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To provide a comprehensive reference page for the many Via Ferratas across France and Switzerland by giving some inspiration from my visits, some key information and some top tips along the way.  Your contribution and feedback is most welcomed!



Is Via Ferrata for you?

Via Ferrata will test you physically and mentally, and this I am sure is why you want to have a go! Most courses have a significant amount of vertigo, technicality and fitness challenge to them.  You need to be ready to face fear and be confident in overcoming these moments.  Via Ferrata trails generally have little escape routes, and therefore once you are on, there is no turning back.   Before you start, you should talk to people who have done Via Ferrata before to tell you what it is actually like.  

Then for the first time, you should have a experienced guide with you to coach, guide and support you through the course.   Having all the right safety equipment is critical, so please do your preparation correctly.


You should not do any Via Ferrata without first having done a good amount of research to know exactly what you will face, particularly understanding the difficulty of the course you want to visit.  There are many websites, videos, books etc that can act as a reference and the more you research the more you know what you will actually face!    I recommend websites like,, or as good reference points.  

Get ready to step out of your comfort zone!


In this database I use the following criteria to categorize the via ferratas I have visited:

1. Difficulty

I have used the French classification for the purposes of consistency here, but you can adapt to either Schall or Husler scale in the list below.

F (Facile) = Easy (K1 or A)

PD (Pieu difficile) = Not very difficult (K2 or B)

AD (Assez difficile) = Fairly difficult (K3 or C)

D or D+ (Difficile) = Difficult (K4 or D)

TD (Tres difficile) = Very difficult (K5 or D/E)

ED (Extrement difficile) = Insane (K6 or E)

2. Type

Cliff = mostly horizontal VF along a sheer cliff face

Climb = mostly vertical VF climbing up a steep mountain side or cliff face

Gorge = mostly up or down along a steep sided river gorge / canyon

Alpine = mostly at high altitude scrambling or climbing to reach a summit

3. Strength Rating

1 - 4  = From least exertion up to most exertion, in terms of physical strength needed to finish the course (particularly with overhangs, traverses, course length and elevation)

4. Vertigo Rating

1 - 4 = From the least void to most void beneath your feet, in terms of needing a good head for heights.

5. Technical Rating

1-4 = From a technical point of view how complicated / instinctive is the course, particularly in terms of footholds / handholds / rock contact and clipping points

6. Summit Rating

1-4 = How much sense of achievement was there at the top of the course, views, summits, pinnacles etc.

5. Satisfaction

1 - 4 = How good is the Via Ferrata, is it well designed, does it flow well, is it spectacular etc? A subjective personal rating but I think good to know before making the effort.

Please remember, in no way am I a professional guide so therefore the official signage and instructions listed at the start of the via ferrata must be referred to.




I love Via Ferratas, and hopefully so do you!

Hello there! My name is Adrian, I live in west Switzerland and I tackled my first Via Ferrata in September 2020.  Since then I have been hooked, but a little frustrated on the lack of good English language information available to help you plan.  So I started this database to help give you some good information, inspiration and ideas about planning a perfect day on the wire.  Good luck!

As a disclaimer I would say I am not a trained safety guide, and all decisions to tackle a Via Ferrata must be made individually based on your own capability and strengths.  Via Ferrata is a really dangerous endeavour and if not done safely, it can be a high risk.

You should take an experienced guide with you for your first course regardless of how easy it is. The correct equipment and preparation are very important.


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