After a long time weather allows me to go to the mountains and get out from the city and the office live. It took me a while to decide where to go. One of my friends wanted to visit Kaiser Franz Joseph via ferrata. Weather forecast for Eisenerz, Austria is good. Decision is made, we are going there on Friday. From my last visit of Kaiser Franz Joseph via ferrata about two years ago, I remember it was not an easy route. It is important to be fit for weekend hike, which is not going to be easy.
Friday morning, about 6:30 am, four persons is leaving Bratislava towards Eisenerz. Driving is with no problem as always. Shortly after 9:00 am we are parking in parking place under Kaiser Franz Joseph via ferrata next to Leopoldsteiner See. On parking place is a few cars. We will not be alone on the wall. It is time to get ready for the route. We put all the necessary equipment and start walking towards the Kaiser Franz Joseph via ferrata. It is short walk, about 15 minutes.
Under the rock we need to wait for a while. Group of Czech climbers is ahead, and they are bit slow. Based on the conversation I guess, some of the have less experience. I can tell by the way how they climb. We do not rush. In next four hours we should be up. As far as I remember Kaiser Franz Joseph via ferrata from my last visit, about two years ago, beginning of the path was quite difficult. This time it was much easier and I didn’t find any part of it difficult. During the climbing I had still the feeling that now it must come the difficult part, but It didn’t. I realized it at the end of the part in rest place. After first part you can take rest, take the escape path or continue. We decided to continue of course.
Second part start with an easy almost horizontal ascent which ends with totally vertical exposed terrain. None of us have any issues with this part. On next “parking place” we pass slower group and looking forward to real Kaiser Franz Joseph via ferrata. I bet for most of the people starts right here. Via easy terrain between to rocks, we ascend another few metres reaching more exposed and vertical part. Since here, the path is 90% of time really vertical, and we need steel steps to climb. Best is at the end. There is only vertical rock, safety rope and few iron steps. Under my foot is couple hundreds meters of nothing. I love this feeling. For this part of Kaiser Franz Joseph via ferrata you don’t need any special technique. If you are not scared of heights and in good physical shape, you will do it. After few last steps in the wall I am reaching meadow. It is time to take rest, have some food.
Before you can say, you have climbed Kaiser Franz Joseph via ferrata, you need to keep walking up to the last part of the route. It takes about 15 – 20 minutes to reach last part which ends with cable bridge. Start of last part is easy, with stunning views on Eisenerz area. At the end of the route you will find cable bridge, which is about 25 meters long.
Kaiser Franz Joseph via ferrata end by the cable bridge. If you want to climb more, you can walk up another 15 minutes and you will reach Rosslochhöhlen via ferrata. It is more difficult, part of it is in a cave and definitely is worth of the visit.
Descent is easy and start few meters above cable bridge. On the crossroad you take left turn and follow hiking path. From beginning you descent very slowly. Most of the height you will loose in last third of the descent. It is relatively easy hike, which will take about 1,5 – 2 hours.
Kaiser Franz Joseph via ferrata is a “must to climb” for more experienced climbers. But you have to be carefull in hot days. Whole route is south oriented, so during the hot days in summer it can be really challenging. Make sure you always have enough water (no hut up there). You can get beer at the parking place or refresh your self in Leopoldsteiner See.