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Austria, Dachstein: Mountain Giant – Southern Slopes

Published: 20.10.2016
Dachstein massif can be accessed from any direction. There are many advantages to every of them. The most popular are cable cars (we told you about them in the first part of the series). Dachstein Südwandbahn is a cable car in the south. It takes you almost one kilmoeter up above the clouds in just ten minutes. There is a restaurant at the upper cable car station. You can find it on the top of Hunerkogel mountain.

It is easy to approach the Südwandbahn cable car – you  ride through Ramsau am Dachstein. In the district of Schildehen you turn to the north and go right to the toll gate which gets you to Dachstein Straβe. The toll is 14 € – but you don't have to pay it if you use the aforementioned cable car. The mountain road going up hill terminates with the cable car. You need to take the ticket with you to the upper station of the cable car. They confirm that you were there. We didn't do it, however. If you forget as well, don't worry. Show your cable car tickets before you pay at the toll box. This way we got us the gate open without a word said.

slopes below the south massif

Dachstein Südwand Hütte is a dominating sight in the areas below the southern slopes.  There are many top-tier ferratas (we tell you about them in the articles to follow. Dachstein Südwand Hütte is a private cabin made of stone. You can spend night over there for 16 euros. The cabin is a popular among tourists who can get on ferratas or do tourism. You can get there easily along a marked trail. Should you find yourselves before the bottom station of the cable car go along its right side. Go uphill with cables on your right side. You will reach the cabin in about 40 minutes of walk. At the cabin, there is a crossroad and the road splits into three. You can go northeast to ferratas and famous Skywalk ferrata which is incredibely difficult. It ends below the upper cable car station. Another option is to go to the west – down to the valley (tourists will enjoy even such a trip) and enjoy beatuiful and tranquil nature.

Südwand Hütte

the upper cable car station   the crossroads at Südwand Hütte

Should you have enough courage to climb mountains and you need to make use of it, the nearest ferrata is only 30 minutes down the marked trail going to the northwest. Its name is Anna Klettersteig (diffiiculty C/D). The tral goes around Mitterstein mountain (2 097 m). This ferrata ends at the summit cross. For some, the summit cross is a goal for some rather sort of a stretching at the beginning. More experienced climbers don't choose the eastern road towards the cabin. They go for about 20 minutes across stone field to the north. There beginst St Johann, a ferrata of higher difficulty. The best long to set foot on the summit of the third ferrata – the peak of Hoher Dachstein. Every ferrata can be undertaken invidiually. This is a more popular option.

going down south from Südwand Hütte

Should you set off from the bottom cable car station to the east you won't regret. You would follow the contour line for about 20 minutes. Then the trail could make you overcome the vertical line. The trail which goes uphill to Koppenkarsteinu gives you plenty of opportunity to enjoy beautiful vistas over Schladmig and its surroundings. This trail also gets you to ferrata. Irg Klettersteig is marked very difficult. The climb takes two hours. Here as well, some climbers usually have ice axes hanging on their backpacks. Snow stays here a long time (depending on weather). You surely would love this part of the ridge.

on our way to Kopperkarstein   snow stays here even during long months of summer

GPS: (Dachstein Südwand Hütte cabin) 47°27'34.1"N 13°36'55.2"E

Text and photos: Martina Brožková

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