• The cradle of secured climbing paths

    19 Via ferratas, three for kids, Via ferrata license

Via ferratas – climbing

Dachstein and Ramsau: Number One in Austria for climbing and the cradle of secured climbing routes

Overhanging rocks, truly impressive steep faces, breathtaking views across the Enns valley with Schladming, the majestic Dachstein, powerful and safeguarding at the same time: this is what the Dachstein — the best place for fixed rope climbing in Austria — has got for you. Enjoy any of the nineteen gorgeous via ferrata climbing tours starting in Ramsau am Dachstein and heading up the southern side of Styria’s highest mountain. As a reward, from the Dachstein, climbers get the clearest views stretching as far as the Czech Republic in the north and the Slovenian Triglav mountains in the south. From the Balcony of the Alps (the Dachstein Skywalk) nearby places as Planai, Schladming, Hauser Kaibling, Reiteralm, and the Lower Tauern with their peaks, seem to be within your grasp.

The Dachstein limestone is known to be a rock with perfect climbing qualities. Hikers and climbers alike find a high Alpine paradise in the Dachstein mountain area. Hiking along a via ferrata is the secured version of climbing. Such routes through rock walls are secured with fixed steel ropes and iron pins. Even less-experienced alpinists can tackle this adventure along the fascinating rock faces. The top station of the glacier Gondola at the Hunerkogel at an altitude of 2,700 m is the starting point for many a tempting tour.

Austria’s longest vertical drop: across the via ferratas Anna and Johann on top of the Dachstein

Reach the cross at top of the Dachstein via the Anna via ferrata (300 m diff. in alt.), which was set up in 2010, the Johann via ferrata (800 m diff. in alt.) and the Schulter (The Shoulder) (250 m diff. in alt.). From the access point of Anna at 1,800 m up to the top of the Dachstein (2,996 m), you conquer Austria’s longest secured climbing paths, which is also one of the longest vertical drops of the Alps with almost 1,200 metres of altitude difference.

Ramsau am Dachstein – The cradle of secured climbing paths

Ramsau am Dachstein rightly deserves to be called the cradle of secured climbing paths. The via ferrata up to the top of the Dachstein was the first one of the Alps. Created by geographer Friedrich Simony, it celebrated its 170th anniversary in 2013, also the bicentenary of Simony’s birthday.

Via ferrata license

A must for all mountaineers who want to try climbing along a via ferrata. Beginners are able to learn the basics of scaling a secured climbing route with a certified Ramsau am Dachstein mountain guide

During the classes the guides explain why it is essential to always check the weather forecast and to observe the current conditions during the tour. Also, you learn important facts about the right equipment. The guides will personally provide you with tips on the best climbing technique and tactics.

Being safe during the tour and enjoying every moment in the mountains is the guideline.


  • All about the material
  • Handling of equipment
  • Equipment check
  • Weather conditions & weather observation
  • Ability to evaluate difficulty levels (A, B, C, D and E)
  • Reading via ferrata topos
  • Tour planning
  • Background information about via ferratas and safety tips
  • Preventing climbing accidents
  • Via ferrata technique and tactics
  • Scaling a via ferrata
  • Personal tips and hints by mountain guides
  • Possible dangers along a via ferrata
  • What to do if the weather changes
  • How to deal with an accident or emergency
  • Information to prevent dangerous situations

Course offers for children and youth, as well as for experienced climbers

Monday: Via ferrata beginners course including license „Gipfelstürmer“ for adults.
Fee: EUR 35,- / Duration: ca. 2 hours

Wednesday: Via ferrata beginners course including license „Gipfelstürmer“ for kids 7 years and older
Fee: from EUR 13,00 / Duration: ca. 2 hours

Thursday:Via ferrata beginners course including license „Gipfelstürmer“ für teens 9 to 15 years.
Fee: from EUR 16,00 / Duration: ca. 2 hours

Additional informationen and binding registration at the Ramsau am Dachstein tourism office.


Kali, Kala and Kalo, children’s Via ferratas on the Sattelberg

The Ramsau Kids’ Club has two via ferratas just for children. Kali and Kala are up on Sattelberg, the Ramsau Kids’ mountain. Both are secure for children and lead from the old Ramsau Mill up to the Sattelberg peak. This is a great adventure with wonderful views across the Ramsau countryside, and you will conquer a summit cross on the top. Afterwards you can rope down along the Flying Fox.

For both via ferratas, the Flying Fox can ONLY be used under competent supervision. It is absolutely necessary to use a brake (with brake rope) to be able to stop on time and avoid serious injury from crashing into the tree at the bottom.

Access: from the car park at the old mill take a right and hike along the trail. After a few minutes, you’ll reach the entry point.

Descent: from the exit point walk along the Nature Theme Path, pass by the Pension Concordia, walk down to the Ramsaubach brook and follow the Hofrat-Gruber trail back to the car park old mill.

Equipment: full climbing equipment, safety rope for children and teens.

Programme of the Ramsau Kids’ Club with mountain guide during the summer months: children’s via ferrata Kali every Wednesday from 9am (7 years and older), kids’ via ferrata Kala every Thursday from 9am (9 years and older). We kindly ask you to sign up personally at the Ramsau am Dachstein tourist office by 4pm the previous day.


Dachstein Limestone: this denomination stands for quality, in particular regarding the character, the variety and the beauty of the climbing routes. The breathtaking south faces of the Dachstein mountains with walls almost 1,000 metres high and the glaciers on the north side, make the Dachstein an adventure playground for every mountaineer. Sport climbing, classic mountaineering, combined tours on rock and ice, fixed rope routes or ice climbing in winter as well as ski routes … the Dachstein – Styria’s highest peak is always well worth a visit!


The cradle of secured climbing paths
170 years ago, the 1st Via ferrata of the Alps was built on the Dachstein.

On the Dachstein, secured climbing routes have quite a long tradition. The very first via ferrata lead to the top of the Dachstein along the Randkluft. For more information about the history of fixed-rope routes visit: Via Ferrata Dachstein.

What makes the via ferratas on Dachstein this popular is the fact that they are mainly very young – many were only set up relatively recently. Another plus factor is the easy access thanks to the Dachstein gondola lift. Even the type of stone itself is known to be perfect for climbing, and all levels of difficulty are available, from easy to extremely difficult. The views across the Ramsau plateau, Filzmoos, Planai, Schladming, Reiteralm, Haus and to the Lower Tauern are impressive on your way up – and at the end of the via ferrata you are rewarded by the most stunning views.

Difficulty levels

Levels of difficulty for Via ferratas

The evaluation of the levels of difficulty along a fixed-rope route – and unsecured ones – is quite subjective and should be seen more as a recommendation. Also, factors like body height, technique, physical fitness, equipment, mental state etc. as well as facts like weather conditions, humidity, ice, altitude, length etc. make a designation difficult. Nonetheless, it’s useful to have a basic idea of what to expect from the routes. The following grading scale indicating levels of difficulty for via ferratas is already used in some new books and has been upgraded and defined even more precisely in cooperation with experts.

A = EASY (green)

Easy, secured paths. Flat (longer) or vertical (short) ladders and iron stemples mainly in not very steep terrain. Some parts may be exposed, but easy to walk-on (rocks, small rope bridges). The terrain is also easy to walk on without protection (exception: ladders over small rock steps) and it has good grips and steps. In general, no extra safety equipment is necessary for secure walkers. For kids and inexperienced walkers, safety equipment is recommended (short safety rope).


Steeper rocky terrain with some small grips, exposed passages. Vertical, longer ladders, iron stemples, pegs or chains. Some of the passages are quite demanding. Without protection, the difficulty can reach level 2 or 3. Even many experienced mountaineers use a basic via ferrata kit. For the less experienced and children, a via ferrata kit is absolutely advisable, as well as a safety rope for longer climbing passages.

C = DIFFICULT (yellow)

Steep to very steep rocky terrain. Mainly passages with small steps which are mostly exposed. Overhanging ladders, iron stemples and pegs which can be quite far from each other (in particular for children!). Often vertical, only with a steel rope securing passages. Partly very demanding. Without protection, some passages would reach a level of difficulty 3 or 4. Longer climbs of this level are considerable undertakings. Less experienced and children need to be rope-secured by an experienced partner. Self-protection is advised for experienced mountaineers.


Vertical, often also overhanging terrain. Iron stemples and pegs are often far from each other. Very exposed and steep rock, which is mainly secured only by a steel rope. Longer, vertical to overhanging passages which require a good arm strength and a good level of fitness. Sometimes also combined with easy climbing (1 – 2) that has to be conquered without protection. Even very experienced mountaineers need a complete via ferrata kit (including climbing boots with professional rubber sole). Not suitable for beginners and less experienced Alpinists. Usually this level is climbed in rope teams.


Extremely demanding in terms of strength, climbing ability (professional climbing boots) and a good head for heights! This difficulty level is very rare as a secured climbing route. Rope teams obligatory, mostly combined with climbing. Else, all indications as under “D” but even more demanding.

Via ferratas in Ramsau - interactive

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