The Arlberg via ferrata is impressive, exciting, imposing and also a little scary. We have ventured up and would do it again immediately...
The Arlberg via ferrata in St. Anton am Arlberg had been on our to-do list for a long time - and yet we kept putting off this adventure. There was always something else to do, other things were more important, the weather was not quite perfect ... and then the winter intervened again.
Whether this was unconsciously due to respect? Of course we can only speculate ;)
Perfect conditions, no excuses
And then, finally, curiosity, time, weather and everything else that was needed fit together and we finally dared it on the last day on which the mountain railroads were still open.
The weather was fantastic - sun, best temperatures and a distant view that you could not wish for better. After starting with a proper breakfast at the Omaela, we walked to the Galzigbahn. At the top of the Galzig, we took the Vallugabahn up to the Valluga, which was the first highlight of the day: at 2811m above sea level, the Valluga offers a breathtaking panorama even in summer.
From the Valluga we hiked directly to the entrance of the Arlberg via ferrata (about 20-30 minutes). When we put on the equipment for the via ferrata, it slowly started to tingle: anticipation, tension and also a little respect, which grew at the same time as the peaks seemed to get bigger and bigger, the closer we got, especially for Martin.
And off we go
But still turn around? Maybe some other time? Of course not! The conditions could not be better. One last sip from the water bottle, partner check of the material (seat harness, loops, knots, helmet, ...) and off we go.
The first ascent to the first peak is quite challenging - and in retrospect also one of the most difficult - a start from 0 to 100, which makes the respect for the task of the Arlberg via ferrata increase a bit. But this challenging start is also good for getting into "via ferrata mode" right away and gaining more confidence. Nevertheless - after the first "summit" - it was time to take a breather.
After that, you slowly but surely come to enjoy more and more. Smaller and bigger challenges are enough, but with good friends it is a valuable experience. With the challenges also increases the security in the wall, the confidence in the material, the ambition and the joy. The tension becomes a little less with each step, you should still never completely lose respect (which will not happen so quickly with this via ferrata), recklessness and overconfidence can very quickly become dangerous here.
Enjoy - but not for too long.
In between, of course, you always have time to sit down briefly, drink something, eat and enjoy the never-ending distant view. After all, the via ferrata impresses with a perfect panorama far into the Verwallgruppe and Lechtaler Alps. However, you should not take too long with breaks, the Arlberg via ferrata is with 5-6 hours walking time but a very long and demanding via ferrata and who still wants to reach the Kapall cable car for the descent, should not leave too much time. o
There is something going on
On a beautiful day there are many groups of people on the way - then you have to keep calm, don't put any climber under unnecessary stress and don't let yourself be pushed. There are always opportunities to let faster climbers pass or to overtake. Should it become too much or fear gain the upper hand, then there are also two possibilities of an emergency descent (although these are really very "uncomfortable").
Everyone has their own highlights on the Arlberg via ferrata, but for everyone the tower at the so-called "shark's teeth" is certainly one of them, which you have to climb over. The brave ones stand up here for the perfect picture - we have full understanding for all those who do not dare to do this without further ado...L
Summit victory, descent and recovery
The summit goal has finally been reached with the Weißschrofenspitze. However, the large summit cross does not mark the end of the adventure. From the summit there is still a demanding descent via the south ridge to Kapall. At the chairlift you can recover and review the impressions of the day. After the further descent with the chairlift of the Gampenbahn, you finally have safe valley floor under your feet again.
End of the day in the Omaela Apartments St. Anton am Arlberg
We relaxed - as we should - in the "Private Spa" at the Omaela afterwards. The soothing warmth is now particularly good for tired legs and upper arms after the high demands on endurance and strength. So off to the sauna (60 or 90°), take a deep breath in the spacious shower and let the rain shower splash down on you and forget everything around you for a moment and let the impressions take effect once again. Then you can either conjure up something tasty in the kitchen at home in the vacation apartment in St. Anton am Arlberg or end the day with dinner in a restaurant.
And what adventure awaits the next morning? More about the summer vacation here.