The name: Poludnig in German language, Poludnik in Slovenian language (meaning: noon peak, mittagskofel, cima dodici, etc.).
The mountains east of Gartnerkofel are in a mountaineering sense less important. But nevertheless some of them are nice characters, first of all offering great panoramas, in summer easy hikes and in winter nice ski tours. One of those is also Poludnig, a respectful grassy pyramid, dominating its famous alpine pastures. Yes, large pastures are those which attract visitors, so they are also the core of all tourist campaigns in the neighbourhood. To hikers and bikers there they offer the original Gailtal cheese and other specialties. The terrace north of Poludnig is a beloved destination of people from Gail/Zilja valley and of tourists staying there.
The geography of Poludnig is not worth elaborating much. These hills are separated one from another by not so deep valleys, cutting the territory in all directions. As a mountain, Poludnig is unique. Its summit pyramid has similarly steep slopes on all sides, except towards the West, where it is sending a longer ridge. 600m of its north slopes finish on a nice, broad terrace with a small lake - Egger-Alm-See, and large alpine meadows. Two settlements are on these pastures: Egger Alm, 1422m, and Dellacher Alm, 1365m, being some 3,2 km apart. The third settlement lies much higher: Poludniger Alm, 1709m, is already on the NE ridge of the mountain itself. It is also the highest point, reached by the road. Other pastures are more remote.
The road to Egger Alm terrace starts down in Gail/Zilja valley just where the entrance into the famous Garnitzenklamm (gorge) is. So this tourist attraction belongs equally to Gartnerkofel and to Poludnig. Actually Garnitzenklamm is dividing both mountain massifs. See more about the gorge on the page of Gartnerkofel!
For a broader view see: Carnic Alps – Eastern part.
Poludnik is accessed almost exclusively from the Austrian side, from the valley of Gail/Zilja. Near Villach (highway) turn towards the West and drive into the valley till Hermagor/Mokrine. There turn towards the South into the village Moederndorf and through it, following signs for Egger Alm and Garnitzenklamm. When reaching the gorge entry just proceed by the asphalt road, which turns sharp left and starts ascending. It soon brings you up on the Egger Alm terrace.
Of course you could reach the summit also from the South, from the Italian side. There, respectively in Valle di Ugovizza, roads are closed for public traffic much lower and you would in addition need to cross at least one saddle, descending down on the other side.
What To Do On Poludnig?
1. Bike & Hike tour. If you start in Moederndorf, 580m, you can bike up by a good, 95% asphalt road to Poludniger Alm, 1709m. Then you do additional 300m of a walk-up, which means a fine 1500m tour. Descent is of course a pure joy. If that's too much, you can drive by car up to the big parking place below Egger Alm, 1360m, do a biking tour on Poludniger Alm, 1709m, and hike-up the rest. Still some 700m to do. The Egger Alm terrace is a true bikers' paradise. Many of them ascend from Gail/Zilja valley only till here, proceed over the terrace and descend by a forrest road or cart-road towards the East.
2. Simple hike up. You park on the big parking place below Egger Alm, 1360m, and take the direct marked path by the West ridge to the top of Poludnig (via Schlosshuettensattel, 1451m). 640m of altitude to do. On the map, the road to Poludniger Alm is described as closed for public traffic from Dellacher Alm, 1365m, on. But in July 2006 people were driving up freely. So, you can perhaps want to park on 1726m, above Poludniger Alm, and do only a 275m of hike-up.
3. A ski tour. The slopes of Poludnig can be skied almost everywhere, the upper 600m, of course. But the northern part has a more dense vegetation, so you'd need to adapt to snow conditions. Certainly fine is the SE slope and promising could be also the W ridge.
You can see a detailed map (1:50000) on-line on: http://www.austrianmap.at/.
Red TapeNo restrictions.
Huts And Camping
The ascent on Poludnig can be done in one day. On all three pastures (Egger Alm, Dellacher Alm and Poludniger Alm) you might get in summer a private accomodation.