Climbing in the Hallstatt-Dachstein/Salzkammergut World Heritage Region
Here in the Dachstein Salzkammergut Holiday Region there are numerous opportunities to go mountain climbing, and it does not matter how experienced you are. Whether you choose a classic multi pitch climbing route, a challenging route for more experienced climbers, bouldering or a less challenging via ferrata, you will not be disappointed. In spring when the first warm rays of sunshine fill the valleys of the Salzkammergut, many people long to feel the rocks beneath their feet and the stones between their fingers once more. Each of the four local communities, Bad Goisern, Hallstatt, Obertraun and Gosau can provide for an unforgettable climbing experience.
Here are our top tips:
Choose the correct climbing companion
Just as in life generally, it is important to choose the correct partner when venturing out on a climbing tour. This should be someone who will not only share the most rewarding and pleasurable moments with you, but someone you can trust. The bond between climbing partners is strong, and often leads to the development of a close, long-lasting friendship.
Prepare yourself for your climbing tour
The basis for that perfect climbing adventure lies in preparing yourself fully. Safety is paramount, and we want you to enjoy every moment. It is important to think about how you are going to travel to the right location, when you will set off and, of course, the route itself. The better prepared you are, the more enjoyable your experience will be.
There are numerous mountain guides in the region who are always available to offer their advice. Visit the Dachstein Salzkammergut website for details of all the opportunities for climbing in the region. The Alpine Association has also put together a list of local climbing routes.
Important: If you are feeling a bit unsure, you are thinking of attempting something more challenging or you simply want to find out more about the rocks and mountains of our World Heritage Region, you should not hesitate to contact one of our Dachstein Salzkammergut Mountain Guides. They are climbing experts and know the region like the backs of their hands.
Ensure you have all the correct climbing equipment
Whichever form of climbing you choose, you need your own equipment. When choosing this, remember what is most important: your safety. When buying your equipment, take professional advice, and get your equipment checked regularly. You do not want any unpleasant surprises when you are out in the mountains!
What equipment do I need for which type of climbing?
Whatever form of climbing you choose, there is some basic equipment that you will need:
- Climbing Helmet: A helmet is especially important when climbing outdoors. Rock faces are fragile, and rockslides occur frequently. Wearing the correct helmet will make sure your head is protected.
- Climbing Shoes: These are a must-have so that you can grip properly on to the surface of the rocks. They must be tight, almost too small, to do their job properly.
- Chalk Bag: If your hands get sweaty while you are climbing, the rocks become slippery and you can lose your grip more easily. This is where a chalk bag is useful.
When will I need special climbing equipment and what sort?
Bouldering: Bouldering is where you climb up a rock face, high boulder or an artificial climbing wall without being secured by a climbing rope or harness. The only pieces of safety equipment you have are the bouldering mats which you place either in front of or underneath the climbing wall/boulder. When bouldering, you climb only as far as the so-called “jump height”. This is the level from which you can jump and land on the bouldering mat without being injured. With the correct equipment, there are many places throughout our World Heritage Region to enjoy a day out bouldering.
Sport Climbing: Sport climbing routes are short but difficult. It’s important to have a suitable belayer with you. The belayer must be an experienced climber and remain vigilant. It is the belayer’s responsibility to ensure that you do not fall from any height. An additional safety factor is the climbing rope. A climbing rope is very durable. Check it over, however, before each use. The rope is secured to your harness by means of a karabiner. Along the climbing route you hang the bolts in the hooks to guide the rope through them and secure yourself. Your climbing partner below has a backup device such as a “Grigri”: a semi-automatic backup device that, if used correctly, blocks the rope in the event of a fall and thus prevents your climbing partner from falling. To summarise: when sport climbing, you need: a suitable safety partner, a climbing rope, karabiners, bolts and a backup device.
Multi Pitch Routes: The supreme discipline. For this type of climbing you require lots of endurance and experience, as well as the correct equipment. There is often a list of essential equipment needed, and in what quantity in the descriptions of multi pitch routes. In addition to the basics, depending on the level of difficulty of the route, you will need to take band loops and screw karabiners as well as friends or nuts (particularly important when it comes to technical climbing) with you.
Via Ferrata: Trying a short and simple via ferrata is a good way to get a feel for rock climbing, discover whether you enjoy heights and also to gain a sense of being vertical with the ground beneath you. The Gosau Lake Via Ferrata is ideal for beginners and there are some spectacular views too. It is important not to underestimate a via ferrata. Doing so can lead to situations where the whole group is in danger. In terms of equipment, you just need walking boots, a harness, a helmet and a climbing set. Then you are all set to go.
Don’t forget to energise yourself before you go climbing
All sports enthusiasts will tell you that proper nutrition is vital. For us climbers too. We need enough energy to last the whole day without restricting our mobility. Before setting out on a climbing tour we need something light but nourishing. Carbohydrates such as oats or rice pudding would be a good choice. It is really important to ensure that you drink plenty whilst climbing: water or electrolyte drinks are best.
Eating healthily is great for you, but you should also enjoy your holiday – also when it comes to food! After your climb you should treat yourself to a local sweet delicacy such as a “Kaiserschmarrn”!
If you want to find out more about culinary treats in the region, please visit Dachstein Salzkammergut Cuisine!
Enjoy being part of our World Heritage Region
A region like ours offers so many opportunities to try out sports such as climbing, and is also naturally very beautiful. It is well worth stopping for a moment to admire the views of the beautiful lakes and mountains surrounding you.
So, would you like to discover the Hallstatt-Dachstein/Salzkammergut World Heritage Region for yourself but have a long time to go until your next holiday? No problem! Embark on an incredible voyage through our Holiday Region (suitable also when using virtual reality glasses) and experience the area from some amazing angles! Simply click here and enjoy: www.dachstein-panorama.at