Although mid winter and afraid of everything to do with heights, a few weekends ago I’ve decided to head for the only glacier in Styria, one of the nine federal states of Austria, the Dachstein.
Things don’t get good for the acrophobist, when going up means to board a see-everything-from-high-up-to-way-down cable car and climb 1,000 meters in just 5 minutes (ear pop included). It’s the moment you set foot aboard the panoramic gondola of the Dachstein (see picture) when you get all shaky and shivery.
But I certainly didn’t want to trash my 39 € return ticket, so I went up, blanked out any thinking and pressed my eyes shut whilst moving in that hanging thing. Mind you, some freaky people even use the platform atop the gondola – literally standing in open air – to have the true wide open space feeling (which I will never understand). Anyway, once you’re up, it’s simply MAGIC!
Winter Or Summer?
Thing I didn’t know is, that the Dachstein cable car runs all year long. I was up there once in summer, which was wonderful as well, but in winter you have that eerie feeling of the landscape. This is especially favorable for shooting landscape photography – which was exactly what I did. In summer however, the company running the cable car does recommend to pre-book your place going up. So timing to get there is crucial. Get your reserved pass on www.derdachstein.at/en/visitor-planner/gondola-reservation
Good thing in winter though, you don’t need to pay extra for the attractions up on the mountain…(see below)
Dachstein is a glacier and does have its pistes for skiing or cross-country-skiing. It’s not Kitzbühel or St. Moritz, but it does have its perks – e.g. breathtaking views and near perfect weather conditions – when sunny.
How To Get There?
Dachstein glacier is about 300 km from Vienna, 100 km from Salzburg and 460 km when traveling from Prague. Basically it’s right in the center of Austria (see map), with motorways all round. So traveling there is not a real hassle, given you’ve got a car. If not, they’d offer a shuttle service leaving in Schladming (a well-known skiing resort).
Arriving from the west
From the west you can take the Munich-Salzburg motorway, continuing on the Tauern motorway (A 10) until the Ennstal junction. From here take the Ennstal A-road (the B 320) for around 30 km into the Schladming-Dachstein region, then take the Ramsau am Dachstein turn-off.
Arriving from the east
From the east arrival is via Vienna (A 23) and the Südautobahn motorway (A 2) via Semmering (S 6) to the St. Michael junction. From here you continue via the Pyhrnautobahn motorway (A 9) to the Liezen junction and the Ennstal A-road (B 320) into the Schladming-Dachstein region, then take the Ramsau am Dachstein turn-off.
Arriving from the south-east
From the south-east take the Pyhrnautobahn motorway (A 9) to the Liezen junction and then the Ennstal A-road (B 320) into the Schladming-Dachstein region. Then take the Ramsau am Dachstein turn-off.
Arriving from the south
From the south take the Tauernautobahn motorway (A10) to the Ennstal junction. From here take the Ennstal A-road (B 320) for around 30 km into the Schladming-Dachstein region, then take the Ramsau am Dachstein turn-off.
Interested and looking for more information? Then please go and see the website www.derdachstein.at/en for further details.