This is not a cheap excursion if you go at the wrong time of year.
During the ski season it is covered by a Ski Amade pass but if you don't have one or you go out of season it is expensive. Unless of course you go in The Summer Card Season and are staying at a Summer Card Partner establishment in The Schladming/Dachstein Region when it is free. The downside is during high season everyone wants to go there.
I have been lucky and have never queued for more than 20 minutes but I do go regularly and time it right.
So what is new? Well there are new Gondolas to take you up to the glacier. The one on the right looking up has provision for a limited number of people to ride on the roof. I've done it and it's fantastic. The other one has a glass panel in the floor which initially isn't noticed by everyone and makes for some amusement when they do notice it. The Old Faithful that is The Skywalk is still there and provides stunning views from 2700m looking in a southerly direction. There is also a walk way around the whole of the outside of the Gondola and restaurant complex providing stunning panoramic views. New in 2013 is the Suspension Bridge (which you can get bouncing nicely) and the glass stairs to nowhere. Not for the feint hearted. I had the feeling as I descended that I would trip and be over the edge :-). I don't visit the Ice Palace as it doesn't appeal and I understand mild weather has taken its toll. It will have to be completely rebuilt soon.
The Chuffs (local birds) provide entertainment and appreciate a tasty treat.
Would I go if I had to pay. Probably once to say I had but it would not be a regular treat due to the cost. If you are a keen skier and want to ski for most of the year it is ideal. In winter it can be stunning and on a clear day with no haze the views are amazing. In The Summer Card Season it is a must do activity in the area but be prepared for long queues during high season. You are going for the scenery. If you are expecting more you will be disappointed
It is no good going when the cloud is on The Dachstein. You won't see a thing. Cloud lower down isn't a problem and makes for some stunning scenery in its own right. Even broken cloud whipping around the glacier and Hoher Dachstein makes for a spooky scene. All year round the sun up there is very strong and you must protect against it.
There is now an easy walk down on to the glacier and a covered moving pavement to bring you back to the gondola station
I should also mention that the restaurant does very good freshly prepared food and is no dearer than most other places in the area.
It is only right I declare my interest. I own a Summer Card Partner B&B in the area but have no direct links to the attraction and this is an honest appraisal of it.
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