferrata-style with a Himalayan bridge
- Duration: 3-4 hours round trip from Flégère site;
- Return on foot in 20 min to the top of the Lift Station;
- Equipment required: harness, long via ferrata helmet;
- A rope is recommended!
- No more than 2 people should be on the Himalayan bridge at one time.
Section 2 - Via Corda
- A very easy climbing route.
- Mountaineering school along the south edge of the Pic Janvier, equipped with bolts;
- about 6 hours (Section 1 and Section 2);
- it is possible to only do the Via Ferrata, which takes around 1.5 h to finish, or 2 h with kids.
- classic mountaineering school climbing route level 4 + max.
- a specialist via ferrata harness (which have a purpose designed energy-absorbing lanyard).
- ! Don’t attempt to use an ordinary climbing harness and slings to connect to the cable. Without an energy absorber (rope or tape running through a friction brake, or a block containing tear-out webbing), the likelihood of a severe fall is high.
- You can hire equipment from one of the many equipment shops in Chamonix.