Via ferrata, climbing in the French Alps
Via Ferrata in Les 3 vallées : VERTICAL ADVENTURES
Access the inaccessible: that’s the gift via-ferrata gives, make your way across a cliff face, enjoy the spectacle of the mountains viewed from on high, defy vertigo and the void… without any real need for climbing techniques. These routes equipped with ropes and rungs offer a fun, safe path across high-altitude rockfaces and cliffs.
Les 3 Vallées boasts a number of via-ferrata with a huge variety of atmospheres, landscapes and difficulty levels.
Welcome to the world of verticality!
First practised in the Dolomites by Italian soldiers during the First World war, via-ferrata turned into a leisure and tourism activity in Italy in 1936 and went on to become a massive hit among our transalpine neighbours.
It only appeared in France in the early 1990s, and then found a foothold across the mountain ranges including, of course, Les 3 Vallées. These vertical itineraries along equipped rockfaces are crossed using belay safety equipment.
They make climbing cliff faces accessible to all ages, even without any climbing experience!
Today, with ropes and rungs, as well as rope bridges, nets and ziplines, via-ferrata quenches the thirst for thrills, fun and panoramic views.
That said, ranging from trips of a few metres across a little cliff to vertiginous summit-climbs, there are huge differences in difficulty levels, atmosphere, and accessibility!
Via-ferrata are categorised from F to ED:
Via Not Difficult (PD),
Moderately Difficult (AD),
Very Difficult (TD).
CLIMB ACROSS LES 3 VALLÉES CLIFFS
La Dent de Burgin Via Ferrata in Méribel
A high-altitude atmosphere for the highest via-ferrata in France! Culminating at 2,739 metres, La Dent de Burgin via, also called La Croix des Verdons, offers a long route along a ridge, with easy passages where you can rest and admire the landscape, and other more challenging sections where you climb to the top of Aiguilles such as Le Curé, perched at a height of 70 metres. A stunning panoramic view over Les 3 Vallées, Mont Blanc and the highest summits in the Vanoise and Les Ecrins.
Duration: allow for approx. 3hrs of climbing from La Saulire summit and a 1hr 30min descent
Access: take Le Pas gondola lift to the summit. A short 15-minute approach hike to access the start of the Via
Lac de la Rosière Via-Ferrata in Courchevel
This itinerary against the backdrop of the magnificent Lac de la Rosière is suitable for everybody, all ages, beginners or otherwise, and never goes higher than 40 metres. After an initial section across rock and a 57-metre rope bridge, those who wish to may return to the foot of the dam, while other adventurers can follow a roped path to climb towards the lake between mountain streams, the Bénite ladder and the Tafones bridge!
Level: Not Difficult (PD)
Duration: 2hrs – 2hrs 30mins
Access: Nearby car park. No approach hike
Le Cochet Via Ferrata in the Belleville Valley
Perfect after having started off at Le Lavassay via-ferrata, Le Cochet is a little more technically challenging and closer to mountaineering, though still in contact with the cliff face. The site overlooks the village of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville with its beautiful light Quartz cliffs, a luminous local rock that sometimes has an orange tint. The east-facing via boasts its own summit: La Croix des Prisonniers, with a stunning panorama over the valley, the mountain pastures and Mont Blanc!
Level: Moderately Difficult
Duration: around 3hrs 30mins in total
Access: from Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, climb to Chatelard village and follow the trail to the Pralanfra chalets. Then a 20-minute walk along the trail
Le Lavassay Via Ferrata in the Belleville Valley
This horizontal route arranged along a rocky outcrop overlooking the village of Lavassay is the perfect way to discover the activity as a family and get off to a good start with peace of mind. Children and teenagers will gain in confidence and be able to get familiar with the equipment and the drop throughout the route.
Level: Not difficult
Duration: around 1hr on the via – total session around 2hrs
Access: On the D117, 1km before Les Menuires, take the road on the right, heading towards Levassaix, and park immediately on the right, after the fork in the road. A 15-minute approach hike along a trail
Follow the guide
Via-ferrata is a safe discipline but it takes place in a mountain environment, the majority of the time suspended over a drop. That’s why we strongly recommend that you venture out in the company of a professional!
A great many 3 Vallées high mountain guides and climbing instructors are available to take you on a vertical adventure where you can enjoy the mountains in a safe, fun way, matched to your goals and technical ability.
YOUR BEST ALLIES
Mountain Guides - Courchevel
Bureau des Guides de Courchevel
Mountain Guides - Méribel
Bureau des Guides de Méribel
Mountain Guides - Les Menuires
Bureau des Guides Vallée des Belleville
BASIC VIA-FERRATA KIT
Lanyard (opt for specific via-ferrata models, in a Y-shape with an absorber),
Medium-sized rucksack (around 30 litres), slimline without pockets or attachments,
A jumper or a thin fleece and a waterproof jacket,
A pair of gloves,
A flask of water, food, sunglasses, and sun cream,
A small first aid kit (plasters).
If you’re not accompanied by a professional:
A 25mm rope minimum,
Carabiners and a belay system,
Les 3 Vallées: a unique playground
An infinity of
Les 3 Vallées territory is an unlimited playground, where all your dreams become true. Discover the many activities that you can practice during your stay in this extraordinary territory...