Ascent of Hoher Dachstein on 2012-07-27

Climber: Lee Newton

Date:Friday, July 27, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Ski Lift
Peak:Hoher Dachstein
    Elevation:9826 ft / 2994 m

Ascent Trip Report

After a long ascent of the Dammastock in central Switzerland, the weather forecast was iffy for the high alps, but better farther east. We were also quite tired so made the long drive to Ramsau in Dachstein in central Austria, stopping overnight to camp rough in some woods near the motorway. As we reached the cable car station under the south face of the Dachstein group at 11am, we could see literally hundreds of people queueing to go up (my advice, arrive early, the first cable car goes at 07.50 in summer). After an hour wait we got to go up (32 Euros each in 2012). Up top was a proper circus of restaurant, ice sculptures, museum and hundreds of people walking along the maintained (pisted) trail which crosses the glacier to the Dachsteinwartehütte (mountain hut) at the foot of the rock tower which constitutes the upper part of the route. It took us about 30 minutes to walk that far, and from there are 2 possibilities. Our route of ascent was the classic north face route which ascends to the right of the rock tower on increasingly steep snow to a via ferrata. This route is often not possible in late season due to the width of the Bergschrund separating the snow and the rock. As we found it, there was no problem although crampons were definitely advisable for the last meters. From there a low-grade ferrata leads directly up to the summit, joining the east face route partway up. The view from the top was tremendous, down the various faces of the Dachstein, as well as in the distance to Grosser Priel, Grimming and Ankogel amongst others. In descent we turned right at the junction of the two ferratas along and then down the east ridge. This is perhaps marginally steeper in its bottom section but shouls still pose no difficulties for an experienced climber. A beer in the sunshine on the terrace of the hut tasted pretty good before we descended to the valley. THat night we camped nearby in Eben-im-Pongau next to an artificial bathing lake, which was lovely to swim in even late in the evening.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1230 ft / 373 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1230 ft / 373 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    Route Conditions:
Snow Climb, Aid Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1099 ft / 334 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 968 ft / 295 m; Extra: 131 ft / 39m
    Loss on way in:131 ft / 39 m
    Distance:1.2 mi / 2 km
    Route:Classic north face via ferrata
    Start Trailhead:Dachsteinsüdwandbahn top station  8858 ft / 2699 m
    Time:1 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1099 ft / 334 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 968 ft / 295 m; Extra: 131 ft / 39m
    Gain on way out:131 ft / 39 m
    Distance:1.2 mi / 2 km
    Route:East ridge via ferrata
    End Trailhead:Dachsteinsüdwandbahn top station  8858 ft / 2699 m
    Time:1 Hours 15 Minutes

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