AN ACTIVITY BORN IN THE ALPS
The Savoie Mont Blanc area, located between the mid- and high-mountain ranges, is the ideal place for Via Ferratas. The Savoie and Haute-Savoie are the top spots in France, with no less than 40 referenced routes. Even so, the sport sprung from the Italian Dolomites on the other side of the French Alps. During the First World War, the Italian army placed huge rope-and-ladder walls to make movement of their troops in the mountain areas easier. Once they became obsolete for military purposes, the paths became used for recreation.
FROM THE 1980s TO NOW
French mountain resorts looking to attract more holidaymakers during the summer developed the activity at the end of the 1980s, with the sport increasing in the Savoie and Haute-Savoie in the decade that followed. This development happened hand in hand with the growth of routes, the increase of rope bridges, Tyrolean traverses, and other equipment.
To participate, all you need is a helmet, harness, Via Ferrata climbing lanyard, gloves, and proper shoes to progress along on the rocks. The minimum age to take part in Via Ferrata climbing is seven years old.
Nevertheless, Via Ferratas remain a mountain activity that calls for professional guidance. The high mountain guide offices provide safe instruction while enjoying the natural elements of the environment. They also give out important information, such as the difficulty level of routes that you could encounter.
THE TOP SPOTS
In the Savoie, the Via Ferrata at the Dent du Chat, overlooking Lake Bourget, is the best “playground” for beginners and advanced climbers. If you are looking for something a bit higher and more mountainous, the Roc du Vent, located above the Roseland Dam, is the perfect route.
The Via Ferrata at the Col des Aravis, along the La Clusaz heights in the Haute-Savoie, offers magnificent views of the surrounding mountains. The Tour du Jallouvre route includes a rope bridge and the ascension of a great vertical tower. In Passy, the Curalla Via Ferrata is a splendid aerial balcony with a view of the Mont Blanc.Where to practice via ferrata?