Via Ferrata

Via ferrata routes follow ladders, iron pitons and cables attached to the rock face allowing you to safely tackle routes that previously were only available to experienced climbers.

Ferrata-Ladder-PyreneesVias ferratas are sometimes located in mountains which summits you can also reach on hiking paths, but most of the time they allow to reach mountain areas that would not be accessible by other means.

But that doesn’t mean that a via ferrata is simply a kind of “extreme hill walking”: you might need a base of climbing skills in some situations.

So if you don’t have climbing experience, we would recommend to practice via ferrata with a mountain guide.

Technical individual equipment for via ferrata should include walking gear, helmet, harness, gloves and a specific via ferrata lanyard. A via ferrata lanyard consists in an energy absorber with two arms ended with karabiners, and a means of connecting to the harness.

You will use the karabiners to connect to the cables that are attached to the rock and will prevent you to drop more than a couple of meters in case of fall.

Via-Ferrata-ladder-sorrosalVia ferrata are not as common in the Pyrenees as they are in the Alps, but you can find some nice and easy ones in the area around Biescas and Valle de Tena that will be perfect for an introduction to this activity. We have listed the main vias ferratas you will find in the surrounding area and that are in good conditions for practice:

– Santa Elena. Easy and short route. Located at 5 km from Biescas. 2 min walk from car park. Suitable all year around.
– Riglos. Medium difficulty route. Located at 1h30 from Biescas. 1h30 walk from car park. Warm area in summertime.

– Sorrosal. Challenging route. Located at 45min from Biescas. Better in summertime.
– Foradada del Toscar. Difficult route, and not in so good condition as the previous routes . Located 1h20 from Biescas. Better in wintertime.

Our friend Gustavo has put online videos of some of these vias ferratas he enjoyed with some friends of him.  Below he offers us some interesting images of Foradada del toscar via ferrata!

Please note video content music.

3 thoughts on “Via Ferrata”

  1. Are these via ferratas owned privately? What I mean to ask is do guides need to be hired or are permits required? I have rock climbing experience, but have never done a via ferrata and am unsure of the legalities involving the use of them. Many thanks in advance!

  2. Dears,
    Could you advice if these are iron roped all way through? We all know that the issue is not where the rope is and exposition but when there are spots where you cannot “clip up” to the iron wire
    Thank you in advance.

  3. Hi Kate,
    It totally depends on which via Ferrata. Some are equipped really well the whole way. However, it is fairly normal for longer Ferrata routes to have easier sections that don’t have a cable to clip into. For example, of the two Via Ferrata’s near Riglos, one (the one that climbs up to the Mirador de la Buitres) is equipped the whole way and the other at Peña Rueba is a much longer via ferrata and has sections without cables.
    Get a good guidebook if you’re unsure, ask around how is the Ferrata equipped and if in doubt get a local guide. Near most Ferrata’s there are guiding companies or if you’re in the Valle de Tena or Ordesa area drop us an email at info@hikepyrenees.co.uk and we can help you.
    Have a great time of the via Ferrata – they are great fun!

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