You’re short of breath, your arm muscles are burning, and under your feet is nothing but thin air. Do you like the idea of scaling a rock face, even if you have little or no climbing experience? If so, we recommend our three via ferratas, all located in the Pontresina region.
On a via ferrata, you are safely attached to a fixed cable, with metal rungs, pegs and ladders for assistance: a simple and safe way to experience the thrill of rock climbing. What do you need for this adventure? First of all, strong footwear, a “via ferrata set”, helmet and gloves – all of which you can hire or buy from the Pontresina mountain sports shops Go Vertical or Mountain Shop. Second, a sure foot, a good head for heights and upper-body strength. Third: for those without mountaineering experience, we recommend tackling a first via ferrata in the company of a mountain guide.
The Piz Trovat (3,146 m) lies close to the summit station of the Diavolezza cable car (2,978 m). Two different via ferratas lead up this dramatic rock pinnacle. One is graded K2/K3 (low/medium difficulty); the other is graded K5/K6 – very difficult, suitable only for experienced climbers. A walk of about 20 minutes leads to the start. At first there is just one route, which splits in two about half-way up, just before a suspension footbridge. The special feature of the via ferratas at the Piz Trovat is the high-altitude alpine setting: the views of the Piz Palü, draped with glaciers, are truly breathtaking.
Tip: Plan to have sufficient time for breaks; beware of possible sudden changes in weather conditions; and check with the Diavolezza cable car that the via ferratas are open. Rental equipment (via ferrata set and helmet) is available at the base station of the cable car.
The via ferrata of La Resgia enjoys an idyllic setting a short distance from Pontresina (direction Bernina Pass, left-hand side of the valley). The climb is of medium difficulty, graded K3/K4. The footpath to the start is clearly marked; the walk from the village centre takes about 20 minutes. Highlights include the “Eagle’s eyrie”, a short overhanging section, and the “Cobweb”, where things get wobbly. At these key passages, upper-body strength is required. The key passage “Eagle’s eyrie” can be bypassed via a lighter variant (K3).
The via ferrata is divided into two sections, linked by a 10-minute walk across alpine meadows. The climb finishes a short way above the Alp Languard mountain restaurant – handy for well-deserved refreshments. Best of all, a chairlift offers an easy ride back down to Pontresina.
Tip: Even though the rock walls enjoy sunshine until late afternoon, climbers should begin the ascent by 2 pm. Admission is free.
Instead of scaling rock walls, how about climbing through the treetops? The adventure rope park in Pontresina is located in a stretch of forest near the railway station. Cable bridges, wobbly walkways, zip wires and various obstacles provide all kinds of fun challenges. The adventure rope park is suitable for thrill-seekers from the age of 4. Children up to 13 years old may access the site only in the company of adults. Visitors are instructed by experts, provided with safety equipment and assessed on a test route. Those who succeed can set off on the course at their own pace. Please note the opening times and admission prices.