OverviewGeographical Classification: Eastern Alps - Salzkammergut
Here we are in the limestone Salzkammergut mountains, located north of the famous Dachstein between Tennengau (Osterhorn group) in the west and Totes Gebirge in the east. Gamsfeld is its highest summit, situated opposite to the wild Gosaukamm. Reaching average heights of 1600-1800m, Salzkammergut mountains are considerably lower than its neighbours. On the other hand, deep valleys cross the range and rocks pop out on you behind every tree. There is no serious climbing here, but the overall steepness of the flanks makes the summits mostly to conditionally demanding destinations.
An attraction of great interest in Salzkammergut are the lakes Mondsee, Attersee, Wolfgangsee and Hallstätter See. These are glacial relicts, formed by the huge ice masses flowing from Dachstein and Tennengebirge in the past ice ages. Some of the surrounding towns like Hallstatt and Bad Ischl were - and are - major salt mines.
Back to Gamsfeld. It is mostly climbed from the small village Russbach am Pass Gschütt, and this is a very popular ski tour. On sunny days, you surely will not be alone here. The height difference of round 1200m from Russbach is considerable, but all the routes have a constatly changing character as you move and the views towards Dachstein are soon quite spectacular.
Getting ThereNorth-Western approach (from Salzburg): Exit the A10 highway at Golling and turn into Lammertal. After Abtenau, turn to Russbach am Pass Gschütt.
Southern approach (from Radstadt): From the A10 head to Pass Gschütt (Lungötz), turn to Russbach.
Eastern approach: Exit the A1 at Gmunden, continue to Bad Ischl, then direction Hallstatt, but turn to Russbach before Hallstatt.
You can also use the ski busses in this area. For a ski tour from Russbach, you can use the parking places at the piste (no fees) or continue after the church for approx. 1km into the valley, where some parking places are cleaned from snow just for ski tourists.
Routes overviewBoth routes go from Russbach from south, and they are easy walks.
- Over Angerkaralm. From the parking place, follow the marked forest road to the north, after a bridge the north-west (left) one. A short side walley to the right leads to the broad Angerkar (left). Head right to the rocky ridge and you get over a steeper section left of it to the peak. 3.5h.
- Over Traunwandalm. From the parking place, follow the marked forest road to the north, after a bridge the north-east (right) one. Just before this road crosses a small brook, turn left (north) to the Traunwandalm and on, steep, to the peak. 3h.
With ski, you can go down the ascent route, combine them both (nicest is the Angerkar up, Traunwandalm down) or choose one of the steeper downhills, both to enter at some 40 degree steepness:
- Schlosskar, starting south-west close to the summit, traverses to the Traunkar (see the picture).
- Haberkar. From the summit, head to north, then east into the kar.
Red TapeNo restrictions, no parking fees.
When To ClimbGamsfeld can be climbed anytime without snow and, provided the avalanche conditions are stable, even in winter. The Schlosskar and Haberfeld downhills need very stable conditions and are best done in spring.
Piste skiingOpposite to Gamsfeld, on the north slopes of Gosaukamm, there is the big ski resort Dachstein West. The towns Annaberg, Gosau, Lungötz, Rußbach and St. Martin all can be used to enter its slopes of all difficulties. You can alternate between ski tours and piste skiing from one starting point. See the Russbach piste information at bergfex.at.
- www.russbach.info has good online lists of hotels and private accomodations in Russbach;
- www.dachstein.net and
- www.lammertal.info have informations for Abtenau, Annaberg, Lungötz and St. Martin, e.g. the other towns in the area.
- For avalanche conditions, see Salzburger Lawinenwarndienst.
- wetter.orf.at and
- ZAMG contain weather forecasts.
Guides and MapsGuides
- Kurt Schall: Schitourenatlas Österreich Ost
- Franz Hauleitner: Salzkammergut, Rother Wanderführer
- ÖK 95 St. Wolfgang
- Online map at www.austrianmap.at