Where . . . [R730R, Ramsau am Dachstein], Austria

What . . . Each year the Dachstein Glacier (2700m) is one of the first to open for summer; its flat, north-facing slopes offer year-round powder conditions. It boasts 18 kilometres of well-groomed ski runs as well as the popular Horsefeathers Superpark. Snowboarders and freeskiers are drawn to the many boxes and rails (including an 11-metre downrail and a 14-metre double kinked rail). The cross-country ski runs on the Dachstein are the international training centre for cross-country skiers, bi-athletes, and Nordic combination athletes. At the height of the glacier's season, in autumn, up to 700 athletes from 25 countries ski here. There is also plenty for non-skiers on the glacier: take the Dachstein Sky Walk for one of the most impressive panoramas in the Alps. The Dachstein Ice Palace is also located only three minutes on foot from the Upper Station of the Dachstein Gletscherbahn. It is open to visitors daily all year round. The impressive entrance pillars lead the way through to the Crystal Cathedral, Throne Room, and ice sculptures. Food and drinks are served at the Glacier Restaurant next to the Upper Station.

Ski Pass Price . . . €32 per day

When To Go . . . Opens May 29 onwards (open 11 months of the year).

Nearby Lodging . . . Ramsau am Dachstein and Schladming offer hotels, apartments, and guesthouses for all budgets

Getting Here . . .

Air: Ramsau am Dachstein is 90 kilometres from Salzburg and 190 kilometres from Graz

Car: Take the Munich-Salzburg Autobahn and the Tauern Autobahn (A10) to the Ennstal junction. From here it's 25 kilometres to the Schladming-Dachstein region via the Ennstal federal road (B320).

Public transport: Schladming is on the international railway line. From Schlamding, shuttle buses will take you to Ramsau am Dachstein

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