Via Ferrata San Salvatore + Via Ferrata dei Tre Signori (via difficile)

Publiziert von Stijn , 7. September 2015 um 22:22.

Region: Welt » Schweiz » Tessin » Sottoceneri
Tour Datum: 6 September 2015
Klettersteig Schwierigkeit: SS+
Geo-Tags: Gruppo Lago Ceresio   CH-TI   Gruppo Cima dell'Uomo 
Zeitbedarf: 1 Tage

A via ferrata day with two colleagues from work had been planned for a while. The weather made us take the train all the way to sunny Ticino, where we took in two vie ferrate in one day.


Via Ferrata San Salvatore (from Lugano Paradiso, including summit visit)
K5, 650m ascent (130m on via ferrata), 2h45

We hike up on the main hiking path from the Lugano Paradiso railway station. A little above Pazzallo, a large sign announces the via ferrata. However, the approach from here to the actual start of the via ferrata is still rather long. When we finally reach the beginning of the via ferrata, we've already climbed 400m and it feels like we're already almost at the summit of Monte San Salvatore. Luckily, the via ferrata packs in a lot of fun in its short but intensive route. Halfway through, there is a patch of grass where you can catch your breath, but otherwise the via ferrata is really vertical. There is plenty of interesting structure in the rock to use, but due to the steepness of the route, even the best climbers will regularly be pulling on the cable. There's a crux right at the start; if you get past that without trouble, the rest of the via ferrata will be fine as well.

From the exit of the via ferrata, we walk 10 minutes to the summit of Monte San Salvatore. The summit offers beautiful views over the Lugano region, but is also overcrowded, mostly with American girls, oddly enough. We walk back down to the Paradiso train station at a good pace in 45 minutes.

You could use the funicular to get you from Lugano Paradiso up to to Pazzallo, and back down from the summit to Luagno Paradiso. However, unless you're lucky with timing (the train runs every 30 minutes) this is hardly faster than walking.


Via Ferrata dei Tre Signori (variante difficile)
K6-, 500m ascent (350m on via ferrata), 3h15

An unpleasant surprise at the Monte Carasso cable car station: there is a massive queue for the small cable car, even though it's already afternoon. Most people are not riding all the way to the top, but get out at the picturesque hamlet of Curzùtt. Apparently there's a new pedestrian suspension bridge nearby that's drawing massive crowds. After an hour's wait, we finally get on the cable car and travel all the way up to Mornera. A 30 minute hike brings us to the foot of the Sasso Torrasco. Here, a new via ferrata, constructed by the Bellinzona SAC section, was completed last year.

The lower half of the via ferrata is not particularly interesting. The route is rather vertical, but you're mostly climbing on iron rungs. There are a few moments where you have to trust some weight onto your arms, but overall there are no major technical difficulties. I'd grade the first half around K3+.

At the halfway point, there are three options to reach the top: a "sentiero" (hiking path), a medium via ferrata route, and a difficult via ferrata route. We pick the difficult via ferrata (which currently also involves jumping over a dead chamois lying on the path). Immediately the character of the route changes dramatically. The official topo mentions difficulties up to D/E and this is definitely no exaggeration. If I'd have to throw a dart at the Hüsler scale, it would probably end up at K6-. The "minus" is only there because thankfully, the route builders have provided a comfortable stand at every anchor point of the cable, allowing us to handle our via ferrata sets without much trouble. The moves in between are really spicy, though. There are very few iron rungs, even where the rock is steep and relatively featureless. You really have to trust the grip of your hands on the cable, as well as the grip of your shoes on the rock.

Not only the difficulty has increased dramatically, also the general appeal of the route. After the rather monotonous wall in the lower part of the via ferrata, the second half is much more varied with nice pinnacles and sharp little ridges. Some extra effort has gone into creating a creative and continuously interesting line through this terrain. Things conclude with an easy wire bridge, that can also be reached using the medium route. The summit of Sasso Torrasco is only an insignificant outcrop, but that doesn't matter. The difficult variation of the via ferrata really is a worthwhile goal on its own right, and more than makes up for the less interesting first part and for the long wait at the cable car. This is definitely one of the hardest via ferratas in Switzerland. If you're up to the challenge, you'll enjoy it a lot.

Tourengänger: Stijn

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 27006.gpx Via Ferrata San Salvatore
 27007.gpx Via Ferrata dei Tre Signori


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