PINUT VIA FERRATA (KLETTERSTEIG) IN FLIMS – EPIC CLIFFSIDE STAIRWAY

The Via Ferrata (Klettersteig) in Flims is an epic series of staircases and ladders on the edge of a cliff that winds up hundreds of meters above the valley. From the summit, you have incredible views of Crestasee, Caumasee and the entire region of Flims

YOU WILL LIKE THIS POST ASWELL: 4 AWESOME VIA FERRATA ROUTES IN SWITZERLAND

 

WHAT IS A VIA FERRATA

For those who don’t know what a Via Ferrata is, it’s basically a series of ladders, steps, and rock climbing that leads you up a wall. You are wearing a harness and clip into a strong wire at the start of the Via Ferrata. From that point, you are always clipped in with at least one clip. Ever 10 steps or so, you reach a new section of wire and you unclip one Caribiner clip from the old section and attach it to the new section. Once it is firmly secured, you unclip the second clip from the old section and also add it to the new section so you now have two Carabiner clips in the new section and you move another ten steps. I created a little vlog-style video and posted it below so you can understand what that explanation actually looks like visually.

You can actually buy your own Via Ferrata gear for pretty cheap on sites like Amazon and then you don’t need to rent it at each Via Ferrata course. They usually cost about $20-40 USD to rent per day and can be bought for about $200 for a full kit such as this Petzl Via Ferrata Kit

 

HOW TO GET TO THE PINUT VIA FERRATA IN FLIMS

The Pinut Via Ferrata is quite manageable with public transport but does require a little bit of pre-planning. First, you will want to catch a bus to Flims (no train station) and get off at Flims, Dorf. This is the bus station that is right next to Laax Rental, where you can rent your Via Ferrata gear.

Once you have your gear, you can catch the “1” bus to Fidaz, Pinut. It is 7 stops from Flims, Dorf and takes 13-minutes. Once you get off at the bus stop, you will have a 1.8km hike up the trail to the start of the Pinut Via Ferrat where you will clip into the cable for the first time.

Be warned that the bus only comes once an hour (at least the day I visited) so we decided to walk the 2.7km’s from Flims, Dorf to the Fidaz, Pinut stop and it only took about 30-minutes.

If you have the Swiss Half-Card you will receive a huge discount on your tickets. I bought mine when I arrived in Switzerland and it has saved me over a thousand dollars throughout my trip.

The signs just after the Fidaz, Pinut Bus Stop

 

PINUT VIA FERRATA DETAILS

Highest point: 2,057m

Lowest Point: 1,187m

Distance: 6km total

Duration: 3-4 hours total

Ascent: 928m

Descent: 565m

 

RENTAL GEAR FOR PINUT VIA FERRATA

There are a few stores in Flims that rent out the gear. I rented my gear from LAAX Rental, Talstation Flims. They were right next to the bus stop and everything was spot on. The rental of the helmet, harness, and clips cost me $30. This is a little more expensive than other rentals I’ve had on Via Ferrata gear in Switzerland but only $5-10 more.

I’ve added the other stores below that rent out gear and their phone numbers. You can also call the stores and check the weather conditions and ask other questions as they are experts on the Pinut Via Ferrata trail.

  • Guest information, Flims +41 (0)81 920 92 00
  • Sport Beat, Flims +41 (0)81 911 33 21
  • LAAX Rental, Talstation Flims +41 (0)81 927 70 77
  • Mountain Fantasy, Flims +41 (0)81 936 70 77

 

PINUT VIA FERRATA HIKE ASCENT

I followed this exact route, which was suggested by the official tourism board of Laax/Flims. It worked well although we did it quite a bit faster than the recommended times.

Route Distance Ascent Average Time
Flims Village – Pinut bus stop 2.2km 110m 45min
Pinut bus stop – Pinut roping-up area 1.0km 200m 30min
Pinut via ferrata – Servetsch Pinut 1.7km 700m 2h 20min

 

PINUT VIA FERRATA HIKE DESCENT

Below is the route suggested by the tourism board of Laax/Flims

Route Distance Descent Average Time
Servetsch Pinut – Bargis 2.7km 511m 1h
Bargis – Fidaz 3.7km 350m 1h
Fidaz – Flims Village 2.2km 110m 35min
 

 

MY EXPERIENCE ON THE PINUT VIA FERRATA IN FLIMS

When I heard about the Pinut Via Ferrata in Flims, I was actually based in Chur at the time. It’s only a 30-minute bus ride from Chur to Flims so I thought it was something I had to go out and do. It turned out to be an epic adventure and overlooked the Crestasee and Caumasee lakes I’d been visiting in the days prior.

I began by catching the bus from Chur to Flims, Dorf bus stop. We left a little bit late and only got to Flims, Dorf at midday. I’d suggest going earlier so you don’t have to rush because the gear has to be returned by 6 pm. This means the ideal time to start is in the morning. 

Luckily, the staff decided to let us rent the gear even though they weren’t stoked we were starting so late. Each set of Via Ferrata gear costs $30, which included a harness, clips and a helmet.

Unfortunately, our poor planning continued as the bus from Flims, Dorf to Fidaz, Pinut (the start of the route) was going to be another 50-minutes. We decided to power-walk to the starting point at Fidaz, Pinut and it took us just over 30-minutes to walk the 2.7kms up the hill. At this point, we saw the blue and white ‘Klettersteig Pinut’, sign on the left (pictured above). We then turned left off the road and begin the 1.5-kilometer steep walk to the starting point of the Via Ferrata. The entire incline of the hike is just under 1000m of ascent so be ready for some steep forest sections as well as the stair and ladder climbing.

The Pinut Via Ferrata is actually the oldest of it’s kind in all of Switzerland and was opened in 1907. For those who are nervous hearing about climbing a century-old ladder, fear not. This Via Ferrata is maintained by the tourism board and was fully renovated in 2007.

 

The first part of the Pinut Via Ferrata is, in my opinion, the most spectacular. There is a huge spire that you pass by on the boardwalks in between scaling the ladders up the cliffside. It is a really unique rock formation and by walking up on the cliffside you get a close-up inspection.

 
 
The route then continues up the wall and actually leads you inside some caves and small tunnels, all the while connected to the strong cable, which keeps you safe throughout the hike. From within the tunnels and caves, you can see out the gaps all the way down to Flims and the lakes.
 
 
There are two distinct climbing sections to this Via Ferrata and the first finishes at the point pictured below. By this point, the adrenaline should be high and you can take a moment to rest on the grass at a little plateau. I think this ladder is one of the best viewpoints and photo-spots of the entire Pinut Via Ferrata.
 
 
The trail will then lead you on a journey through the forest, a time where you don’t need to be clipped in. In the depth of the forest, there was a surprise. A small suspension bridge requires some steady feet to cross before the trail continues on through the beautiful forest.
 
 
The second section of the Via Ferrata climbing now begins as you make your way up the second and final wall sections. This part is less ‘epic’ than the first section, but you are now much higher so your overall view is better and it’s a great vista.
 
 
 
 
After the final section of climbing, you can unclip and take in the views. I ripped out my 24-105mm lens and captured some of the peaks in the distance and the light rays. It would be a great spot for a sunrise or golden hour at sunset but we were there in a bit of a tricky lighting situation at 4:40 pm. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful and really stunning region. This may seem like the ‘summit’ but you are not quite yet finished.
 
 
 
 
 
Keep walking up the hill for another few hundred meters as you can now take in the view on the backside, which is equally as stunning.  I didn’t take any photos out the back but it was incredible. You will reach Servetsch Pinut and then you have reached the top of the hike. From here you can start the journey down to Bargis, Fidaz or whichever waypoints you have chosen for your journey home.  We took the bus from Fidaz, Bargis but to Flims, Dorf.
 
 
The route back down the hill was really nice and an area I would have never visited otherwise. I’m really grateful I read about the Pinut Via Ferrata as it was one of my favorite experiences in the east of Switzerland!
 

MY SWITZERLAND HIKING GUIDES

I spent 100 days hiking in Switzerland and created a guide for different regions around the country. You can click on one of my Switzerland hiking guides below to help you plan your trip.

THE SWITZERLAND HIKING GUIDE: 50 AWESOME HIKES IN IN SWITZERLAND: I spent 100 days in Switzerland making this huge guide with all of the hikes I personally explored.

4 AWESOME VIA FERRATA COURSES IN SWITZERLAND: Via Ferrata is a cliff-side climbing route where you are harnessed in. You have to try it at least once!

10 AWESOME HIKES NEAR LAUTERBRUNNEN: Lauterbrunnen is the most picturesque valley in Switzerland and is situated perfectly amidst many famous hiking routes.

INTERLAKEN HIKING GUIDE: 15 AWESOME HIKES IN INTERLAKEN: Interlaken is my favorite town in Switzerland and is the number one hiking base.

12 AWESOME HIKES NEAR GRINDELWALD: A great location to base if you are a keen hiker with lots of hut-to-hut hikes and epic peaks.

7 AWESOME HIKES IN MURREN: Murren is one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland and is surrounded by great hiking routes.

9 AWESOME HIKES NEAR APPENZELL: My favorite hikes around the Alpstein Region and other peaks near Appenzell.

7 AWESOME HIKES NEAR CHUR: Several beautiful lakes, and incredible gorge hike, and an epic Via Ferrata course.

MY PERSONALIZED SWITZERLAND TRAVEL TIPS

SWITZERLAND BUDGET BACKPACKING GUIDE: In this blog, I talk about the cost of travel and how to travel around Switzerland on the cheap with some tips and hacks from my experience.

20 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: MY SWITZERLAND TRAVEL TIPS: You probably didn’t even think of half of these. I didn’t either and figured many of these tips out the hard way.

MOST IMPORTANT TRANSPORT TIP: SWISS HALF CARD

OPTION 1: Switzerland trains, buses, and cable cars are EXPENSIVE! I found the best way to get around cheaply was to buy the Swiss Half-Fare Card before I arrived. It gives you 50% off every regular train, bus, and even many cable cars. It only costs $150 USD but pays itself off in just a few days with many train tickets in Switzerland costing close to $100 alone. OPTION 2: The second option is to get the Swiss Travel Pass, which gives you unlimited train, bus, and (many) cable car rides but it’s pretty expensive at around $100 USD per day so if you don’t travel each day it isn’t worth it. OPTION 3: The final option is to get the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass, which allows you to buy 8 days’ worth of transit but you can choose the night before if you want to activate the next day. That way you don’t need to travel every day to get your money’s worth, you can just activate the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass on the days where you are doing sizeable transits. My advice is to book the Swiss Half-Fare Card or the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass in advance before your trip so it’s ready to go when you arrive.

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