Dachstein South Face Via Ferrata for Experienced Hikers – The Great Wall of the Eastern Alps

In the mountain range on the Northern Limestone Alps, there is an impressive Via Ferrata hike route with an overwhelming endorphin-boosting effect. It rejuvenates your body and increases happiness. But the Dachstein Südwand Via Ferrata, due to its difficulty, is quite challenging, therefore not accessible to everybody. Here you can find more information about this hiking adventure, and that includes a map, photos, as well as tour tips.

With 850 meters of altitude, the Dachstein South Face is one of the most imposing walls in the Eastern Alps. The Dachstein Randkluftsteig was the first via ferrata in the Alps. “Dachstein Professor” Friedrich Simony had it built after he experienced his own ascent of the Dachstein without a via ferrata as “abominable climbing.”

Today, thanks to the cable car to the Huhnerkogel, the Dachstein is a popular and easily accessible excursion destination
Today, thanks to the cable car to the Huhnerkogel, the Dachstein is a popular and easily accessible excursion destination. The Via Ferrata straight under the gondola is a good spot to test your abilites – book a mountain guide if you are a beginner.

More than 20 via ferrata routes line the rugged steep slopes of the region. Probably the most beautiful, varied and popular via ferrata is the Johann via ferrata through the south face (optionally extendable with the Randkluftsteig to the Dachstein summit).

Those who are only after a short “hero shot” should choose the short, but not to be underestimated Skywalk via ferrata. Almost the entire route can be observed and photographed from the Skywalk platform. 

Easy alternative: an adventure trip with the mountain railroad to the Dachstein plateau. Here a nice walk leads securely over snow and glacier to the Seetaler hut.

For those who find the climb over the entire south face too lengthy or difficult, there are easier via ferratas in the immediate vicinity.
The impressive Dachstein South Face is one of the most impressive hikes in the Eastern Alps. For those who find the climb over the entire south face too lengthy or difficult, there are easier via ferratas in the immediate vicinity. Get your photo of this wall near the Gondola – Best photo times are near sunset for adventurers -be aware that you have to hike down or sleep in the high alpine.

Directions – From Dachstein Südwand hut to Seethaler Hut and Huhnerkogel

From the parking lot/stop directly to the right of the cable car station on the hiking trail in the direction of the Dachstein Südwand hut (1871m). At the hut ascend in a northerly direction towards Tor-Bachlalm and after about 100m turn right (no markings). Follow the approximately 100m high wall step to a grassy slope uphill. 

Here the path is marked with red dots. After the grassy slope, follow the markings to the left into a saddle. Continue over a scree cirque to a prominent rock needle. Here at a cairn is the entrance to the Johann-Klettersteig. 

This 6-kilometer route is graded as difficult, and it requires some prior hiking experience
This 6-kilometer Via Ferrata route at Dachstein Südwand is graded as difficult, and it requires prior hiking experience, the right equipment and knowledge.

The entrance also marks the key point with an overhang (difficulty E). From the hut you can continue climbing via the Randkluftsteig to the Hoher Dachstein. The trail ends at the Seethaler Hut (2740m). From here follow the marked and secured glacier path to the top station of the cable car at Huhnerkogel (2687m). Final descent with the cable car back to the starting point. 

Photo tips for Dachstein adventure that will make your Instagram pop

In the immediate vicinity of the mountain station, the view of the massive Dachstein south face is already outstanding. Viewing platforms and bridges invite you to easily accessible high alpine wide panorama shots and hero shots. (Tip: Use an ultra-wide-angle lens). With alpine experience and the right equipment, you can also take breathtaking shots with deep views on the via ferrata. But be careful: Safety first!

The sunrises on the Dachstein plateau can be particularly impressive.
The sunrises on the Dachstein plateau can be particularly impressive. For a Via ferrata shot, use your wide angle lens – and secure all your gear – if it falls, its gone and my harm hikers below you.

Mountain Moments Photo Workshops provide Photo Tours for everybody, Alpine Experience for beginners and intermediate-level photographers with 3 to 6-hour routes, as well as Summit Experience for more advanced photographers and hikers. We have private workshops and group classes.

More information about your Dachstein Via Ferrata route

How to get there by public transport: By train to Schladming, then by bus to Ramsau/Dachstein cable car to the terminus Dachstein Türlwandhütte.

How to get there by car: Motorway A10 to exit Eben im Pongau, now direction Ramsau am Dachstein, shortly before Ramsau turn left over the toll road to the Dachstein cable car. Parking directly at the valley station.

Start/finish: Dachstein cable car valley station 47.450492,13.617956

Distance: 6km

Duration: 6h

Ascent/descent: 1190m/190m

Highest point/lowest point: 2740m/1685m

Hike difficulty level: difficult

Special features: Via ferrata! Alpine experience and equipment necessary. Via ferrata Level E. Surefooted and head for heights required. Partly snow in the approach, i.e. light ice axe and crampons may be necessary. Detailed description and condition of the via ferrata at www.ramsau.com and www.derdachstein.at.

Meals: Dachstein Südwandhütte, Seethalerhütte mountain station Dachstein cable car.

Other tips: Sunset rides/offers with the gondola. 

Contact: www.derdachstein.at www.ramsau.com 

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