The Schladming Dachstein region is synonymous for outdoor adventures in picturesque nature. In winter it is all about skiing (cross country, backcountry or alpine), snow shoeing or even fatbiking on snow. In summer it is all about hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, canyoning, kayaking and much more.
We want to share two examples of hikes we did this summer, to show how beautiful and stunning the nature is around here.
Short on Schladming-Dachstein:
The region is called after Schladming and the Dachstein. Schladming is a famous winter sport town who hosted the alpine ski world Championships twice and has one of the best races in the alpine skiing world cup calendar (The night race). Dachstein is the highest mountain in Styria. The mountain massive Dachstein also marks the border towards Upper Austria and Salzburg. All the three federal states claim it as their mountain. But since only Styria has it in their anthem, I personally see it as being Styrian 😉
Well, besides these personal views (Katharina comes from Upper Austria and thus has a slightly different view), here the hard facts: the region reaches from Dachstein’s grand south walls all the way to Schladminger Tauern. It consists of seven tourism centres; Schladming, Ramsau am Dachstein, Haus-Aich-Gössenberg, Gröbminger Land, Öblarn-Niederöblarn, Sölktäler Nature Reserve and Grimming-Donnersbachtal. The river Enns runs through the valley surrounded by beautiful mountains on both sides of the valley.
The region impresses their visitors with a broad range of offers, the famous Styrian hospitality, and its original rustic charm.
From Obertal via lake Giglach further on to a swim and great food at the lake Duisitzkar
Our first hike was on the south side of the Enns valley facing the Dachstein from the south side of the valley. We started at a bus station called “Hopfriesen”. You can get there by car, from Schladming towards Rohrmoos and then by following the Obertalstrasse, or by taking the bus.
From Hopfriesen you pass by the furnace Hopfriesen, which nowadays is only a ruin. But there’s a visiting center, where you can learn about the Nickel mining in Schladming in earlier days. You can even take a guided tour through the mines, especially funny for kids.
From there, the trail led us up along the Giglachbach and some nice waterfalls to the Giglach Lakes (a smaller and a somewhat bigger lake), where you can take a first break at the Ignaz-Mattis-Hütte. Since we already started a bit late for our hike, we decided to continue directly up towards Murspitzsattel ridge and Ferchtlhöhe mountain saddle, from where you have a terrific view into Duisitzkar cirque with its picturesque little lake.
Via a quite steep trail we descended into the cirque, where Duisitzkarseehütte and Fahrlechhütte invite hikers for a rest. While descending, you walk through an old larch and pine forest with beautiful views down to the lake. In early summer, the slopes of the cirque are covered with rhododendron (“Almrausch”) in full bloom.
The Fahrlechhütte is famous for its “Blueberry Kaiserschmarren”. You have to get one, when you are there! Once you are at the Duisitzkar lake, jump right in and take a short swim there. It is really refreshing!
After a break at the lake, we continued our descent to the valley. Via Saghütten chalets (private only – no refreshment stop) we finally reached the valley floor of Eschachboden. From there it is just a 2-3 km walk along the street back to Hopfrieden.
Alongside the Dachstein through the “Tor”
Ever since we did a backcountry tour around the “Tor” (one of the peaks around Dachstein glacier), we wanted to hike this route in summer. It is not an easy tour in terms of length and surface, but it is for sure feasible for a well trained hiker, even if you are as afraid of heights as we are…
There is no better route than this one, if you want to get closer to the steep Dachstein south wall.
We started our hike at the Neustattalm at the bottom of the Dachstein. You can get up there by car or bus, taking the Dachsteinstrasse (toll road). From there we followed the gravel road until we reached the crossing towards the Südwandhütte. This time we didn’t do the entire hike up to the Südwandhütte, even though it is really something we would recommend, if you are there for the first time.
We took off a couple of hundred meters below the Südwandhütte and crossed the pebble and boulder field on the bottom of the Dachstein south wall. It is really a rough and wild landscape, but definitely worth it with its stunning views.
After half an hour through the pebble and boulder field we were at the bottom of the steep climb up towards the Tor. The Tor (“door” in English) is a u-shaped distinct rock cut allowing you to cross over towards Sulzenhals and Rötelstein, one of Dachstein’s neighbouring peaks. The way down from the Tor is not as steep as the uphill and you hike through some big boulders and mountain pines towards the “Schnittlauchboden”. The wild chive (“Schnittlauch” in German) that grows here gives the area its name.
Ready for a break after some hours in 30 degrees and full sunshine, we went for some great food at the Bachlalm. Tip: besides the great food, the area below Bachlalm is also known for the groundhogs you can spot there. Watch out for their typical whistling!
After a short break at Bachlalm, we made our way back on the partly quite steep gravel road back up to Neustattalm.