Fixed rope routes

Fixed rope routes

Great Daubenhorn via ferrata open

The Daubenhorn via ferrata is the longest in Switzerland, graded K5 (extremely difficult). The itinerary leads almost entirely along vertical rock faces, and features many memorable highlights including a cave with a waterfall.

  • Difficulty

    difficult, D/E

    Difficulty: difficult
    D Vertical, sometimes overhanging terrain, mostly very exposed. Safety elements may be far apart. A sure foot, a good head for heights, excellent physical condition and a great deal of strength in arms and legs necessary. Via ferrata equipment obligatory. Not suitable for beginners or children
    E Vertical, often overhanging terrain, exposed throughout; combined with rock climbing. A sure foot and a good head for heights required, along with a great deal of strength in hands (fingers), arms and legs, as well as a high level of suppleness. Via ferrata equipment obligatory; rope teamwork may be required. Not suitable for children or beginners
  • Length

    9.2 km

  • Duration

    8:00 h

  • Show on map

The highly impressive and extrem difficult via ferrata offers the visitor the opportunity to enjoy the unique panorama of the Valais Alps. After 8 hours or so of climbing a good 1,000 metres you finally arrive at the Daubenhorn summit (2,941 metres above sea level)

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Turn-by-turn directions

The route begins with a climb of about 20 minutes up a footpath along the Gemmiwand cliffs. At “Untere Schmitte”, an information panel gives an idea of the route you are about to follow. During the first part of the via ferrata, you cross the Gemmiwand before reaching an intermediate exit at an altitude of 2,300 m. The itinerary continues along a ladder through a 100-metre chimney, which can be climbed in two ways. The normal route leads across a waterfall, while the tougher variant bypasses it before leaving the chimney. A series of other ladders, some of which are overhanging, brings you to the summit of the Daubenhorn at an altitude of nearly 3,000 m. The views here are breathtaking. The descent leads via the small Daubenhorn Glacier to a plateau, where the path initially follows the stream before a final gentle climb to the Gemmi cable car.

Start: Gemmi Pass (2338 m)
Destination: Gemmi Pass (2338 m)

Author's recommendation

After having conquered the Daubenhorn via ferrata, relax your muscles in the bubbling water of Leukerbad's thermal baths. 

Technical information

  • Altitude

    2940 m 2031 m

  • Ascent

    1246 m

  • Descent

    1246 m

  • Technique

    Bewertung: .0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Stamina

    Bewertung: 6.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Experience

    Bewertung: 6 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Landscape

    Bewertung: 6.0 von 5.0 Punkten

Public transport

Leuk can be reached by train (SBB), then by bus (LLB - Leuk Leukerbad Bus Reisen) to the starting point in Leukerbad. From Leukerbad you reach the Gemmi cable car by foot or by taking the local bus. 

Find full timetable information at sbb.ch.

Approach

From Basel and Zurich: A1 motorway to Bern; A6 to Spiez; direction Kandersteg; Kandersteg - Goppenstein car transport; direction Gampel; Leuk - Leukerbad.

From Geneva: Motorway A1 to Lausanne; direction Sion/Sierre; Leuk - Leukerbad.

From Milan: Motorway A8/A26 direction Simplon; car transport Iselle-Brig; direction Leuk - Leukerbad.

Parking

Park directly at the Gemmi cable car or use different parking possibilities in the village of Leukerbad. Follow the local car park routeing.

Equipment

All climbers must wear a harness. Because of the risk of falling rocks along the route, a helmet is also essential.

Ensure you have sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing, and bring a small rucksack with water and a snack. A suitable pair of gloves will protect your fingers and knuckles from grazes.

Safety information

Weather conditions: before setting off to tackle a via ferrata, it is important to check the weather forecast. Bad conditions can make climbing dangerous – particularly in stormy weather.

Rockfalls: because of the risk of falling rocks – usually caused by climbers higher up or by animals – all climbers are strongly advised to wear a helmet.

Safety: always leave sufficient distance between yourself and the climber ahead. There should never be more than one person between two anchor points.

Additional information

Rental:
  • Local sports shops in Leukerbad
  • Gemmi cable car

Find more information about the destination here:

Literature

Eugen E. Hüsler, Daniel Anker : Die Klettersteige der Schweiz 

The tourist office in Leukerbad has got brochures and information material about climbing in the region and will give you detailled information about this via ferrata.

Maps

SwissTopo Maps 1:25'000: 1267 Gemmi