We know we said the most difficult in the world, but we couldn’t narrow it down between these two. Via Ferratas across the world were once used as a form of transportation, but we can’t imagine taking this trek back in the day. Here are our choice of the two most difficult Via Ferratas on earth.
Chang Kong Via Ferrata
The Chang Kong Via Ferrata presents one of the most beautiful, challenging, and difficult Via Ferratas in the world. This is one of the oldest cliff walks to exist. According to history, parts of this Via Ferrata were built in the 13th Century, making it over 700 years old. To get to this awesome location, fly into Xi’an, and then take an approximate 2 hour bus ride from there near the towns of Weinan and Huayin. Once you arrive, you can walk about three and a half miles to Hua Shan mountain. When approaching the cliffside, it is clear why Chang Kong is one of the most difficult Via Ferrata hikes in the world. Don’t let the danger push you away, because there are cables that you can attach yourself into as long as you have an appropriate harness and jolt-relieving tethers. Since there were many incidents causing concern in the area with this Via Ferrata the use of a harness is strongly recommended.
The pathway of Chang Kong is full of history and is sure to fill you with adrenaline. Some of the hike, you will be hiking along steep cliff faces on small pathways. Areas of the hike also include boards bolted to the cliffside less than 2 feet wide. Make sure to watch your step! There are also areas of the hike that include swinging rope bridges across deep caverns with nothing but danger below! Make sure to enjoy the scenery, but if you are afraid of heights you may not want to look down.
Marmolada-Punta Penia Via Ferrata
The Dolomites in Italy is known as one of the most iconic Via Ferrata locations in the world and is one of the forefathers of Via Ferrata trips. This trip is also filled with rich history as the Via Ferrata in Italy was originally created during world war to traverse from mountainside huts and move supplies incognito deep through this mountainous terrain. One of the most awesome trips through these old mountain routes is the Marmolada-Punta Penia. Since this route is absolutely massive in size and height it is often referred to as the “Queen of the Dolomites.”
If you are thinking about tackling this giant Via Ferrata, make sure you are adequately prepared, as it takes much skill and planning to conquer. Oftentimes, just to get to the beginning of this trek will require an overnight stay. There are a variety of routes that you can choose from to get to the starting point, but a recommended path is the 606 trail. Once at the start, you can follow a small gully that will take you to the cliff face. The cliff face is adequately equipped with safety cables, so make sure to bring your harness and tethers for this one as well. From here, you will make your way to the south face with an incredible half mile of cliff face below you. Be careful of the sometimes-severe Alpine environment when approaching the snowy peaks. Once you finish your journey at the peak, you will experience some of the most magnificent views that you can imagine!
*Featured image courtesy of Adrex.