The final destination of our three-week northern limestone Alps tour was the Dachstein mountain range of Austria. Starting from near the Südwandhütte, above the lovely village of Ramsau on the south side of the range, we hiked for three days around and over the Dachstein to the famous village of Hallstatt on the north side, via the Hofpürglhütte, Adamek-Hütte, and Simony Hütte.
Over the Dachstein
On the way towards the Hofpürglhütte I got caught up photographing the mountains and wildflowers, so Claudia went ahead to secure a place in the hut for us. By the time I reached the hut and started to settle in, my head was fairly spinning from the awesome scenery and photo excitement!
On day two we left the Hofpürglhütte, backtracked a bit, then hiked over the Linzersteig route to the Adamek-Hütte. The route traverses a limestone basin full of more of the nasty convoluted limestone terrain which we’d be dealing with for the next few days.
The Linzersteig route is borderline klettersteig but is still possible to do without climbing gear, in good weather. Fortunately we did have fine sunny weather and though there were a few exposed climbing sections with metal peg ladders, we made it just fine.
The final stretch of the Linzersteig route involves crossing the barren rock left behind by the retreating Großer Gosaugletscher (visible above) before arriving at the Adamek-Hütte which is situated on a small island of stable rock between the moraine and vertical mountain walls.
The Adamek-Hütte offers a view back towards the Große-Bischofsmütze where we were the night before.
After a night at the Adamek-Hütte, we hiked around to the Simony Hütte on the north side of the range. I won’t lie — the entire route from the Adamek-Hütte to the Simony Hütte is a grueling slog through torturous limestone terrain which I was thoroughly sick of by this point!
I woke up for sunrise at the Simony Hütte and was already pretty happy photographing the light on Hoher Dachstein when seemingly out of nowhere this rainbow emerged!
After a long hike down from the Simony Hütte we reached the world famous town of Hallstatt. Situated on the edge of a large lake with immense mountains soaring above, it's easy to see why this place is so famous. After finding our hotel and getting cleaned up, we enjoyed strolling around town looking at all the gift shop knick-knacks and snapping photos alongside all the rest of the tourists.
A relaxing evening eating schnitzel, drinking wine and beer, and watching swans from a lakeside patio restaurant made for a fine ending of our three weeks of trekking in the Alps!