Looking through our via ferrata book and checking which via ferratas are open, we decided to change the canton for a day. Canton of Bern. Decision made. Car, backpack, a bit more than an hour later we found ourselves on a parking lot next to Gantrisch nature park.
How to get there
You want to leave your car up a bit from a bus stop ‘Wasserscheide’ (around 1605 m) , where you can start your hike. Approach walk is easy, stunning and there’s a little ‘chalet’ Gantrischbeizli (1689 m) where you can stop for a coffee, beer or have some cold meat or cheese plate (very very nice people!). From then you just follow the signs up to via ferrata.
Via ferrata Gantrisch
Difficulty: K4, 340 m long. Yes, it’s up and up and there’t not many places to take a break before the summit of Gantrisch. Maybe you can make 2 stops to drink some water etc. This via ferrata is very well equipped. Some ladders on the way just for a bit of change. Quite a few overhangs that make your chicken wings work a bit harder. Totally doable and well, the view…
Once you finish the via ferrata there’s about a few minute walk up to the summit, where you can enjoy Gantrisch nature park at its best (if there’s no fog…).
Hike down takes you to Leiterenpass (1905 m) through rocky trail. If you want to find your way back to the parking space after descending the via ferrata you need to take a trail on the left hand side, which is a more direct way down (maybe more steep as well). At the beginning it is secured with some cables and then it gets a bit easier. From Leiterenpass it is an easy way down…
Starting point: Parking space up a bit from ‘Wasserscheide’ (circa 1605 m)
Target: summit of Gantrisch (2176 m)
Hike lenght: Around 6 km both ways. It took us around 40 minutes to get to the start of via ferrata, 1 hour for a via ferrata. Hike down 1 hour 20 minutes really easy tempo.
Difficulty: Hike up is not demanding. Going down was a bit more demanding for me. Via ferrata is marked as difficult (K4)
Tips: Stop at Gantrischbeizli for a drink. If your chicken wings are not very strong better think of ‘off belay’ material to take with you.
Text: Agnieszka Wajs