All the mountains of the Coglians/Hohe Warte group are very impressive, but Creta della Cjanevate/Kellerspitzen is so imposing and massive that seems to deserve a special place, just near the "king" Coglians itself. This mountain has no "weak" sides, from wherever you observe it appears like a huge and compact mass of limestone, with very high walls and pillars that fall for hundreds of meters into dark and scary valleys. The huge southern faces are very intimidating and can be compared ( in smaller scale ) to the much more famous walls of the Marmolada.
It is situated between Austria and Italy among Vallone della Cjanevate, the Eiskar glacier and Valentin Alm. The mountains around it are Monte Coglians/Hohe warte, Cima di mezzo/Kellerwarte, Creta Monumenz, Creta di Collina/Kollin Kofel, the Gamskofel-Mooskofel group, Rauchkofel and Monti di Volaia/Biegenbirge. The Eiskar glacier ( 2200 m ) was the lowest of the Alps, but thank to the global warming is almost completely disappeared..
The rock of the Coglians group is generally not so good for climbing, but the pillars of the southern side of Creta della Cjanevate are an exception, and in the 80's and 90's became a little paradise for extreme climbers, that opened here some of the most difficult routes of the Carnic Alps. Two great climbers of the modern era, Roberto Mazzilis and Mauro Florit, realized here great exploits, like the famous routes "Via dei Carnici" ( VII ) on Pilastro della Plote or the extreme "it's hard to be good" ( VIII+) on Pilastro Centrale. But this fantastic mountain can be climbed also by the expert hiker with the beautiful normal route to the main summit built by the italian soldiers in the first world war.
Geogists also will find here their little eldorado: this is one of the oldest areas of the alpine arc, originated in the Devonian age more then 350 million years ago. Here there's a rich presence of many different types of fossils that can be very helpful to study the complex geologic origin of this mountains.
This mountain takes the name from the dark valley on its southern slopes, Vallone della Cjanevate. "Creta" means rocky peak and "Cjanevate" means something like " dark, ugly basement " ( it's very difficult to translate that word in english ).
During the first world war all the mountains of the group were controlled by the italian mountain troops, because the approaches from south were much easier. But the austrians knew the strategic importance of the area and did everything they could to conquer at least one of the main summits and after great sacrifice and many lives lost in the summer of 1916 they secured a route trough the Eiskar glacier and managed to set a position on the east summit of Creta della Cjanevate. Then the first cold and snow came and many austrian soldiers died not only for the fightings but also for the extreme conditions of the weather. The north face of the mountain became a vertical wall of ice so finally the commander of that troops, against the orders of his generals, decided that was impossible to stay there and ordered the retreat. What a sad page of history!
Creta della Cjanevate is just in the middle of the Carnic main chain, so it's not difficult to imagine how beautiful is the panorama from its summit. If the sky is clear you can see the austrian glaciers, the Dolomites, the Julian Alps, the plains and the hills of Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Adriatic Sea.
The first known ascent is of the famous pioneer of the Dolomites Paul Grohmann, that climbed the mountain from the north face with J.Moser and P.Salcher in the year 1868.
Normal route from south-west
This is the easiest route for the summit and in the first part follows the partly secured path"Lo Stivale" to Creta di Collina/Kollinkofel. Just a few meters below the summit a marked path on the left goes up to the main summit of Creta della Cjanevate. Easy for an expert hiker ( max UIAA I+ ) but quite exposed in the last part and also very long ( 5 hours from Passo di Monte croce Carnico ).
Variant from the east crest of Creta di Collina/Kollinkofel
This is the eastern route from Cresta Verde, slightly more difficult ( UIAA I and II not secured ) but a little bit more rewarding. The second part is the same of the route described above.
From the southern side of Torre della Cjanevate to the main summit
450 m - max diff. UIAA III
5 hours from Vallone della Chianevate
From the south-west gully of Torre della Cjanevate to the main summit
450 m - max diff UIAA IV
3 hours from Vallone della Chianevate
From the north face ( Via Grohmann )
Famous alpinistic route secured in the first part.
420 m - max diff. UIAA IV
6 hours from Obere Valentin Alm
Torre della Cjanevate ( from the crest of Creta della Cjanevate )
UIAA II/III - 1 hour
Torre della Cjanevate ( from Passo dei Cacciatori )
UIAA V - 3 hours
"La legge della Fattucchiera" ( Pala della Cjanevate )
230 m - max diff. UIAA VII+
"It's hard to be good" ( Pilastro Centrale )
520 m - max diff. UIAA VIII+
"Mistero Buffo" ( Pilastro Centrale )
550 m - max diff. UIAA VI
"Il ritorno di Gringo" ( Pilastro della Plote )
400 m - max diff. UIAA VII
"Nouvelle Sensation" ( Pilastro della Plote )
400 m - max diff. UIAA VIII-
Via Mazzilis-Moro ( south edge of Pilastro della Plote )
400 m - max diff. UIAA VII
Via "dei Carnici" ( Pilastro della Plote )
400 m - max diff. UIAA VII
Getting thereFrom Italy:
Passo di Monte Croce Carnico
From the Udine-Tarvisio motorway exit Tolmezzo and then Paluzza, Passo di Monte Croce Carnico.
From Venezia to Belluno-Lozzo di cadore-Passo della Mauria-Villa Santina-Tolmezzo-Paluzza-Passo di Monte Croce Carnico
From the Brennero motorway exit Bressanone/Brixen and then S.Candido-Auronzo di cadore-Passo della Mauria-Villa santina-Tolmezzo-Paluzza-Passo di Monte Croce Carnico
From the Udine-Tarvisio motorway exit Tolmezzo and then Villa santina-Forni Avoltri-Collina-Rifugio Tolazzi
From Venezia to Belluno-Sappada-Forni Avoltri-Collina-Rifugio Tolazzi
From the Brennero motorway exit Bressanone/Brixen and then S.Candido-Sappada-Forni Avoltri-Collina-Rifugio Tolazzi
From kitzbhuel to Lienz and then Oberdraugburg,Mauthen-Passo di Monte Croce Carnico
From Salzburg to Spittal and then Oberdraugburg,Mauthen-Passo di Monte Croce Carnico
AccomodationThere are four beautiful huts in the area:
Rifugio Tolazzi - Plan Val di Bos 1350 m ( Collina - Forni Avoltri )
Rifugio Marinelli - Forcella Morareet 2120 m
Rifugio Lambertenghi-Romanin - Passo Volaia/Wolayer Pass 1970 m
E.Pichl Hutte - Passo Volaia/Wolayer Pass 1970 m
Hotels in the area
Red TapeNo limitations
Maps and booksTabacco 1:25000
09 Alpi Carniche - Carnia Centrale
Kompass map WK60
Gaitaler Alpen/Karnische Alpen
A.De Rovere - M.Di Gallo - Guida ai Monti d'Italia - Alpi Carniche Vol. I - C.A.I. - T.C.I.
W.Shaumann - E.Eybl - Passo di Monte Croce Carnico Storia, Escursioni e Paesaggio - Ghedina e Tassotti Editori
R.Mazzilis-L.Dalla Marta - Dai sentieri attrezzati alle vie ferrate - Editrice Co.El
A. e F. Scrimali - Alpi Carniche Escursioni e testimonianze sui monti della Grande Guerra - Edizioni Panorama
E.Tomasi - Traversata Carnica & Karnischer Hohenweg - Edizioni Svevo
When to climb?From june to october. The southern faces can be climbed sometimes also in early spring ( april-may ).