A very interesting and challenging combination is the famous Dachstein south face with several via ferratas and then going to the highest peak of Upper Austria, with 2995m just under 3000m.

Access car
Just go to Ramsau/Dachstein to the cable car station of Dachsteinsüdwandbahn. The street in the end is a tollroad (20€ in 2021 which you get back if you use the cable car).

Access public transportation
Train and Bus: take the train to Schladming Bahnhof and chage from there to bus 960 to Ramsau am Dachstein Türlwandhütte Seilbahn (from Linz a bit under 4h).

Hike

From the parking lot of the cable car you follow the signs towards the Dachsteinsüdwandhütte (30min), from there the path is splitting up either going to the Anna or Johann Klettersteig. The Anna is just a nice add-on for a long ferrata day and not necessary for reaching the peak. If you love ferratas, want to experience as many as possible and have a decent level of fitness it´s perfect to start with Anna and then continue to Johann, but also possible to hike straight to the Johann beginning. There is a small sign on a rock marking the beginning, this is already the most difficult part of the route, it starts with an overhang which requires some strenght in your arms but afterwards it is getting easier, just expect some exposed parts where the South face is just going straight down. Both ferratas consist mainly of pegs and do not have big steps but are always super well maintained and secured. The ferrata goes up straight to the Seethalerhütte.


The bottom part/rock face is the Anna ferrata, the higher part the Johann ferrata, exiting at the Seethalerhütte.


Johann ferrata starts straight with a overhang but gets easier then and consists of many passages with pegs like shown below.



We needed around 2,5h to cover the access and the Anna ferrata, for the Johann till the Seethalerhütte it was around 4h and at the Dachstein peak we were in around 5,5h. This does not include breaks and we were faster than many people we met on the way.

From the Seethalerhütte you will most likely then continue to the Dachstein peak, if you use the Schulterklettersteig you do not need glacier equipment but a ferrata kit and a lot of patience as it can be very crowded with tourists going up with cable car and having not too much experience and turning around then after 5min (better turning around than contiueing though if you do not feel safe). If Anna and Johann were no problem for you the last part will be easy, up to difficulty B and usally more hiking than climbing (would say similar to Traunstein). It is quite high already though and we could feel the lack of oxygen a bit which made it more difficult. When people are slow or already descending it can be annoying with a lot of passing and waiting, so if there´s the chance use a weekday or go out of main tourist season. 


View over the glacier, to the left the Dachstein peak rises, to the right is the Seethalerhütte (not visible), many people going towards the start of the Schulterklettersteig and queuing before the start is necessary.

For the descent going down the Randkluftsteig is quite popular (more often used is still the Schulterklettersteig but with descending via the Randkluft you avoid the people and see a second path), this is via steeper parts of the glacier and here you should bring glacier equipment as you walk over several crevasses and it is depending a lot on the conditions if and how thick they are covered with snow. Crampons not necessarily needed but microspikes definitely advised.


Top: To the left the Schulterklettersteig (along the rock) and to the right you see the trace via the glacier from the Randkluft.
Bottom: Going via the Randkluft depends a lot on conditions how much snow there still is. Sometimes there are also ladders.


The path leads towards the Seethalerhütte again and from there is a groomed path connecting the hut with the cable car, it is via the glacier but the cable car company takes care that it is safe and for all tourists accesible, here no rope is needed but proper shoes and maybe as well some iron on your feet to avoid slipping.


The kind of highway connecting cable car station with Seethalerhütte, have seen more beautiful things in the mountains than a melting glacier trying to be kept alive with some enormous blankets and the cable cars still visible.

For going down with cable car you need to make a reservation beforehand, best just choose one of the later spots (around 17:00) and also make sure to arrive there on time and do not miss the last ride! Tickets can be also bought at the station and I was also told that even if you do not have a reservation they will not leave you on the mountain but the last rides are then filled up, it can mean though that you need to wait for 2h+, so better make the reservation before to be safe or prepare yourself for a unpleasant descent.

The descent without the cable car down to Ramsau is via the Hunerschartenklettersteig. I can imagine that it is a very nice path uphill if Johann is too difficult for you but going down a ferrata up to B difficulty is far away from being funny, not dangerous though because of the rope, just a pain in the ass. After around an hour you reach the end of the ferrata and a normal hiking path is taking an hour to go back down to the parking lot.


Pictures above and below of the descent via ferrata, doable but annoying climbing such parts down.


Our tour took in total 10h (7am till 17:00).

Sleeping
From Linz/Salzburg it is a one day trip. Otherwise sleeping at the Südwandhütte, at Ramsau or somewhere else around is perfect. Especially from the hut it is super as you can be the first on the wall and on a hot day start really early without the need to drive before.

Advantages
Great combination of ferratas and a famous peak and the possibility of going down by cable car.

Disadvantages
Long ferratas, no emergency exists, my arms got quite pumpy, especially in the Anna ferrata, the Johann was better for me.

 

 

Duration: 1 Day
Via Ferrata: Via ferrata B+
Others: Public transport, Peak
Roundtrip: Roundtrip
Difficulty: Black and more
Region: Salzkammergut
Country: Austria

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