Don't hate me because I still have an original ;-) They made two versions, a "standard" as shown and a Lwt version. Significant price difference back in the day between the two. I first bought the Lwt version telling myself it was "thinner" and more useful. Both were stout versions of a "sweater". But not moth proof which was my sweater's demise. I now think I made a mistake on the thin version as being more useful.
Funny thing about the Dachstein's. I first saw the mitts in the local climbing shop and the early '70s GPIW catalog. Likely the only way to keep your hand warm in really cold weather back then. I went through half a dozen pairs over the years. And I later used them in combination with other mitts (generally Helly Hanson pile lined shells) up till the early '80s.
Dachstein mitts and the luxurious gloves (not the GPIW Walker wool gloves mind you) were the bomb back in the day. Still are if you have a use for them. Fun to see Andy Turner climb with Dave MacLeod while using Dachstein mitts and Nomics..
Mil Spec version above.
Mitts "shrink to fit with use".
My size Euro sized 52 Dachstein weighs in at 3# 4 oz. So it is no light weight. A jacket of comparable performance (well sort of comparable anyway) is the Arcteryx Atom Lt @ a just over 14.4 oz. Well less than a 1/3 in weight.
But it isn't just the numbers that tell the story here. The Dachstein sweater can be a decent rain jacket, an amazingly good wind shell, a stretchable and extremely breathable layer all in one. Some of the weight just gets ignored. But no question you notice you have something on! Stuck out side for an unplanned over night? The Dachstein is the garment I'd choose. May be not for all the time use but it is fun once in a while in the right conditions. Cold, dry and windy?
Herman Buhl used one.
Michael Kennedy did as well. Here after the night out, on the 1st ascent of the Ames Ice Hose.
I dumped mine for the first Patagonia red pile. Now I have all sorts of climbing sweaters I really like. The SherpaAGear, Mantra is one, the E. Bauer Hooded Down Pullover another along with the Arcteryx Atom Lt. All different weights and materials but all useable.
But none of the "sweaters" named besides the Dachstein will I throw over a synthetic t shirt (don't believe anyone who tells you boiled wool doesn't itch. It does.) and wear sidehill skiing in marginal NW spring weather as my only piece of clothing on my upper body.
And be happy doing it!
Well happy till it is totally full of water anyway ;-) Not sure I could pack the 50# around of a totally soaked Dachstein.. Better used where it won't rain all day on you I suspect. But this sweater is the "original soft shell". It will still do most of what we required and do it better than even the best of the new versions of "climbing sweater". Not everywhere mind you. But not the worn out old war horse to be abandoned either.
Mountain 33 (March 1974.) No photo credit given.
More here on that story:
The retro kool factor can not be denied. Like how many guys do you know that have actually even seen a Dachstein sweater let alone worn one? EBs in Bard's "hopeful" hands BITD in case you wondered.
All is not lost. The Austrian Army contracted to have manufactured both pull over and zip front Dachstein sweaters for years. Also known as the "GUIDE" version. Those can be had on the after market for reasonable prices these days. ORTOVOX now sells the gloves and mitts of boiled wool. And they are nice. But they aren't of the same quality as the originals imo. But they are close!
Places to find the "Dachstein" versions still available? Often times a Google search for "Austrian Military wool sweater" will bring surplus military sweaters up as well.. These things rock as the ultimate wool sweater. $40 plus shipping seems to be the going price as I write this on Ebay and online for the surplus version, used and new. Last made in the early '80s I believe. Likely the best $40 you'll ever spend for usable but some what funky climbing clothing
Current sources for Dachstein style wool items:
MEN'S sizing conversions off the Internet which seems to fit my 52 Dachstein / 42 US conversion
Suits and overcoats
European 46 48 50 52 54 56 58
UK 36 38 40 42 44 46 48
USA 36 38 40 42 44 46 48
size 52 is:
63" wrist to wrist
24" arm pit to arm pit
19" at the waist
The military surplus siz large I just bought but haven't seen yet is:
Close enough to a size 42 to work for me.
A Dachstein sweater won't replace anything I own or get very used often but they are a fun bit of quality kit that isn't easy available today.
A short history of the Dachstein area:
More on the modern sweater versions here: