Ferrata in Winter

Is it Possible to Climb a Via Ferrata in Winter?

Climbing via Ferrata in winter is undoubtedly an unusual activity, but certainly rewarding and a source of great satisfaction.

A premise is essential: tackling a via ferrata in winter is much more challenging than doing so in summer, making it an activity reserved for experienced mountaineers.

The difficulties one may encounter are highly variable, depending on the amount of snow and ice on the rock face.

Even in optimal snow conditions, the physical effort required is significantly higher than in summer. In winter, the backpack will inevitably be heavier, sections that are normally effortlessly traversed in summer may require more exertion, and we often need to use a shovel and ice axe to clear the steel cable from snow. Our body will burn more calories to defend against the cold, and ascent times will inevitably be longer.

Considering all these peculiarities of winter climbing on a Via Ferrata, it’s clear that venturing along these routes in winter is best reserved for those who are truly trained and experienced. In doubt, it is always better to rely on the skills and experience of a mountain guide.

In addition to appropriate winter clothing and, of course, the standard via Ferrata equipment, your backpack should include spare gloves, a snow shovel, an ice axe, mixed crampons, some cords and carabiners, and a rope (at least 30 meters, depending on the specific via ferrata). Let’s not forget snowshoes, which are almost always essential for the approach.

Just yesterday, with my friend Riccardo, I tackled the Sci Club 18 via Ferrata on Mount Faloria. The Ferrata, of which there is a comprehensive technical sheet on this site (see at the end of the page), was in good condition, especially the first half.

On the more vertical sections, there was no snow, but a thin layer of treacherous ice often forced us to exert more effort. In the upper part, we had to forego the assistance of the metal cable several times because it was buried under a considerable amount of snow.

Nevertheless, everything went well, and climbing this via Ferrata in winter was undoubtedly a beautiful experience, enjoyed in a magnificent environment.

Related posts:
The World Ski Cup in Cortina and Ra Bujela Ferrata in Winter.
A Via Ferrata just above Cortina: the Sci Club 18.
Via ferrata in the Dolomites.