VIA FERRATA (AD/D > K3/4)
PHYSICAL RATING: 2
VERTIGO RATING: 3
TECHNICAL RATING: 2
Departure Altitude: 1653m
Arrival Altitude: 1833m
Climb (or descent): 180m
Time: 2-3 hours
Monkey Bridge: 2
Zip Line: 0
Open: April to November
By car, you can park at Charmey cable car station.
By train, take train to Broc-village and then the bus 260 (direction Jaun) to Charmey village, the cable car station is a 2 minute walk away.
Take the cable car up to the top station, which will cost 24chf return. Via Ferrata entrance costs 4chf for an adult.
WHAT TO KNOW!
The fantastic new Via Ferrata at Charmey, was opened across 2022-2023. There are 3 courses in total:
Les Contreforts - K3/4
Plein Vide I - K5 (experts only)
Plein Vide II - K6 (super experts only)
Each course is around the same length (between 600-660m), and all with the same elevation. The courses start of at slightly different points along the base of the cliff, but all congregate together at around the half way point.
From the cable car station, it is about a 15 minute walk to the Via Ferrata start, following the well positioned white signposts. I would advise to put on your kit at the base of the valley as the final climb up to the start requires you already to wear your helmet due to possible falling rocks.
We did the K3/4 varient today, and it was a really fun course, full of different elements. The course took about 1hr 45 mins in total to do, followed by a 20 min descent back to the cable car. The course itself is really nicely designed with plenty of variety. There are a few technical moments on the climb but nothing too challenging. At a few points in the via ferrata you can choose to take a more difficult route, which gives the route its K4 classification, there are 4 alternative routes throughout the via ferrata. The ascent has a number of possible rest points as you climb, and will take in a wire bridge, a net and a monkey bridge. The summit is amazing, and you really want to do this via ferrata on a really clear day to take in the amazing views of the Fribourg alps, which truly are spectacular. After you reach the summit it's not over, the via ferrata goes into a steep descent, so reset your concentration and make sure you focus on the skills needed for a descent via ferrata. You will reach an amazing passerelle at about half way down the descent which will take you from one peak to the next, it is 66m long! This bridge is really amazing, and one of the highlights of Swiss Via Ferrata in my view - enjoy it! After the bridge is a little bit of a tricky descent until you reach the finish. Following this is a zig zag descent back down to the cable car station.
If you enjoy via ferrata, then I highly recommend this route, truly it is great fun with so much variety, spectacular views and really cool sections. The course is fairly long and there are a few sections that are pretty exposed.
Highlights for me were the amazing views from the summit, the net section and of course the epic 66m passerelle towards the end of the course. There are quite a few descent sections which you need to take care on, and with this via ferrata a lot of potential loose rocks and debris, so really be sure to keep safe distance between your group.
I would not recommend this Via Ferrata for total novices, but I think it is pretty accessible for people with a good head for heights, a good level of fitness and those who enjoy a fun challenge!
More info at www.charmey.ch