De la Roche a Agathe – is famed for being the most difficult Via Ferrata in the lake Annecy area (in the Haute-Savoie region in the French Alps). We’ve been there, survived and loved it – well I did anyway – Heather and Ollie bottled it after a few minutes. This was the single most scariest thing I have done in my life, it’s a shame that the pictures don’t do the scale of the climb justice. It’s a sheer vertical climb with a scary tight rope crossing near the beginning. It gave me an incredible buzz on completion but there were times I thought…this is it.
This via ferrata in Thones (de la Roche a Agathe) is considered one of the harder in France, and very steep and overhanging in places, with some heart-in-mouth gorge crossings, the literature says ‘you will need to be in decent physical (and mental) condition to take it on’.
- Altitude: It climbs from 660m to 895m above sea level
- Length: in total you cover 600m of the south west facing cliff face
- Difficulty: D+ (Difficult) to start (accessible to most people, with an ED (very difficult) finish. There are some easier alternatives to the steepest sections on the Thones via ferrata, bringing the overall grade down from ED, to Difficult.
- Time: It is a bit shorter than the other via ferratas nearby in the Alps, typically taking about 2-3 hours – I did it in one hour thirty minutes!!!
Take a look at the last photograph – if you enlarge you can just see me and the size of the cliff.