Out on the rock

The south side of Simplon is known for its challenging climbing routes. While most of the routes require experience and knowledge, less-experienced climbers are able to complete a via ferrata of T3/T4 difficulty in Gabi below the village of Simplon.

Gabi via ferrata

You use the three-rope footbridge to reach the main rock face, which first leads over the road tunnel and then horizontally in a natural gallery to the first emergency exit above the forest. That’s where the vertical ascent of over 180 metres in altitude begins. The entire ‘Gabi Simplon’ via ferrata is 750 metres long with an elevation gain of 250 metres. You should allow about 2.5 hours for the climb and return trip. The tour starts in Gabi, right by the gravel pit. A via ferrata set, helmet and gloves are required for the ascent. 

Half-day hire of via ferrata sets is available from the Bäckerei Arnold bakery in the village of Simplon for CHF 25.

Other climbing routes

Other climbing areas in the Simplon region:

  • Dorfschtutz
  • Schularsgarten
  • Glisarogarten

Simplon Pass (2,005 metres above sea level)

From the Hotel Monte Leone car park, follow the paved road until you reach the turn on the right. Make the turn and drive past the house to the end of the road. The rock can be reached in 5–10 minutes from here.

This area mostly involves climbing gneiss overhangs. The routes here are equipped with bolts. The Simplon Pass is occasionally occupied by the military for shooting practice. Information can be obtained from Hotel Monte Leone. 

Gondo Ruduwand (950–1,200 metres above sea level) 

From Brig, drive over the Simplon Pass towards Gondo. You will find a petrol station on the right-hand side of the road, right at the entrance to Gondo. From there, a trail leads partly over scree to the foot of the wall. For the descent, use the old smuggler’s trail (leads through the remarkable couloir). 

Those who frequent the Upper Valais scene call it the little ‘Yosemite’. The south-facing gneiss rock face is 300 metres high, suitable as a climbing wall from summer to autumn, and usually dries quickly after rain.

Important: Since the Ruduwand is on the south side of the Alps, the weather conditions there can be different. The rock face is great for long, varied climbs and is suitable for advanced climbers. 

Equipment for the climbs:

  • Double rope for abseiling (2 x 50 m)
  • A set of rocks and friends is recommended on every route

Source: Upper Valais Climbing Guide

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