On the photo you see a woman climbing up on the via ferrata 'Echerntal' in Hallstatt, behind you see the lake Hallstatt with its beautiful surrounding mountain area (Photo: Outdoor Leadership, Putz Heli)

Climb high &
enjoy the view

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Seewand Via Ferrata

This via ferrata was established by mountain guides Helmut Putz and Gerhard Gangl, in cooperation with the Obertraun Tourist Authorities, in autumn 1997. It is permanently being maintained, and has a difficulty rating of D to E (on a scale from A to E), and as such is one of the most challenging rock climbs in the entire Alpine world.

It takes 4 to 6 hours to complete the climb, and those seeking to undertake the challenge must be in excellent condition, and carry all the necessary safety and climbing equipment. The via ferrata is available from the end of June to the middle of October.

With an altitude difference of almost 800 metres and its exhilerating views towards Hallstatt, Lake Hallstatt and the entire Inner Salzkammergut region, this climb is certainly the greatest of its kind in Austria.

Start out from the large car park by the "Kesselgruende" public bathing area half way between Hallstatt and Obertraun. Here there is an information board which displays essential information and some practical tips. A footpath leads to the Hirschaualm (approx. 40 mins) where the ascent begins.
The terrain you encounter throughout this very challenging adventure is almost entirely solid rock, apart from one green section in the middle. At the far end of this green section there is a small cave which is practical for sheltering from the weather and for bivouacs. If you otherwise wish to take a short break, there are some wonderful places along the rock wall with stunning views to admire. When you have at last conquered this very challenging third of the route, itis time to reward yourself with a snack and time to enjoy the breath-taking panoramic views.

The final section is a gentle, marked trail, which takes about 40 minutes, and covers part of the Dachstein plateau. This leads you to the Gjaidalm, a catered mountain hut which is famous for its "Kaiserschmarrn", a local sweet specialty. You can then take the Dachstein World Heritage Cable Car back down to the valley.

What you need to be aware of:
- Enquire about snow fall/how much snow there is in the area you will be visiting
- Consider taking snow shoes to make your arrival on the Gjaidlam easier!
- Avoid climbing if stormy weather is on its way. Lightning storms can endanger your life!
- Always carry proper equipment and bring a light rope with you for your safety.
- Pack sufficient refreshments and snacks
- Ensure you are carrying plenty of drinks
- Be aware of the latest return to the valley by cable car (17.00 in peak season; 16.30 at all other times!) It takes 3.5 to 4 hours to walk back down to Obertraun.

The following photo gallery can be navigated with the arrow keys (left, right).