Austria, Dachstein: Der Johann – Long Klettersteig Along Steep Southern Slope II
At 2590 meters (sign boards on a rock show the altitude) brings us to another interesting place especially for people who are not tall particularly. You cross a boulder here and get on a rock wall. There begins a section of C/D difficulty which then is just D. There is a slight overhang. There even aren't steel or natural stemples and you need to use a rope to lift yourselves. It wouldn't be such a problem had I "climbing shoes". However, in boots it was more... interesting. Everybody can climb this section without any problems. What we will see at its end is a reward for our effort.
Only one bit left and we are there. We climb slowly sections of A and C difficulty. A rope lines the edge of steep massif. Once we get furhter and look back there is not much to see because the southern slope is usually covered in fog in the afternoon hours. Still, it is breathtaking view. The last strenous section is of C/D difficulty. After this there is only a girder stiuated above steep abyss of smooth southern slope. Dramatic fog adds atmosphere of roughness to this place.
The last section, an easy one, to go and we would get to the top to the summit cross and a flag. We managed to cross 540 elevation meters after 3 hours of climbing (the bookguide said 4 hours). All of a sudden we became the center of attention of tourists around us they reached the top by diferent means (usually by cable car). Your eyes won't look at people however. Your sight will look at the surrounding landscape and Seethaler Hütte cabin. The view is magnificent. Vast glacier and mountains in the background add to it. The cottage is much more expensive than other alpine cabins in Austria. Yet they can afford to have high prices at this cabin. Unfortunately, there are only latrines and you can't wash your hands here. At the upper station of Südwandbahn you can buy more refreshemnts and their toilet is supplied with running water.
If you don't want to use the cable car to get back to the car park you can still climb a ferrata to the summit of Hoher Dachstein. You get on this trail at Seethaler Hütte about 5 minutes of walk across glacier.
GPS: (Seethaler Hütte) 47°28'24.8"N 13°36'44.9"E
Text and photos: Martina Brožková
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