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Undiscovered Alps
taking you off the tourist track
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Via Ferrata

Invented by the Italians to negotiate inaccessible mountain ranges, Via Ferratas have become a sport in their own right. They consist of metal ladders and thick wires positioned strategically over rock faces which you follow.

Adventure Factor
Challenging yourself horizontally and vertically. Only for people with a head for heights!

Locations
La Motte du Caire, Devoluy, Lac du Sautet and Champsaur

Months Available
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Age/Size Restrictions

Different via ferratas have different age restrictions based on their grading. Most are from age 9 or 10 but there are also 'kiddie' via ferratas from age 7. 

 

Skill Level

Via ferratas are graded by difficulty from easy to very difficult. No previous experience needed but a head for heights is a must!

) Via Ferrata Sautet big descent
Via Ferrata Sautet big descent
Kiddie Via Ferrata Agnielle boy leaning out
Kiddie Via Ferrata Agnielle young girl
Via Ferrata Sautet bridge
Via Ferrata Sautet two guys
Via Ferrata - Agnielle advanced
Via Ferrata - La Motte du Caire
Kiddie Via Ferrata - Agnielle - wide view
Via Ferrata - La Motte du Caire climbing up lavend
Via Ferrata Tyrolean - La Motte du Caire
Via Ferrata Tyrolean - La Motte du Caire - arrivin
Via Ferrata Tyrolean - La Motte du Caire - view
Via Ferrata  - La Motte du Caire - climbing up vie
Via ferrata Tyrolean - La Motte du Caire - mid tyr
Via Ferrata  - La Motte du Caire - climbing up 2 p
Via Ferrata  - La Motte du Caire - faces on way up
Via ferrata - La Motte du Caire climbing mid view
Via ferrata - La Motte du Caire - rope bridge
Via Ferrata la Motte du Caire coming round ridge
Via Ferrata La Motte du Caire cliff face
Via Ferrata Sautet rope bridge with people on it
Kiddie Via Ferrata Agnielle Annie climbing up
Via Ferrata Sautet descent
Via Ferrata Sautet close up woman laughing
Via ferrata Sautet - girl traversing
Via Ferrata Sautet girl traversing view of river
Via ferrata Sautet Bernard on rope bridge
Via ferrata Sautet girl and dad on rope bridge
Via Ferrata Sautet exit part
Via Ferrata Sautet climbing out
Via ferrata Sautet tyrolean traverse bernard
Via Ferrata - Sautet feet shot
Via Ferrata at Agnielle on the advanced section Sa
Via ferrata Sautet smiles and view of river below
Kiddie Via Ferrata abseiling off

Via Ferrata

If you like a vertical challenge and like being in unusual situations, you'll love via ferratas!

What is a Via Ferrata?

Via Ferratas were invented by the Italian army as a means of getting their troops through the inaccessible mountain ranges of the Alps. They have since become a sport in their own right and there are now via ferrata courses dotted all over the Alps.

They consist of metal ladders and thick wires positioned strategically over rock faces and some have wire bridges crossing over the narrow gorges above rivers.

By using via ferratas, you can explore the rock faces towering above dramatic gorges, climb up overhanging cliffs and traverse along the strata layering the mountain sides. For a bit of added excitement, wire bridges are often included as a way of getting from one mountain to another or traversing over a gorge. Some even incorporate tyrolean zip wires as a way to get back down from the top!

How to do a Via Ferrata?

You wear a harness, with two cow's tails (ropes with caribiners attached) and a helmet, clip into the wires or ladders and then climb, following the course of ladders, wires and bridges. You make sure you are always attached to the wires by one of the cow's tails at all times so can never fall very far.

As extra security it is also recommended to attach members of the same party together with a rope, especially with children. This covers any accidental taking both cow's tails off at the same time and falling at that moment scenarios!

Our via ferrata guides are fully qualified UIAGM high mountian guides or climbing instructors and will always use a rope when guiding via ferratas.

Via Ferrata Gradings:

Via ferratas are generally designed for adults and as such smaller children can find it difficult to reach the wires and ladders.

However, there are specialised kiddie via ferratas suitable for children from 7 years of age. Beware though, just because they are fine for 7 year olds - you still need a head for heights! The video on the right is filmed on a kiddie via ferrata if you want an idea of what to expect! 

All via ferratas are graded by technical difficulty, from easy to very difficult and the length of time taken to complete the course.

Most of the via ferratas we use have a variety of routes within them so we can choose the most suitable grade for your group when you are here.

Our Points System

With all of our activity holidays and some of our sport specific holidays we include a number of activity points which you can exchange for the activities of your choice. We will then incorporate your choices into your holiday and create your tailor made itinerary.

Activity Point Options
  • 2 Points - Kiddie Via Ferrata - 1/2 a day guided
    Beginner / Min Age 7
  • 2 Points - Via Ferrata - 1/2 a day guided
    All Levels / Min Age 9
  • 3 Points - Via Ferrata with Tyrolean descents - 1/2 a day guided
    All Levels / Min Age 10
Other Options

It is possible to hire a private guide for a 1/2 a day, full day or even a full week trying out different via ferratas. Please ask us about this when you enquire.  

Holidays where you can do this activity

Ride the Alps Road Cycling (tailor made)
A tailor made road cycling trip taking in some of the famous Tour de France cols the Southern French Alps has to offer. With spectacular alpine scenery and 300 days of sunshine this holiday is a must for all cyclists. Perfect for small, independent groups.
winter
Summer Multi Activity Holiday
A totally flexible, tailor made activity holiday in the French Alps. Choose from a range of activities and accommodation to create your week of fun and adventure in the sun. Perfect for families with teenagers and children!
winter
Downhill Mountain Bike Week
Explore the best downhill tracks of the Southern French Alps using bike lifts and vehicle shuttles to get you to the cols and passes to start your descents with additional outdoor activities to add some extra adventure!
winter
Discover the Alps Week
An all-inclusive week in some of the most beautiful places in the Southern French Alps. A private multilingual guide with local knowledge and a cosy bed&breakfast to get rested in. Cultural visits, good local food and a range of exhilarating activities make it the perfect discovery trip.
winter
Road Cycling Holiday in the Alps
A week of road cycling heaven taking in some of the famous Tour de France cols. Perfect for cycling clubs and enthusiasts looking for a challenge.
winter
School Multi Activity Trip
An unforgettable, fun and challenging multi activity holiday in the Southern French Alps. Perfect for school, college and scout groups.
winter
Summer Activity Weekend
A tailor made action packed activity weekend in the Alps. Perfect for stag and hen weekends, birthday celebrations or just a quick weekend away with friends.
winter
Reviews

Just perfect ! I would recommend Undiscovered Alps to anyone. Sally and JB were very welcoming and helpful, nothing was too much trouble. The booking process was flawless and the points system works very well. During the activities the guides were professional, friendly and motivating.

John Williams
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