A two-hour hike leads to the start of the via ferrata, with its 1,400 vertical metres of ascent. After the taxing climb up to the Wiwannihütte, you are rewarded with breathtaking views of the region’s 4,000-metre peaks.
Distance 15.7 km
You reach the well isolated valley called "Baltschiedertal" by the historical water channel "Niwärch" which dates from 1370. From there, the path to the beginning of the Via Ferrata is well signposted (white-blue-white signs). The route leads you above steep rocks, grassy parts and an impressive tor to the Wiwanni lodge. The route is situated in a nature reserve and the UNESCO world heritage Jungfrau-Aletsch Region. The tour is only recommended if the weather is fine. At the beginning of summer, some snow can be remaining from the winter months.
If you prefer not to do the full tour in a day, enjoy the hospitality offered by the Wiwannihütte and its impressive views.
Wiwannihütte, 2,484 m
Ausserberg, 1,018 m
Best time of year
Exposition / cardinal direction
Weather conditions: before setting off to tackle a via ferrata, it is important to check the weather forecast. Bad conditions can make climbing dangerous – particularly in stormy weather.
Rockfalls: because of the risk of falling rocks – usually caused by climbers higher up or by animals – all climbers are strongly advised to wear a helmet.
Safety: always leave sufficient distance between yourself and the climber ahead. There should never be more than one person between two anchor points.
From Ausserberg railway station, follow the Niwärch “bisse” (irrigation channel) into the Baltschieder valley (Baltschiedertal). After about two hours of hiking and a stream crossing, an alpine trail marked white-blue-white leads up steep, rocky slopes to the start of the via ferrata.
The ascent begins with a steep climb, steps in the rock and some couloirs, and then a rock pillar – worth a stop for photos. This is followed by a very exposed passage in a cleft, then some boulders and a grassy ridge before the climb to the Wiwannihütte. For the descent, follow the trail marked white-red-white to Grieläger and then across the forest as far as the avalanche prevention barriers. Alternatively you can take the long and challenging route via “Nasenlöcher”, but this is recommended only for climbers taking two days for the trip. This thrilling descent requires certain alpine experience, a head torch, and climbing equipment including rope and carabiners.
all notes on protected areas
Hourly train connections with the "Lötschberger" train from Bern or Brig to Ausserberg.
Coming from Sion and Brig, take the highway A9 and follow the cantonal road 9 direction to Visp. Then turn right to the village of Baltschieder from where the road leads to Ausserberg.
All climbers must wear a harness. Because of the risk of falling rocks along the route, a helmet is also essential. Ensure you have sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing, and bring a small rucksack with water and a snack. A suitable pair of gloves will protect your fingers and knuckles from grazes.