One of the most spirited and most spicy routes, on the massive mountain local to the town of Gruyères. It is a surprisingly logical North Wall route with perfect safety - à la française- and a few vertical and overhanging sections. There are also repeated sections of soil and grass, making the Voie Hohl (to give it its proper name) more suited to the high summer. The climb to the start point and the descent are steeply sloping, but have good safety. There is a charge for the Moléson via ferrata; 4 Swiss francs for adults, 4 Swiss francs for children; the money is used to maintain the via ferrata. However, the route is not really suitable for beginners.
K4; two short sections rate K5. An impressive Alpine via ferrata over 1,300 metres, across a wall which is mostly in shade; in summer, it catches the afternoon sun. In use so long as the mountain lifts «La via ferrata» are running (mid- June to the end of October).
Gruyères-Pringy rail station (746 m); train and bus from Bulle station. The bus drives on into Moléson-Village (1,108 m), sometimes only running between this tourist village and Gruyères-Pringy. From Moléson-Village, take the funicular to the mid-station Plan-Francey (1,517 m).
From Plan-Francey, head down into a saddle (1,497 m) and then climb diagonally, keeping to the right, over a steep grassed slope, partly covered with scrub and some fir-trees, with occasion outcrops of rock, at the foot of the North Wall of the Moléson. The first wire ropes start at around 1,580 m, but the actual start of the via ferrata is further up, at around 1,660 m, at the base of the vertical wall.
A long traverse with a middle descent to the right leads to the first vertical wall, in short sections even overhanging (it is possible to turn back at this point; if you manage the wall, you will manage the rest as well). In the middle section of the route, there is the characteristic grassy shelf, and then comes the second vertical climb (follow the book of routes) in a traverse, and a finale over an overhang with good safety. The route runs across steeply sloping grassed areas to the metal cross marking the top of the first peak (1,936 m), along a narrow rock ridge down into a saddle, with a final climb over a grassed ridge to the triangulation point on the main peak (2,002 m).
Take the walking route down into a saddle, and then it is a short climb to the cable-car mountain station (approx. 1,970 m); take this down to Plan-Francey. Or you can walk down, on a good path via the west flank and below the North Wall back to Plan-Francey; 1 hour.
Eugen E. Hüsler/Daniel Anker: Wandern vertikal. Die Klettersteige der Schweiz, AT Verlag, Baden 2004
Region: Fribourg Alps, Gruyère
Peak: Le Moléson (2,002 m)
Time required: 3 to 3 _ hours (just under 30 minutes for the walk-in)
Variation in height: 530 m climb (via ferrata 380 m)