logo bastille The Via Ferrata

Set up on the west cliff faces of the mountain, overlooking the Jardin des Dauphins, the via ferrata of the Bastille counts among the few courses set in an urban area. Enthusiasts for sensational experiences and rock-climbing lovers are offered two itineraries.
- 1st stretch: 200 m, a 120 m difference in height, from quite difficult to difficult.
- 2nd stretch: 300 m, a 110 m difference in height, from difficult to really difficult.
2 ways out possible along the courses.
Free access – climbing equipment is mandatory (helmet, harness, tether)

Lower part: VICAT cliffs / path
- Altitude change: 120 m
- Length: 250m
- Time: 45 min.
- Difficulty: AD+ (fairly hard, suitable for accompanied beginners)
- Intermediate trail: 400m - 15 min.

Upper part: Cliffs of the Bastille
- Altitude change: 110m
- Length: 300m
- Time: 45 min.
- Difficulty: D (difficult) to TD (very difficult)
- Two possible easier escape routes

End of the course: A short barred path comes out under the parapet of an old blockhouse, a few meters from the top of the Bastille
- Altitude change: 10m
- Length: 30m
- Time: 15 min.
- Difficulty: F (easy)


Even when done in an urban environment like the “Storming of the Bastille” in Grenoble, via ferratas are nevertheless mountain activities and it is important to prepare your outing. Check the weather forecast and do not undertake an activity if there are risks of inclement or stormy weather.
Certain via ferratas can be very physically demanding. Consult topography maps to choose the itinerary best adapted to your level. Overall difficulty rating, time, altitude difference (no more than 200m for beginners), and steep passages can prevent certain participants from choosing certain via ferratas.
Avoid high-frequency times for popular via ferratas as much as possible. A high number of climbers on the same itinerary can increase stress and makes the climb less pleasant.
If you are bringing children, be sure to find out which vias are accessible for children. Some vias are accessible for children ages 12 and up because the distance between the bars is too far for younger children.

All equipment must respect current safety standard for via ferrata gear.
- a mountain helmet
- a climbing harness
- a via ferrata lanyard equipped with two karabiners and an energy absorber
- a short quickdraw for resting along the bars in case of fatigue
- a pair of light hiking shoes -a pair of gloves (especially appreciated if the cables are damaged)
- depending on the length of the climb: warm waterproof clothes, drinks, energy bars, etc.
Careful not to overload yourself more than necessary.

With children or beginners, we recommend attaching yourselves together. The cord offers added security in the vertical parts of the climb, while harnesses remain necessary when crossing horizontally. The leader must be familiar with cording techniques and evacuation procedures in case of a problem. Be sure to bring a cord long enough to allow for quick evacuation. Be aware that the time needed for children and beginners can be double that of an experienced climber.
Respect the maximum number of people allowed on passageways and rope bridges.
For solitary climbing (not attached to another climber):
- Make sure your harness is always attached to the cable
- Do not have more than one person on a cable section in between two anchors
- Check that your harness and absorber system is always in good working condition

Read the instruction manual for your gear carefully. It will explain how to use it safely and how to take care of it so that it remains in good condition.

If you are just beginning in climbing, we recommend that you take your first steps with a professional. You will later be able to climb alone in a safe and secure manner.

Inspired by the techniques used by the Italian army to manoeuvre in the Dolomite mountains in WWI, modern via ferrets (or vie ferrate in Italian) offer the possibility to climb cliffs and enjoy vertical climbing, even without much technical knowledge. Regularly-spaced bars and a continuous life line allow climbers to manoeuvre in a relatively safe, physically-challenging environment.

La Bastille - Grenoble's fortress and cable car - Quai Stéphane Jay - 38000 Grenoble - Tél +33 (0)4 76 44 33 65 - Email
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