Just 12 km from the border with Poland, you can have fun on the via ferrata, and during a 4-day trip, you can make a dozen or so of them. In the Czech Republic and Germany, near Lower Silesia, there are via ferratas of all levels of difficulty. They are often single, short ferratas, but anyway they offer great fun :)
I recently tested Czech and German via ferratas. Doing a dozen in 4 days required moving between them by car and staying overnight in different places.
Via ferratas Vodní brána
Via ferrata Vodní brána are located in Semily, just behind the Krkonoše Mountains. These are 3 via ferratas of various difficulty levels (B/C, C/D and D/E with variant E). They are located by the river, on two adjoining rocks, a few minutes from the parking lot. We did all three in 3 hours (including about 20 minutes of waiting in line before variant E …).
I have marked the route from the parking lot to the beginning of via ferratas on the map below.
Via ferrata blue (B/C)
The shortest and easiest via ferrata. Not special views, but it won’t hurt to go for a warm-up.
Via ferrata red (C/D)
If you decide to go a little more difficult via ferrata, you will probably have an audience of tourists on the other side of the river :)
Here, as on the third, purple via ferrata, the views are much nicer. During breaks from climbing, you can observe the river flowing below.
When doing via ferratas I always try to climb rocks as much as possible. It is much more fun for me than dragging the steel wire. I also often wonder how much I would value a given place on a climbing scale and in difficult places, would I be able to go through it if I was secured with a climbing rope, not a lanyard with a disposable shock absorber.
Here, I had a lot of fun climbing :) Pleasant, varied climbing on 3 -4 grade (I mean climbing scale) and also nice views. At the end, a bridge with quite loose ropes, so it’s also interesting ;)
Via ferrata purple (D/E)
The longest via ferrata on Vodni Brana, 200 m long.
It starts with a traverse, right behind which there is a section of difficulty D/E – it is about 2 m vertical (or maybe slightly overhung) descent to the bridge.
Next, very nice climbing with difficulties mainly B – C …
and at the end two variants: B/C or E. We went more difficult, which looked like corner grade 4 from the bottom, but in the process I thought that it was rather 5a. I would love to know the opinions of other climbers who were there :)
Via ferrata Lužická spojka
Via ferrata graded D, near the town of Ústí nad Labem.
You have to park on the top and descend to the start of the via ferrata. We followed the blue trail, as marked on the map, which required tearing through the bushes. Reportedly there is also a shorter, steep path next to the rocks.
The via ferrata has two sections difficulty D and the rest from A to C/D. From the rocks there is a nice view of the Elbe and the city, there is also a lot of exposure in places, but the climbing is not very pleasant. A lot of ground and brittle in places.
We did the via ferrata in approx. 45 minutes and drove to nearby Děčín.
Via ferratas in Děčín (Pastyrska Stena)
In Děčín, in the town itself, there is a rock with a length of several dozen meters and 16 via ferratas of varying difficulty.
All via ferratas start with ladders…
… and then take your pick. Some via ferratas cross, so you can choose your own variants freely.
A very pleasant sandstone rock climbing experience. I was delighted with the rock structure in some places, and quite nice views of the city :)
The chimney on via ferrata no. 6 deserves attention. It was the first time that I encountered such a rock formation on via ferratas. Rated at D/3 +, i.e. 3+ on a climbing scale. I felt it as 4+ and my friend, who had neither walked via ferrata nor climbed before, had a looot of emotions there ;D
Via ferrata Häntzschelstiege
About 30 km from Decin, but on the German side, there is an easy but very scenic via ferrata.
Here the ascent is a bit longer than on other via ferratas described here. You need to book about 30 minutes to get there, and about 2 hours for the whole trip. Remember about cash in your wallet, because the parking costs 7 euro and the parking meter accepts only coins.
The via ferrata begins with ladders made of metal steps. Then you have to turn right and walk along the usual path for about 200 m. Further on, the via ferrata leads along a narrow chimney with a ladder inside. Don’t be confused by the arrows pointing to the side. They confused us and in this way we bypassed the entire second half of via ferrata. But the views were still beautiful and we returned to the via ferrata the next day :)
Via ferratas in Dresden (Plauenschen-Grund)
There is a rock in Dresden with several via ferratas with a difficulty from C/D to E. Here, however, we could only see the rock. It turned out that it is open only on Fridays and the last Saturday of the months from 2 p.m. to the sunset. It’s a pity because it looked cool.
Via ferratas in Zittau Mountains
In Germany, near the border with Poland and Czechia, there are 3 via ferratas, located a several – dozen minutes away by car. Each for about 30 minutes of fun.
Via ferrata Riesenboulder
There are actually two via ferratas there, but we didn’t bother with the short B. We made a longer one, valued D. The first half is a traverse just above the ground. The other half is more interesting, but still I was most interested in climbing routes, which are several dozen on this rock. Most of them are very easy, but anyway I thought this place would be a nice idea for a weekend or a day climbing trip.
Via ferrata Nonnensteig
The most beautiful via ferrata from the surrounding area. Graded C/D, but there is only one short section at this difficulty. Most of the via ferrata is easy, nice climbing on the beautiful rocks. A few more interesting, more difficult parts, if you try without metal facilities :)
Via ferrata Alpiner Grat
The last and also cool via ferrata, valued at C. Although for me, it would have been better, if not for the protruding pegs, which I was afraid to hit if I fell off. The views are pretty cool, although the previous one is nicer :)