Hike and Climb the Via Ferrata de la Cascade

Rate this Adventure Switzerland Col du Pillon

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Rock Climbing

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:


  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    1.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    500 Feet

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole

Hike and Climb across the face of a mountain, which leads you straight underneath a waterfall. 

A Via Ferrata is a protected climbing road created in the Alps made of steel. With a climber’s kit, you secure yourself to cables periodically attached to the mountain, and climb up with the help of steel pegs fixed into the mountain.

The Via Ferrata de la Cascade, which literally translated means of the waterfall, is located in Les Diablerets. This Via Ferrata is difficult. It requires a decent amount of upper body strength, and I would advise you to be at least 5’5’’ to take on the challenge, as the metal pegs are quite far apart, and require you to reach for them while hanging over a cliff. It also ends with a zip line, which requires you to have experience with zip lining in the past, as you take on the challenge without a guide.

Start in the village. You can rent the gear at any of the local shops. The harness, helmet and gloves will cost you between 20-30 CHF. You will need the gloves only for the zip lining.

The start of the trail is next to the gondolas that take you up to the Glacier, au Col du Pillon. Once you are parked, walk down the road you came up to the left-hand side, and follow the small path. A sign will indicate you in the right direction. The hike to the start of the Via Ferrata is about a 10 minute walk, some half mile or so. Once you arrive to the open fields where you will have a view of the façade of the mountain and the waterfall, keep following the small path indicated via ferrata towards the façade.

The initial climb is difficult. You can choose to skip it and hike around it, joining the path up top. Although you can skip the first part, know that the height of the rest of the climb just increases, although some of the pegs you will be holding on to are better place further into the climb.

It takes between 1-2h to climb through the face. As you end the climb underneath the waterfall, you have two zip lines that enable you to rejoin the path at the bottom. You can choose to skip the zip lines. There are two places throughout the climb that enable you to dip out early. However most of them are after the hardest parts.

Once at the bottom, you will have to hike back to rejoin the path. The hike back to your car is about a mile.

There are great hikes in the area for those who do not wish to take on the challenge, and if it is warm enough, you can take a dip in the river. 

End your day with a nice plate of swiss food at the restaurant at the bottom of the gondola, for the full Swiss experience.

For a less difficult via Ferrata, check out: Via Ferrata de la Tour D'Ai

Pack List

  • Make sure you are wearing proper clothes, and pants that will not ride up when you put your harness on. 
  • Pack some good shoes and a bathing suit if you wish to take a dip in the river.
  • There is no water source on the hike or climb, so bring sufficient water. 
  • Pack a snack and food in case you get hungry. 
  • You can rent all your gear in the village. 
  • And last but not least, don’t forget your camera for the stunning views of the Swiss Alps.
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Talia TouboulExplorer

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