Dachsteinsüdwand: view from the Reiteralm pasture.
Dachstein Massif, karstic high mountain massif of the northern limestone range (Dachstein Limestone), situated at the provincial borders of Upper Austria, Salzburg and Styria, forms the southern border of the Salzkammergut region and reaches 2,995 m in the Hoher Dachstein peak, the highest summit of Upper Austria and Styria, (Torstein peak, alt. 2,948 m, Niederer Dachstein peak, alt. 2,934 m, Mitterspitz peak, alt. 2,925 m and Großer Koppenkarstein peak, alt. 2863 m). The Dachstein Massif slopes steeply down to Lake Hallstatt to the north and to the Ennstal valley to the south; the U-shaped Gosautal valley forms a deep depression to the northwest. The glaciers of the summits are the easternmost and northernmost in the Alps: Großer Gosau glacier, Hallstätter glacier, Schladminger glacier, Torstein glacier, Kleiner Gosau glacier, Schneeloch glacier and Edelgries glacier. Water flows off only by subterraneous drainage. The Dachstein Caves are situated on its northern edge, in Upper Austria, and can be reached by cableway: valley station Obertraun, intermediate station Dachsteinhöhlen-Schönbergalm, mountain station Krippenstein (alt. 2,074 m); from there junction to Gjaidalm station (alt. 1,788 m), which is also accessible by another cableway via Krippenbrunn. On its southern edge, in Styria, the Dachstein-Südwandbahn cableway (also called "Gletscherbahn Ramsau") leads from "Türlwandhütte" hotel to Hunerkogel mountain (alt. 2,687 m); ski-lifts in the glacier area. The steep Dachstein-Südwand ("south face") presents a challenge to climbers (first ascent in 1901). In 1832 first ascent of the Hoher Dachstein peak by P. Gappmayr from Filzmoos (from the Gosau side), 1847 first ascent in winter by F. Simony (from the Hallstatt side). Valley villages: Gosau, Obertraun (Upper Austria), Ramsau, Schladming (Styria). Mountain refuges: Austriahütte (alt. 1,638 m), Adamekhütte (alt. 2,196 m), Wiesberghaus (alt. 1,872 m), Simonyhütte (alt. 2,205 m), Dachsteinwartehütte (alt. 2,741 m), Gablonzer Hütte (alt. 1,522 m), Dachsteinsüdwandhütte (alt. 1,871 m).
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