An Haute Route menace: ladders at the Pas de Chèvre

The new ladders at Pas de Chèvre: 3 ladders and 2 bridges

The new ladders at Pas de Chèvre

The ladders set-up at the Pas de Chèvre (2, 855 m) are one of the tricky parts of the walkers’ Haute Route trek from Chamonix to Zermatt. Here are some photos of the new ladders, which I am told are a lot easier than the original set.

Last summer I did a six day trek through the Valais, which meandered along the Haute Route and included the feared ladders at the Pas de Chèvre. The ladders shorten the way from the Cabane de Praflueri to Arolla on day 7 of the Haute Route trek and allow hikers to avoid the Col de Riedmatten (2, 919 m) known for frequent stone fall.

The pass comes shortly after you cross the tame Glacier de Cheilon. At first you have to scramble uphill through some scree and larger boulders until you get to the first ladder. The good news is: the ladders have been renewed and are now considerably easier than the old set up. There are now three relatively short ladders and two bridges.

We crossed the Pas de Chèvre in rain and fog, but still didn’t find the slippery ladders particularly difficult. The only slightly tricky section comes when you have to change from the first to the second ladder. There is a via ferrata cable for anyone who feels like they need to be belayed in some way. Though as we realised on the Ettaler Manndl, we tend to be more cautious than the average, we didn’t use the via ferrata kit we had with us.

If you:

  • … are after a second account of this haute route menace, have a look at some more information and photos of the new haute route ladders on Alpenwild.
  • … would like to see what the ladders used to look like and where their reputation comes from, have a look at this video of a guy climbing up the old ladders.
  • … can’t be bothered with the ladders, you can avoid them by hiking via the Col de Riedmatten. The route is a little bit longer and there is a risk of stone fall, but it shouldn’t be too bad. We met an English family with a twelve year old boy, who walked through the Col without any difficulty.

Related posts:

Have you done the Pas de Chèvre ladders? How did you find them? Share your experience in the comments section below:

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