K3-4/5. The first section is difficult; the traverse is technically undemanding, but very exposed; "Grand Mur" is very difficult and demanding.
Evolène (1,371m) in the Val d'Hérens, post-bus from Sion; parking is possible on the bypass.
Coming out of the village, heading for Les Haudères, there is a large sign pointing to the via ferrata. Go up at the edge of the meadow, and it is a short walk through the woods to the foot of the rock wall (the starting point). The route begins off with a small overhang, which gives a hint of the challenges ahead. It then becomes very steep, coming close to perpendicular as it goes up through the compact rock, before bearing left to the ladder which can already be seen from the starting point. The ladder leads on to a fork: the right is the exit route, whilst to the left the via ferrata continues via ledges onto a steep rock wall outcrop with practically no holds. The crossing here is very airy, but is very safe and takes you via a narrow ledge to the entrance to the "Grand Mur" ["Big Wall"], where there is a second possible exit point. The tough overhang of the "Grand Mur" is the first challenge, and then the climber works his way from stirrup to stirrup, with ever more air beneath his feet, and largely without coming into contact with the rock. Moving up the vertical and in places slightly overhanging rock, the climber comes out on the edge of the Prés de Villaz. Time to shake out those arms!
Across the meadows (on a marked path) with excellent views of the extensive mountainous backdrop of the Val d'Héren, down to the first via ferrata exit point, and then zigzagging down to the road. The second via ferrata exit point leads directly down to Evolène.
Eugen E. Hüsler/Daniel Anker: Wandern vertikal. Die Klettersteige der Schweiz, AT Verlag, Baden 2004
Region: Wallis Alps, Val d'Hérens
Peaks/Highest point: Rocs de Villaz, approx. 1,700 m
Time required: for the short circuit (first section) just under 1 hour, full via ferrata 2.30 hours.
Variation in height: first section approx. 120 m, full tour 330 m (via ferrata 250 m)