Hardware at Height

We missed the signs on the walk up. It was only when we got to the big red one lying on the rockface after the first short section of La Resgia via ferrata that we realised we would have to abandon. Birds and nature are not to be tampered with and the sign made it clear that we would be doing so if we proceeded. We were not to be there until the 1st July – two days hence – on account of nesting birds. (Perhaps they were on some sort of timed evacuation.) We departed sadly.

On the way down we met two Swiss folk who told us the fine was 300 CHF. They kept going regardless. Perhaps their Swissness was protection enough.

Fortunately, as you know by now, there was plenty to keep us occupied in the intervening time and we returned on the allotted day.

It is a great via ferrata for three reasons: the variety of hardware, the waterfall that runs alongside and the fact that the horrible bit up and around the slightly overhanging arête where the holds were just a little too far apart for me, does end.

A ladder glints as if beckoning one to a new land – which it sort of is.

The small cable net at the bottom foreshadows the larger one to come.

Please excuse the focus – or lack thereof. It’s the only photo I had.

This can be climbed part of the way on the inside.

The equation is: exercise + enjoying nature at height = reason for via ferrata. A huge wooden bench near the waterfall allows one to clip in and indulge the second factor.

The bridge is long enough to be seen from the road below. It spans a cutaway in the rock face. Three cables: one to stand on, one to hold and one to clip.

The vertical face scattered with rungs is a doddle.

As always, the close views were as inviting as the broad ones.

At the top, there’s a little grove of education. Each board provides information about a native animal.

The fifteen minute walk to the restaurant and chairlift is the most strenuous part of the venture but is punctuated by a ‘babbling brook’ and bright flowers.

A view from the restaurant.

Avalanche protection, seen from the lift, is an indication that this area may not be as peaceful as it seems.

It’s a bit of a walk back to the car but the route through town echoes the vibrancy of the mountain.

Pontresina is forty minutes south of Bergun and about eleven from St Moritz. Park south of Hotel Palu on the southern edge of the town in the paid parking area adjoining the large business premises. The walk-in begins across the road.

The chairlift starts at 8.30am and finishes at 5.30pm. The walk down takes about 45 minutes. Information on La Resgia is available here and here.

4 responses to “Hardware at Height

  1. Man, Cuttlefish, this post inspires me to make some travel arrangements. Incredible! The beginning also reminded me of an ill-fated scuba trip to a tiny rock-and-scrub islet in Maine called Bumpkin Island. I was in the company of my brother and our friend, a marine biologist and ornithologist, and we hauled out on the seagull and cormorant rookery in complete innocence and ignorance. What we soon witnessed was a mass slaughter of cormorant chicks by aggressive seagulls, and wondered what the hell was going on. It took several minutes for us to realize that our presence was driving the cormorant parents away, leaving the chicks completely vulnerable to the depredations of the less-wary gulls. We high-tailed it out of there, but I still wonder how our short disturbance there affected the local cormorant population for that breeding season. It obviously caused the deaths of dozens of chicks. The impacts we have are subtle but deep and potentially long-lasting, and I applaud you for doing the right thing. Great post!

  2. Wow! That looks amazing and exciting 🙂

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