White limestone cliffs, amazing views, turquoise lakes and a wide choice of via ferratas to climb. This an much more is Salzkammergut, a region stretching from eastwards Salzburg and partly belonging to the Northern Limestone Alps.
Salzkammergut is a historical region lying in three austrian states Upper Austria (Oberösterreich), Styria (Steiermark) and Salzburg (Land Salzburg). More than administrative region, it is a touristic destination and most of became UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Instead of a long history and a culture, there is a lot to do. Lakes are famous for water sports, surrounding mountains are hiked and climbed in the summer and skied in the winter.
Cities and villages are picturesque with Hallstatt as a world famous destination. It was here, back to the Neolitic era, where the salt mining tradition has started. Today you can admire the history in many museums. A special one is in Hallstatt ant the Salzberg hill above the city. You can get deep into the mountain on a historical mines slide and learn about salt and it’s tradition.
Popular Via Feratas are wide spread all around the area and you can choose from easy to difficult, from short to long …and many of them really beautiful
Iconic 40-meters long hanging bridge is a must when visiting this area, Halstatter see and Gosausee. Climbing this exposed rope ladder with the Gosausee lake below is something you want to try. It was installed in 2017 and it brought the via ferrata to the new dimension. Before you had to climb down and up around the gully, where you can still find one of possible escapes from the route. It’s good to know about the escape options. Unlike most of ferratas, there are about four of them.
Start from Gosausee lake with the beautiful view of Dachstein Glacier reflected in the water. There is a parking and a restaurant. You can either hike two hours uphill (600 m) od take a cable car to Gablonzer Hütte. From here it is a short hike to the beginning of the fixed rope path.
First part is pretty steep and a long traverse around Kleiner Donnerkogel follows. It’s like a slalom in pine trees, but the view of the lake is beautiful.
Climbing up the iconic hanging bridge brings you to some more steep parts and finally an easier ridge to reach the summit cross of Grosser Donnerkogel (2054 m). Although the mountain is not too high, there is usually a lot of old snow in gullies which can make the descent tricky in the early summer.
Hike down along toe southern slopes of Donnerkogel and get back over the pass to Gablonzer Hütte. To get back to the car you also have two options - hiking the forest trail or get some refreshment at the hut terrace and take a cable car ride down. Just check the operating hours before :-)
Another hanging bridge with an amazing view of a beautiful lake. Drachenwand is a rock towering above turquoise waters of Mondsee lake. It is considered to be the warmest in the whole Salzkammergut. The Dragon tooth can be seen from the Salzburg highway.
From the city of Mondsee drive a bit further to the Sankt Lorenz Village. The via ferrata is frequently visited and the lake as well, so you have to use an official parking. Hiking up to the beginning of ferrata is well marked and it’s not long. By the first iron ropes you’ll fing information sing with safety instructions. Be aware of the possibility of falling rocks. There is usually lot of people above you and due to the availability, some of them are probably inexperienced. Helmet is a must (actually as everywhere).
Ferrata starts with some steep iron ladders by a waterfall. Be careful in wet weather. The route is divided into many parts. They are named and marked by signs along the route, so you always know what is about to come next. Picturesque rope bridge comes in the last third. Summit od Drachenstein with it’s only 1060 m offers an amazon view
Go down around the south slopes of the forested mountain. Stay careful also on the descent. The trail is streep and stones might be slippery.
Postalm (C Var. D)
Deep gorge of the Russbach stream would be totally inaccessible world of mossy rocks and waterfalls. They made a via ferrata to climb through this beautiful deep ravine, so we can admire rocks and water all around us.
Arrive via Postalmstrasse toll road and park at the lower part. There is a marked trail with via ferrata info signs. It brings you deep to the gorge. Follow the iron rope upstream, traversing the wet rock walls on iron steps. Cross four times from one side to the other with interesting rope bridges.
By the end of the gorge, the ropes bring you up along a cascade waterfall. Under the other wall Gamslackenwand you have three options. Climb the D-variante over the iron steps or dare to try the difficult overhangong F-variante. If you are already tired, you can just walk up the forest trail on the left.
After one more rope bridge, you get to the road. Hike back down the road or the trail which crosses it many times.
Seewand is one of the most difficult austrian via ferratas, both by technical edmands ant the elevation. Before climbing this one, you should be sure you have plenty of experience. The most difficult part comes almost at the end, when you are already tired, and there is no escape from the route.
Climbing the “Lake Wall” you will enjoy breathtaking views of Halsteret see and Hallstatt city on its shore. Start hiking from the parking at the southern shore of the lake. Just over the road, there is an info sign. Follow the trail up the forest and you will find fist iron ropes on your left.
Think about how much water and food you need for a whole day and don’t forget warm clothes and safety equipment. Difficulties are about to come in the upper part.
After finishing the ferrata you have a beautiful view of Dachstein Glacier. Hike one more hour to get to Gjajdalm restaurant, where you can a cable car ride down via Krippenstein. (It is where the famous Dachstein caves are). If you are strong enough to hike all the way down, or just late, hike the tourist trail along Hanzinger Hütte to Obertraun. It is long and steep descent through the forest.
From Obertraun you have to hike back to the car along the lake. Hiking from the walley station under Krippenstein is even longer.
This route is beautiful, but long and hard, so think twice, before you go co climb.
Attersee Klettesteig (D/E)
Beautiful, long, full of lake panorama views and not that frequented, that’s Attersee klettersteig. The most difficult part is at the very beginning to test your skills. They changed the tracing few years ago to lowe the amount of people that called for the rescue from the wall. It actually helped.
Park in the Weissenbach am Attersee. Follow the marked hiking trail along the lake called Nikoloweg. There are some nice views even here, through the wood.
Approach trail to the farrata is marked with a sign. Hike right up to the steep start. Once you get over the D/E part, you shouldn't have technical problems in the following route. Anyway, it is long, so make sure you are in good condition and bring enough water and food.
Continue an easier part under the Weisse Wand. There is another step part with iron steps in the upper part of “White Wall”. After that, you can take a rest and snack enjoying the lake view. But it’s not the end. Not yet.
More easier parts follow with one steep by the end. Once you get to the summit cross of Mahdlgupf (1261 m), you are probably full of all those nice views and more are about to come.
Hike down to the southwest and follow the marked forest trail back to the village.
Mein Land - Dein Land (C ) a Leadership (C )
Some short and easy accessible ferratas are above Bad Goisern. Forested hill Predigstuhl (1278 m) with rocky wall called Ewige Wand is a local playground. Once a year there is even a mountainbike race passing the trail through the wall.
Besides those two mentioned above, there is Hohenweg Klettersteig (C/D), right from the Ewige Wand trail and very short Radsteig, which I wouldn’t even consider to be ferrata.
Starting point is Hotel Predigstuhl (cca 950 mnm), or Rathlucken Hütte (cca 750 mnm) for Ewige Wand. Leadership ferrata climbs the limestone wall. Mein Land Dein Land brings you to the “cave” followed by an airy traverse.
You can do more (even all) od them in one day.
Laserer Alpin (C )
Short but funny ferrata is more for the training than a mountain experience. It takes about an hour to climb the fixed rope loop above the Vorderer Gosausee lake. It is a nice optio for the first day to try how fit you and your group are, enjoy the lake view and a refreshment in the restaurant nearby.