Geographical Classification : Eastern Alps > Carnic Alps > Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) > Porze / Cima Palombino
The massive form of Porze, which in Italy is called Cima Palombino, dominates the western central part of the Carnic Alps Main Ridge. It is a castle like structure, rather wide than high, a limestone fortress rising out of the surrounding volcanic formations. Similar to the trinity of Königswand, Grosse Kinigat and Kleine Kinigat Porze can give you a lesson about the formation of the Alps in general and of the Carnic Alps in particular. Here, where the North-African and European tectonic plates crashed into each other rock got thrown up much like the water does when waves break on a beach. It is a powerful contrast which hopefully is shown on the pictures of this page.
Porze also has been part of Europe's recent history. Like the entire Carnic Alps main ridge, during World War I, this was part of the front between Austria and Italy. Heavy battles were fought here and in fact Porze was the only mountain which was conquered during the whole war. The Italians took it in 1915 (I'm not sure the date is correct) but luckily for the inhabitants of the Austrian village of Obertillach 7km to the north had trouble reaching it with their artillery.
The War - like in so many parts of the main ridge has left a multitude of supplying trails around the area. Many of these war trails have been maintained in the seventies; most noteworthy the 140km "Karnischer Höhenweg" trekking trail on the Austrian side. Since Porze was Italian during the war the Austrian trails circle it from afar so that this is one of the few places where the trekking trail actually runs along far from the border.
Two of the WW I ascent routes have been transformed into ferrate - climbing trails protected with fixed cables ladders and bolts. They both run along the ridge, one from the Porzescharte Pass in the west, the other from the Tillacher Joch Pass in the east. The latter extends far south to climb the mountain from the Italian side.
Also, Porze is one of the mountains in the Carnic Alps Main Ridge, which is interesting to climbers. Most of the routes are loose and brittle, the direct east face route, however, is worthwhile. See the "Climbing Porze" section below
There are several routes onto Porze the two main ones ferrate, equipped with fixed cables and ladders. Most of the routes are along loose rock. None of them is rated more than UIAA IV but all are dangerous because of rockfall. Good descriptions can be found in the German Alpine Club Guidebook (German): P.Holl: Karnischer Hauptkamm, Rother Verlag, ISBN: 3-7633-1254-4. Here I will only give short abstracts.
- Western Ridge
First climbed: 1926 (Rudovsky, Hitzker)
- North Face
First climbed: 1927 (Kaser, Steinmann)
- North-eastern Ridge "Austriasteig"
First climbed: 1926 (Thurner)
- Direct east face
First climbed: 1926 (Holl, Bieber)
Length: 400m, 13 pitches
- East face
First climbed: 1929 (Le Bel, Rudovsky)