Tête aux Chamois - Via ferrata

Les Diablerets

A sports via ferrata "à la française", running through the drops on the north side of the Tête aux Chamois: numerous extremely exposed traverses, and in between these shorter vertical passages. Essentially, it follows a series of natural ledges, comfortably wide in places, but often narrowing until just wide enough to take a foot; the traverse of the "Rocher Jaune" is guaranteed to set your hair standing on end. An unusual feature is that you climb down to the start, and from the finish you climb up to the cable-car. The via ferrata extends over about 800 metres.

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Difficulty
K 5. Technically only a moderately demanding via ferrata, but the route is seriously exposed and has some passages which sap the strength (overhangs). Achieving this climb calls above all for fearlessness and vigorous commitment. A third of the way along, it is possible to come off the via ferrata on the scree slope below the Tête aux Chamois.

Starting-point
Col du Pillon (1,546 m), road crossing from Gstaad to Les Diablerets; post-bus.

Walk-in
From the cable-car station, a short downhill section goes to the Cabane des Diablerets (2,485 m). Keep to the right here on the path to the lodges and across a harmless tier of rock down to the start of the via ferrata (approx. 2,400 m).

Tête aux Chamois via ferrata

A grassy ledge which gradually narrows into a strip of rock barely more than the width of a foot leads you out into the vertical, immediately quickening the pulse. This is followed by alternating climbs and horizontal sections; vertical passages equipped with iron stirrups lead to the next ledge. After roughly a third of the total route, the via ferrata approaches the foot of the wall; if you have had your fill of the nerve-tingling excitement, thrilling to the vertical, then you have the option of heading downhill at this point (the "échappatoire").
The continuation of the via ferrata is, if anything, more demanding, with short overhangs and traverses which force the climber out from the face of the rock. The "Rocher Jaune", a yellow outcrop in the wall, beneath mighty overhangs, is guaranteed to set nerves jangling - inviting you to dance above the bottomless void, albeit whilst benefiting from the best of safety (irons for foot- and hand-holds, securing ropes). The route continues over ledges; a wooden rail assisting when crossing a break in the rock. There is an airy traverse to an overhang, before the route eases over compact rock and out onto a stunning terrace. Turning left takes you to the last steep climb, and the finish (approx. 2,410 m).

Descent

A trail path leads through the Entre la Reille cirque up to the cable-car station at the Tête aux Chamois.


Quelle:
Eugen E. Hüsler/Daniel Anker: Wandern vertikal. Die Klettersteige der Schweiz, AT Verlag, Baden 2004

Information

Region: The Alps of Vaud, Les Diablerets
Peak: Tête aux Chamois (2,525 m)
Time required: in total 3 hours (via ferrata 2 1/4 hours.)
Variation in height: with drop and climbing again, 240 m (via ferrata 100 m)



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