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Carnic Alps Main Ridge (East)

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (East)

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (East)

Page Type: Area/Range

Location: Carnic Alps, Austria/Italy, Europe

Lat/Lon: 46.62770°N / 12.98230°E

Object Title: Carnic Alps Main Ridge (East)

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Via Ferrata, Skiing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 7650 ft / 2332 m


Page By: Vid Pogachnik

Created/Edited: Oct 22, 2004 / Sep 15, 2014

Object ID: 153247

Hits: 13684 

Page Score: 81.18%  - 13 Votes 

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Cooking the fog.
DragoA - Cooking fog
Polinik from the south
Polinik from the south
Hochwipfel from the W

What's New On This Page?

September 15th, 2014: Minor changes in design.

> January 10th, 2009: Links to the new SP page: Monte Paularo and Monte Dimon.

> July 1st, 2008: Links to the new SP page: Kleiner Pal / Pal Piccolo.

The Purpose of This Page

On this page I would like to give an overview information of Carnic Alps Main Ridge, Eastern part, in order not to be repeated on all distinct summit pages. Regarding pictures and routes, this page is the place only for overall information. In winter 2009 from the main summits only Monte Schinauz is still missing.

Eastern Carnic Alps Presented

The main ridge of Carnic Alps reaches highest altitudes in its central part, just west of Ploecken Pass / Passo di M. Croce Carnico. But while towards the west mountains in the main ridge long retain a high alpine character, towards the east they soon become more humble. Actually, half of this group (from Ploecken Pass / Passo di M. Croce Carnico to Nassfeld Pass / Passo Pramolo) is still high and rocky, while east of Nassfeld Pass / Passo Pramolo mountains of the main Carnic ridge are more hilly, only some of them reaching altitudes over 2000m. Of course, judging what is more and what is less beautiful is a matter of different tastes. Anyway it is true that all main summits are very fine panoramic points.

Borders of the Subgroup

Carnic Alps - Eastern part, seen from Polinik. Zuc dal Bor and M. Chiavals are not a part of the Main Range any more.

It was more or less the agreement among some members of SummitPost how the whole broad group of Carnic Alps will be here divided in subgroups. That is because any 'official' borders of this subgroup are not established. On the north, the border is of course the river Gail/Zila. Also the western and the eastern boder are clear - Ploecken Pass / Passo di M. Croce Carnico and Thoerl. Let me describe now how the border towards the south was agreed. From Ploecken Pass / Passo di M. Croce Carnico southwards by the river Timau to Paluzza. From there towards the east over Ligosullo to Paularo, so that M. Tersadia, 1959m stays out of the subgroup. From Paularo towards the south by Chiarso creek to Dierico and further towards the east on Forca Griffon, dividing Monte Sernio group on the south (outside) and M. Salinchiet on the north (inside). Now down to Aupa valley, up to Sella di Cereschiatis and further towards the east to Pontebba. From there on by rivers Fella/Bela and Silizza/Ziljica to Thoerl.

It is important to mention, that towards the south two nice groups: Monte Sernio / Creta Grauzaria and Zuc dal Bor stay out in the so named: Southern Carnic Alps subgroup.

Important Mountains

Monte Goriane / Goeriacher berg, 1693mMonte Acomizza / Schoenwipfel, 1813mKleiner PalOjstrnik, 2050mPoludnik, 1999mCima Bella / Schoenwipfel, 1913mMonte Cocco, 1941mMonte Schinauz, 1999mGartnerkofel, 2195mRosskofel, 2239mCreta di Aip / Trogkofel, 2280mHochwipfel, 2195mMonte Zermula, 2143mFindenigkofel, 2018mHoher Trieb / Cuestalta, 2199mMonte Dimon, 2043mMonte Paularo, 2043mKoederhoehe, 2228mPromos/Blaustein,  2195mCreta di Timau / Hocheck, 2217mPolinik, 2332m
Carnic Alps Main Ridge - East interactive map: Hover over summit marks to see mountain names, click on them to get SummitPost pages!

Polinik view - towards the East
From Polinik
Group A. East of Ploecken Pass / Passo di M. Croce the main Carnic ridge rises slowly until it finally reaches the altitude of 2217m on Creta di Timau / Hocheck. But the highest mountain of this subgroup stands north of the main ridge. Polinik, 2332m is beautifully shaped, towards north it shows a high and steep rocky face. It is also interesting as a ski tour mountain, downhill can be done over its southern slopes, where also the normal approach goes. In the main ridge the next important mountain is Hoher Trieb / Cuestalta, 2199m, which sends also a side ridge towards the north - in this side ridge the last important higher summit is Zollnerhoehe, 1961m. In this part, south of the main ridge also a small subgroup stands, actually consisting of two close and equally high summits: Monte Paularo, 2043m and Monte Dimon, 2043m. And one more interesting thing: Gangolf Haub recommends to mention the open air World War I museum, which is on Kleiner Pal, just above the Ploecken Pass.

Trogkofel (Creta di Aip)
Creta di Aip / Trogkofel
Group B. Further towards the east, beyond a 1554m high saddle Hochwipfel, 2195 is a more outstanding mountain. It is positioned a bit north of the main ridge, which continues to the high and elegant Creta di Aip / Trogkofel, 2230m. While the main Carnic trail passes it by the southern side, the summit of Trogkofel can be reached by three interesting marked routes, two of them being true ferratas. South-east of Trogkofel, the main ridge lowers a bit, but soon sends a strong side ridge further towards the SE. The highest point in this ridge is Monte Cavallo di Pontebba / Rosskofel, 2238m, which can be also reached by attractive routes. At the end of this subgroup description we must again return a bit towards west. South of Hochwipfel, and divided from the main ridge by Rio Lunza (creek), stands a dominant Monte Zermula, 2143m. Besides two normal routes the summit can be ascended also from north by an interesting ferrata. Because of the road, which encircles it, Monte Zermula is very popular for visits. It can be reached in 1h 30min. South-east of Monte Zermula there are some more mountains, streching their ridges in different directions, but they are much lower.

Presseger See, a tourist...
Summits above Nassfeld
Group C. So we reached the Nassfeld Pass / Passo Pramolo. On its northern, Austrian side a big and modern ski center is operating. In the mountain subgroup east of the pass the main ridge rises only moderately to the altitude of 2000 meters, but the main summit stands again north of it. Gartnerkofel, 2195m, is a nice, rocky mountain, showing towards the north its most beautiful face. Besides being popular for summer hikes, it is also a nice ski tour mountain. From Nassfeld Pass / Passo Pramolo some altitude can be gained by ski-lifts, then moderately steep slopes bring you to the saddle between the SE ridge and the summit and finally you climb the last 200 meters. For downhill you will probably choose the ascent route, but you can also ski deep down around the eastern side and towards the north.

View from Ojstrnik on the...
Around Cima Bella
Group D. East and south-east of Gartnerkofel there is a broad area of mountains, which don't reach 2000m of altitude. While the summits of the main ridge are often visited, the southern part is less popular for mountaineering. I'm not quite sure, but I think that Monte Schinauz, 1909m, was hosting (or still is) a NATO radar system, so it's reasonable that there are not many marked paths. North of the main ridge a nice area around Egger Alm (pasture) and Egger Alm See (lake) can be reached by a mountain road, which ascends to an altitude of some 1500m. Among mountains in the main ridge the most popular for hiking, and especially for tour skiing are: Poludnig/Poludnik, 1999m, Monte Cocco / Kuk, 1941m and Cima Bella / Schoenwipfel, 1913m. Especially the easy ski tour from the last one towards the south-east is a pure poetry and can be done any time in winter or spring.

Sunset on Goriane/Gorjane/Goeriacher Berg
From Gorjane
Group E. Finally on Oisternig/Ojstrnik, 2052m, Carnic Alps for the last time exceed the altitude of 2000 meters. This mountain is a beautiful panoramic point and is very popular for hiking and tour skiing. From the north-east a narrow roads reaches the saddle below its summit and marked hiking paths ascend on its summit from all sides. Skiing is usually done first by its south slopes and then either by its long north-east ridge on the Austrian side or by valleys towards south-west on the Italian side. East of Oisternig/Ojstrnik the main ridge slowly loses altitude. More towards the east an independent summit is Goriane / Gorjane / Goeriacher Berg, also a wonderful panoramic point. Then the Carnic range finally descends completely towards Thoerl and the Silizza/Ziljica river.

Tour Skiing

Because of their special value for tour skiing, here I shall only name summits, which are most important in this respect:

Group A. Grosser Pal, 1814m, Creta di Timau / Hocheck, 2217m, Promos, 2195m, Polinik, 2332m, Elferspitz, 2254m, Laucheck, 2156m, Hoher Trieb / Cuestalta, 2199m, Zollnerhoehe, 1931m, Monte Dimon, 2043m, Monte Paularo, 2043m, Noeblinger Hoehe, 1760m, Waidegger Hoehe, 1961m, Leitenkogel, 1845m, Cima Val di Puartis, 1927m.

Group C. Gartnerkofel, 2195m.

Group D. Poludnig/Poludnik, 1999m, Cima Bella / Schoenwipfel, 1913m, Monte Cocco / Kuk, 1941m.

Group E. Oisternig/Ojstrnik, 2052m.

Gorges of Carnic Alps

Garnitzen Klamm
Eastern Carnic Alps have a few nice gorges, which are arranged for touristic visit. Some represent a true mountain tour - even a quite hard ferrata. And it has a sound reason. In a hot and hazy summer day it is perhaps good to do a change in mountaineering plans and visit one of these beautiful, shady river beds, like Garnitzen Klamm or Mauthner Klamm.

Contribution by Gangolf Haub: Garnitzen Klamm

Garnitzen Klamm is one of the longest gorges in Austria's southern-most state Carinthia. It is divided into four sections, the three lowest ones of which can be hiked along trails, ladders and bridges while the uppermost section is an exposed ferrata, secured by fixed chains. The gorge runs from the town of Hermargor south-westward towards Gartnerkofel where it ends to the west side of the mountain.

The trail through Garnitzen Klamm is conceived as a so-called Geo-Trail, with lots of presentation boards describing the geological formation of the Carnic and Gailtal Alps. The central part of the gorge (section 2) is by far the most beautiful. The gorge narrows to about 5m width with vertical or overhanging walls towering some 500m above. There are three entry points - one at each end and one near the centre, where you can reach the bottom of the Klamm from the west. Near this entry point you can find Garnitzen Haus, a bivouac which you can use in times of need.

Due to the narrowness of the gorge sudden weather changes can become quite dangerous. The rock gets slippery and you have to account for rushing floods covering the gorge floor in very short times. Thus the trails can get flooded and reaching one of the three entry/exit points may require climbing of up to UIAA III (5.4). So check for weather before you enter the Klamm.

Red Tape: At the Hermagor entry/exit you have to pay for a 2€ access ticket.
(See pictures also on Gartnerkofel, page!)

Getting There

For the broader orientation see the Eastern Alps GROUP page, and, because this is only a subgroup page, the Carnic Alps page.

Red Tape

No restrictions.

When To Climb

Mountains of the eastern part of Carnic Alps main ridge can be climbed in all seasons. Of course there are certain specifics. Mountains mentioned to be harder for climbing should be best done in summer and autumn, other mountains are nice to hike in all seasons. Doing ski tours again depends on current snow conditions and on demands of a tour.

For weather conditions, see the main Carnic Alps page!

Camping and Accomodation

Dolinca huts in winter
Dolinca huts
On the main Carnic Alps page you can find links to some more important tourist resorts in the area. There are also some links on moutain huts pages. Huts are not so frequent in the eastern part as in its western counterpart.

Ploeckenhaus, 1208m.
Dr. E. Steinwender Huette, 1720m, opened from mid June to end September. Tel.: +43 664 1060014.
Ricovero Casera Palgrande di Sopra, 1705m. Bivouac below Creta di Timau, 15 places, allways opened.
Casera Pramosia Alta, bivouac with 10 places.
Dr. Steinwendner hut, 1720m. Opened from mid June till end of September. 28 places + 6 in winter room. Tel.: 0043/4718/625.
Rif. Pietro Fabiani, 1539m. Opened mid June till mid September. Tel.: 329-3009876.
Straniger Alm (Zollner Huette), 1501m. Opened mid June till mid September. Tel.: +43(4285)243.
Rattendorfer Alm, 1531m. Tel.: +43 664 5121538.
Casera Cason di Lanza, 1552m. Opened from start of May till end of October. 14 places + 6 in winter room. Tel.: 042890928.
Rudrigalm, 1622m.
Naßfeldhaus, 1528m, opened all summer. Tel.: +43 4285 82710.
Rif. Fratelli Nordio, 1210m.
Dellacher Alm, 1362m.
Koutschitzalm, 1100m.
Starhand hut on Lom saddle, 1460m, private. Opened from mid May or start June till end of October, 7+15 beds, tel.: 04283/2004.
Feistritzer Alm, 1718m, private. Opened from May till September, 8 beds.
Schoenwipfel Schutzhaus, 1715m. Opened in July and August, 10 + 5 beds, tel.: 04256/3163.

Maps & Books

Kar na Karnijce
Guidebook in Italian: R. Gaberscik: Guida escursionistica alle Alpi Carniche. STUDIO64srl Edizioni. 7th edition, 2010.

Guidebook in German: P. Holl: Karnischer Hauptkamm. Alpenvereinsführer. Rother Verlag. ISBN: 3-7633-1254-4. An excellent overall Climbing Guide through the Carnic Alps Main Ridge.

Guidebook and photomonography (in Slovenian): V. Pogačnik: Kar na Karnijce. Založba Narava, 2011.

For the rest, see the main Carnic Alps page!

A More Distant History Of This Page

- July 18th, 2007 - Links to the new SP page added: Hoher Trieb / Cuestalta.
- May 29th, 2007 - Links to the new SP pages added: Hochwipfel, Findenigkofel / Monte Lodin.
- October 18th, 2006 - Links to new SP pages added: Polinik and Creta di Timau / Hocheck.
- September 17th, 2006 - Links to the new SP page added: Poludnig/Poludnik.
- July 5th, 2006 - Links to the new SP page added: Gartnerkofel.
- November 13th, 2005 - Links to the new SP page added: Monte Cavallo di Pontebba / Rosskofel.
- June 13th, 2005 - Added links to two (unfinished) pages: Monte Zermula and Creta di Aip / Trogkofel.
- January 10th, 2005 - Links to the new SP page added: Cima Bella / Schoenwipfel.
- January 9th, 2005 - Map updated with two important summits: Pizzo di Timau / Hocheck and Promos/Blaustein.
- January 7th, 2005 - Links to the new SP page added: Ojstrnik.
- January 5th, 2005 - Data about three more huts added.
- November 30th, 2004 - A new chapter added: Gorges of Carnic Alps.
- October 22nd, 2004 - Initial set up of the page.

Your Help Needed

More specific calls for your help are also on some of the mountain pages, here are only the most important pieces of information, which are missing for this mountain group.
  • Can you in detail describe any of harder climbs?
  • Would you consider worthwile to post any mountain north of the main crest?
  • Images