There are a variety of Via Ferrata grading systems, with the sole purpose of providing you with a guideline as to the difficulty of each via ferrata route. We would recommend beginners to start with an easy route before going on to more difficult routes. The following are the most frequently used grading systems.


Low’s Peak Circuit – French AD, Italian 3C

Walk the Torq – French PD, Italian 2A Caution: Grading systems are a guideline, not a rule. Choose your route carefully based on your own abilities. Keep in mind that this is happening in a mountain environment where weather conditions are easily changeable.


This is one of the most straight forward grading systems, but you must be aware of the range of difficulty that each level covers. F – Facile Easy, suitable for initiation into the sport PD – Peu Difficile Not very hard, suitable for beginners and possibly children AD – Assez Difficile Fairly hard, suitable for accompanied beginners D – Difficile Difficult, for those accustomed to the sport TD – Tres Difficile Very difficult, physically demanding, for regular participants ED – Extremement Difficile Extremely difficult, very physically demanding, and suitable for experienced practitioners with a high level of fitness.


This system was developed mainly for mountain based Via Ferrata routes and it is a little more complicated . It takes into account the terrain (Fletcher/Smith) and the technical (Hofler/Werner) skills required for each individual route. Both the Fletcher/Smith and the Hofler/Werner rating have to be used together for a proper rating to be established. Fletcher/Smith Rating 1 – Easy 2 – Straight forward 3 – Difficult and not for novice 4 – Demanding, steep ascending , require a degree of mountaineering experience 5 – Highest technical standard, only for the experienced mountaineer Hofler/Werner Rating A – For foot sure mountain walkers, easy and without problems B – For foot sure mountain walkers free of vertigo, easy C – Sure footedness and freedom from vertigo necessary D – Absolute sure footedness and freedom from vertigo necessary E – Additional mountain experience and climbing ability necessary F – Good climbing technique on very steep rock required