Via ferrata de la Tête aux Chamois

Published by Stijn , 10 July 2014, 20h23.

Region: World » Switzerland » Vaud » Waadtländer Alpen
Date of the hike: 5 July 2014
Via ferrata grading: TD
Geo-Tags: CH-VD 
Time: 2:45

After doing the via ferrata Cascade du Dar at the pass, our SAC Uto group took the Glacier 3000 cable car up to the Tête aux Chamois, where another via ferrata was waiting. We first checked into the SAC Diablerets hut, where we would spend the night. There was some fog hanging around the cliff of the via ferrata and the wardens of the hut warned us that the route could be quite cold and slippery. Most of us hesitated for a while, debating whether to do the via ferrata or not, but in the end everybody went for it. It gives me the honour of doing the first Hikr report on the via ferrata de la Tête aux Chamois. This is a rather surprising, because the via ferrata is an absolute highlight.


The route of the via ferrata traverses the massive vertical wall below below the Tête aux Chamois cable car station. Going up in the cable car, you get a full view of the wall, and it looks daunting indeed. Descending to the start of the via ferrata, there is a sign standing about. It proclaims that the via ferrata (as well as the path down to the Col du Pillon) is closed due to potential rock falls. Since the people in the Diablerets hut didn't say anything about this when we inquired after the via ferrata, we feel happy to ignore this sign.

There is one short protected section before the information panel at the start of the via ferrata proper. The start consists mostly of easy traversing on a spectacular ledge. An overhanging descent is the first major difficulty, after which there is an escape option.

The via ferrata continues with numerous beautiful ledges interrupted by short technical sections. There is a massive drop down to the Col du Pillon all the while on your left, which undoubtedly makes this one of the most spectacular via ferratas in Switzerland. The crux is the overhanging traverse of the remarkable yellow wall of the "rocher jaune". Another interesting point is a wooden plank underneath a low rock ceiling, where some crawling is required. The difficulties are regularly worthy of a K4-K5 grade, but still, the route feels easier to me than the Cascade du Dar via ferrata, probably because the difficulties are well spaced and there is plenty of opportunity to relax in between (as long as you're not afraid of height, that is...). The final part, where the route starts climbing towards the exit, is the only section that is more demanding for a longer time. Overall, the route has plenty of iron, but there are a few moments where you get to climb on rock as well.

From the exit of the route, it's a short walk back to the Cabane des Diablerets. We're all buzzing with excitement and extremely happy that we didn't let the patches of fog put us off doing the via ferrata.


With its dramatic ledge traverses, the Tête aux Chamois is sometimes compared to the via ferratas of the Brenta group in the Dolomites. I haven't been there yet, but it's certainly on top of my list now. The Tête aux Chamois is one of the more difficult, but certainly also one of the most spectacular and enjoyable via ferratas in Switzerland!

Continued: Les Sommet des Diablerets

Hike partners: Stijn


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