Fission product (90Sr_ 90y, I37CS, total beta) and 2tOPb_210pO activities were measured in core samples from the temperate vernagtferner (3150 m altitude, Oetztal Alps, Austria). The results show that the investigated fission products are transported with water resulting from melting processes, and are sorbed on dust or dirt horizons. These products are, therefore, not suited for dating temperate glaciers. 210Pb is also transported with water and displaced from its original deposition. However, despite large fluctuations, the specific activity of 210Pb decreases with depth, and can be used to estimate accumulation rates and the age of the ice. The average annual accumulation rate amounts to about 80 cm water equivalent, and the deepest sample (81 m i. e. "" 65 m w. e.) was deposited in the beginning of this century. These results agree with data obtained from other observations on this glacier and show that the 210Pb_method is suitable to date temperate glaciers, if the ice cores cover a time interval of about 100 years (i. e. "" 4 half-lives of 210Pb). The surface activity of 210Pb was found to be 5 ± I dpm per kg of ice in agreement with other locations in the Alps and with measurements of fresh snow.