Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West)

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West)

Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 46.65100°N / 12.64660°E
Additional Information Elevation: 9121 ft / 2780 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Viewing the whole western...The western part of the Carnic Alps Main Ridge seen from Rauchkofel

The best known of the subgroups of the Carnic Alps is the Main Ridge, especially its western part between Kreuzbergpass / Passo di Monte Croce and Plöckenpass / Passo di Monte Croce Carnico. The popularity can partly be explained by the proximity of the Sexten Dolomites / Dolomiti di Sesto, probably the most beautiful of the Dolomite Groups, drawing the attention of thousands of hikers and climbers each year. Many of them take the cablecar to Helm / Monte Elmo, the westernmost mountain of the Carnic Alps, to get an overview of the many subgroups of the Sexten Dolomites.

It would be unfair, however, to see the Carnic Alps Main Ridge only in the light of its views towards Sexten. It is a very impressive hiking and climbing destination in itself. For the hikers a long trekking trail has been established in the 70s of the last century. "Karnischer Höhenweg" runs along to the north of the Main ridge, often (rather mostly) using trails, which had been established during World War I. In that war, 90 years ago, the main ridge was a fiercely contested battleground between the Austrian Kaiserjäger and the Italian Alpini. Many caves, buildings and trenches still document this part of history.

The geology of the area is very complex. For an overview, see the relevant section on the Carnic Alps Page. For a short abstract let it be said that to the north of the ridge the peradriatic fault between the North-African and European tectonic plates runs through Lesachtal Valley and that the region was at the centre of the action during the formation of the Alps. So smooth mountains formed out of eruptive rocks (mostly black lava) abruptly change into white limestone formations of almost Dolomite like quality. It is these latter vertical rocks, which are well known climbing destinations. Since they are not as crowded as similar mountains in the Dolomites you can find relaxed climbing of good quality.

The area covered in this page not only deals with the main ridge. To the north there are a number of side ridges which offer good hiking onto great lookout summits. In most cases it is possible to start from one northern valley towards the main ridge, hike or climb along that ridge and return through the next valley, all in one day. To the south there are three large subgroups which could be dealt with separately but which usually are considered to belong to the Main Ridge. These are Crode dei Longerin, Monte Peralba and Monte Rinaldo. A similar isolated group exists to the north - Mooskofel Group.

The subdivision closely follows the system proposed by the German Alpine Club - see the book by P. Holl (in the "Maps 'n' Books" Section below). Only the first subgroup has been "created" by me to prevent a group getting too large. Also there is a distinctive change of character of the main ridge between Pfannspitze and Kleine Kinigat which justifies the division in my eyes.

The western part of the Carnic Alps Main Ridge will be divided into:
  1. Western Main Ridge – Helm through Pfannspitze
  2. West Central Main Ridge – Kleine Kinigat through Weißsteinspitze
  3. Crode dei Longerin Group
  4. Peralba – Chiadenis – Avanza Group
  5. East Central Main Ridge – Raudenspitze through Kreuzleithöhe
  6. Biegengebirge
  7. Kellerwand - Hohe Warte Group
  8. Mooskofel Group
  9. Rinaldo Group

Interactive Overview Map of The western part of the Carnic Alps Main Ridge

Names: since the Carnic Alps Main Ridge is the border between Austria and Italy many of the mountains have double names. In most cases one name is used in both countries regardless of the language (with the second name only a historical addendum). Often the names were literally translated into the other language. In the listings I placed the common names first. The German names are far from unique either. Most summits ending on -egg can also be spelled -eck. In some cases the Austrian dialect deletes vowels (Liköflwand instead of Liköfelwand). I used the German letters ä, ö, ü and ß, which can also be written ae, oe, ue and ss.
Part 1 of the Panorama of the...
Part 2 of the Panorama of the...
Part 3 of the Panorama of the...
Part 4 of the Panorama of the...
Part 5 of the Panorama of the...

1 - Western Main Ridge - Helm through Pfannspitze

Looking from Gumriaul towards...Western Main Ridge

This first subgroup is characterized by a large number of summits which almost reach the same height and which are rather unspectacular. Most are easy hiking targets, only Wilde Karlesspitzen, Wiederschwing and Tscharrespitze in the northern side ridges are real climbing summits.
Map of the Western Main...Map of the western main ridge

Main ridge:
  • Helm / Monte Elmo (2433m)

  • Füllhorn / Corno Copia (2445m)

  • Hochgruben / Tova Alto (2537m)
  • Hornischegg / Monte Arnese (2551m)

  • Hollbrucker Spitze (2581m)

  • Pfandlegg (2381m)
  • Demut / La Mutta (2591m)

  • Roteck / Monte Rosso (2390m)
  • Schöntalhöhe (2636m)
  • Eisenreich

    • Hollbrucker Eisenreich (2649m)
    • Schuster Eisenreich (2665m)
    • Winkler Eisenreich (2630m)
  • Cima Frugnoni (2561m)
  • Pfannspitze / Cima Vanscuro (2678m)

1st northern side ridge (starting from Hollbrucker Spitze):
  • Hollbrucker Eck (2573m)

  • Wilde Karlesspitzen (3496m)
  • Zenzerspitze (2393m)

  • Scheibenegg (2269m)

2nd northern side ridge (starting from Demutspitze):
  • Wiederschwing (2388m)
  • Weißer Knoten (2202m)
  • Schusteregg (2032m)

3rd northern side ridge (starting from Eisenreich):
  • Tscharrespitze (2499m)
  • Gatterspitze (2430m)

4th northern side ridge (starting from Pfannspitze):
  • Roßkopf (2603m)
  • Maurerspitze (2549m)
  • Fällkofel (2223m)
  • Nöck (2142m)

1st southern side ridge (starting from Cima Frugnoni):
  • Punta Silvella (2329m)
  • Col Quaterna / Knieberg (2503m)

  • Col Rosson (2304m)
  • Monte Spina (1966m)

2 - West Central Main Ridge - Kleine Kinigat through Weißsteinspitze

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113602

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113622

In this part the true characteristics of the Carnic Alps can beautifully be seen. Rocks change from black volcanic rock to white limestone with some red porphyry stretches in between. In these parts there are many serious climbing destinations (Roßkopf, the Kinigats, Liköfelwand and Porze).

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=114268

Main ridge:
  • Kleine Kinigat / Monte Cavalatto (2671m)
    See the Kleine Kinigat page
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=115366Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=115360Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=115364Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=115365

  • Große Kinigat / Monte Cavallino (2689m)
    Great for hiking and climbing. See the Große Kinigat Page
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=119129Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=119128Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=119099Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=119119

  • Königswand (2686)
    In the Italian literature Königswand is considered one mountain together with Große Kinigat: Monte Cavallino
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=119120Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=119122Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=119127Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=119126

  • Königswandtürml (2636)
    Impressive tower to the south of Große Kinigat. Interesting climbing routes
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=119130Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=119265Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=119264Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=119263

  • Filmoorhöhe / La Pitturina (2457m)
    Interesting destination of a difficult ferrata / Klettersteig.
  • Wildkarleck / Cima Vallone (2532m)
  • Roßkarspitze / Col dell'Ai (2511m)
  • Porze / Cima Palombino (2589m)
    Massive, castle like mountain with two ferrate and a couple of interesting climbing routes. See the Porze Page.
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=118987Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=118984Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=118983Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=118979

  • Bärenbadegg / Croda Nera (2430m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=111535Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=111510Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=111503

  • Stollen, also Im Kessel / Col del Rocco (2370m)
  • Reiterkarspitz / Monte Cecido (2421m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=111506Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=111534

  • Cima Manzon (2328m)
  • Gamskofel / Cima Mezzana (2415m)
  • Hochspitz / Monte Vancomun (2581m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=112284

  • Steinkarspitze / Monte Antola (2524m)
  • Weiße Lungern (2486m)
  • Torkarspitze / Monte Pietra Blanca (2513m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=114499Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=114498

  • Weißsteinspitze, also Hochalplspitze / Monte Tap (2462m)
    See the Weißsteinspitze Page for more information
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=120505Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=121783Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=120510Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=120495

  • Hochalpl / Monte Oregone (2345m)
    Easy hiking summit, which is crisscrossed by trenches of WW I. Nevertheless one of the most interesting and difficult climbing destinations of the Carnic Alps. Four routes between VI- and VIII on the north-eastern face. See the Hochalpl Page for more information.
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=121678Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=110920Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=110919Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=121670
1st northern side ridge (starting east of Königswand):
  • Tscharreknollen (2482m)
  • Resler Knollen (2306m)
  • Liköfelwand (2380m, 2427m, 2465m)
    Well known climbing destination with lots of routes with 200 - 300m length
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=122015Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=122014

  • Hocheck (2477m)
  • Öfenspitz (2334m)
  • Spitzeck (2229m)
2nd northern side ridge (starting at Wildkarleck):
  • Heretkofel (2438m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=111504

  • Hoher Bösring (2324m)
  • Zwiesel (2089m)
  • Zwieselegg (2111m)
3rd northern side ridge (starting at Stollen):4th northern side ridge (starting at Reiterkarspitz):
  • Huilahner Kogel (2230 m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=111509

  • Hinterkofelegg (2117m)
5th northern side ridge (starting at Hochspitz):
  • Stollen (2330 m)
  • Rauchbichl (2180m)
6th northern side ridge (starting at Steinkarspitz):
  • Zehrer Höhe (2460 m)
  • Schulterhöhe (2424m)
    See the Schulterhöhe page for more information.
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=114245Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=114241

  • Schwalbenkofel (2158m)
7th northern side ridge (starting at Torkarspitz):
  • Weidenkopf (2405 m)
  • Zwölferspitz (2592m)
    Three peaked summit dominating the central part of the Carnic Alps Main Ridge. See the upcoming Zwölferspitz page
  • Spitzkofel (2450m)
  • Sonnstein (2290m)

3 - Crode dei Longerin Group

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113752

This is a smallish subgroup located to the south of the Carnic Alps Main Ridge on Italian territory. An interesting climbing destination, especially near the twin peaked summit of Crode dei Longerin and its East Ridge Towers.

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113441
  • Crode dei Longerin - north summit (2571m)
  • East Ridge Towers
    • 1st Tower (2270m)
    • 2nd Tower / Torre Ezio Culino (2328m)
    • Small tower / Torre Piccolo (2250m)
    • 3rd Tower (2300m)
    • 4th Tower (2340m)
    • Ago Vissada / Vissada Needle (2300m)
    • 5th Tower / Torre Londo (2330m)
    • 6th Tower / Torre Pia (2412m)
    • 7th Tower / Austriaturm (2500m)
  • Crode dei Longerin - south summit / Cima della Ferrera (2523m)
  • Monte Zovo (1937m)
  • Cima Aiaredo (1922m)
  • Monte Schiaron (2246m)
  • Monte Curie (2035m)

4 - Peralba - Chiadenis - Avanza Group

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113852

This subgroup is also located to the south of the main ridge. It is clearly dominated by the broad summit of Monte Peralba. All summits are very interesting climbing locations though the normal ascents can be done by an average hiker.

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113614
  • Monte Peralba / Hochweißstein (2694m)
    See the Peralba page for more info.
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=109264Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=110568Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=112289Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=110567

  • Monte Chiadenis
    • Main summit (2490m)
    • Southern summit (2459m)
      Many routes on both summits.
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113857Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113856Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113855

  • Creta dei Cacciatori / Jägerkamm
    • Western summit (2367m)
    • Eastern summit (2433m)
  • Campanili delle Genziane / Enziantürme
    • 1st Gentian Tower (2300m)
    • 2nd Gentian Tower (2240m)
    • 3rd Gentian Tower (2180m)
    • 4th Gentian Tower (2160m)
  • Cima delle Batterie (2430m)
  • Monte Avanza (2481m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=115382

  • Cima della Mineria (2462m)
  • Crassigne dal Cramar
  • Western Avanza Tower / Torre Ovest della Crassigne dal Cramar (2265m)
  • Eastern Avanza Tower / Torre Est della Crassigne dal Cramar (2265m)
  • Torre Buso (2050m)
  • Monte Avastolt (also Navastolt, Punta Avoltri, 2321m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=115383

  • Monte Casaro (2105m)
  • Monte Chiadin / Käserkofel (2269m)
  • Monte Chiaine (1784m)

5 - East Central Main Ridge - Raudenspitze through Kreuzleithöhe

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113599

The area between Peralba and Biegengebirge is a very lonely region. The hiking trails run far to the north or south of the ridge since the terrain is very difficult. There is a ferrata traverse of the western half of this subgroup, great for views but very exposed. All summits along that ferrata are rather difficult to climb (from a hiker's point of view).

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113447

Main Ridge
  • Raudenspitze (also western Raudenspitze) / Monte Fleons (2507m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113594

  • Edigon (also Schönleitenschneid, eastern Raudenspitze, 2511m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113597

  • Steinwand / Creta Verde (2520m)
    Huge north face
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113600

  • Letterspitze / Cima Letter (2463m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113595Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113646
  • Niederl (2232m)
  • Kesselkofel / Monte Chiastronat (2251m)
  • Kreuzen / Creta di Bordaglia (2175m)
  • Kreuzleithöhe (2160m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113649
1st northern side ridge (starting at Raudenspitze):
  • Gemskofel (2115m)
  • Obergailer Berg
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113754
2nd northern side ridge (starting at Steinwand):
  • Wasserköpfe (2264m)
  • Marchkofel (2300m)
  • Mittagskofel (2251m)
    See the Mittagskofel Page
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=116199Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=116198Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=116202Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=116203

3rd northern side ridge (starting at Kreuzleithöhe):
  • Säbelspitz (2159m)
  • Stallon (2162m)
  • Runseck (2144m)
    For the whole ridge see the upcoming Säbelspitz / Stallon / Runseck page
1st southern side ridge (starting at Kesselkofel):
  • Monte Navagiust (2129m)

6 - Biegengebirge

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=112152

The German name "Biege" means bend and this part of the Carnic Alps Main Ridge first runs north to south before it bends to the east again. All mountains are beautiful limestone summits with impressive north and east faces.The best location to view the bend is on Mahderkof, which is located at the "focal point" of the bend. Rauchkofel to the east, where I took the overview picture is another great viewing location.

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113625

  • Biegenköpfe
    • Northern Biegenkopf (2166m)
    • Central Biegenkopf (2247m)
    • Southern Biegenkopf (2364m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=114496Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=114495

  • Wolayer Kopf / Monte Volaia (2470m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113656

  • Cima di Sasso Nero (2468m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113659

  • Cresta di Chianaletta / Chianalettagrat
    • 1st Tower / East Tower (2451m)
    • 2nd Tower / Main Tower / Slezak Tower (2472m)
    • 3rd Tower / Mucha Tower
    • 4th Tower / Kaser Tower (2382m)
    • 5th Tower / Weigend Tower
  • Monte Canale (2540m)
  • Wolayer Seekopf / Monte Capolago (2554m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=114497Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113660Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113118
1st southern side ridge (starting at Sasso Nero):
  • Cima d'Ombladeet (2255m)

7 - Kellerwand - Hohe Warte Group

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113608

Hohe Warte / Monte Coglians ist he highest mountain of the Carnic Alps. The surrounding summits almost reach the same altitude so that the Kellerwand - Hohe Warte Group is certainly the most impressive of the whole mountain range. With Eiskar Glacier the groups has the lowest altitude glacier of the Alps at 2200m. The glaciear is fed by avalanches and its location on the northern flanks of Kellerwand ensures that it never sees the light of the sun.

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113746

Hohe Warte Ridge
  • Seewarte / Cima Lastrons del Lago (2595m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=119003

  • Hohe Warte / Monte Coglians (2780m)
    Highest summit of the Carnic Alps, covered on the Hohe Warte page
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=112275Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=112276Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=112277Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=74753

  • Costone di Stella (2607m)
  • Kellerwarte / Cima di Mezzo (2713m)
  • Kellerwandturm (2718m)
  • Kellerspitzen / Creta delle Chianevate (2769m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=115389

  • Kollinkofel / Pizzo Collina (2691m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=115385Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=115387Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=119000

  • Cellon / Frischekofel (2238m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=118999
Southern side ridge (starting at Hohe Warte)
  • Creta Monumenz (2488m)
  • Pic Chiadin (2307m)
  • Monte Floriz (2184m)
  • Cima Pletta (2017m)

  • Monte Crostis (2250m)
  • Monte Neval (2061m)
  • Monte Pezzacul (2176m)
  • Piz di Mede (2094m)
  • Monte Valsecca (1966m)
  • Cimone di Crasulina (2104m)
  • Monte Terzo (2034m)
  • Zoufplan (1999m)
  • Monte Tenchia (1840m)
Northern parallel ridge
  • Kunzköpfe
    • South-west summit (2291m)
    • North-east summit (2270m)
      Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=115386
  • Eiskarkopf (2269m)
  • Gabelkopf (also Grüne Nase, 2289m)

8 - Mooskofel Group

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113753

Geologically, this is the most complex of all the Carnic Alps Subgroups. As you can see from the Geology Section of the Carnic Alps page, the area was on the frontline during the build-up of the Alps. "Mountain Folding" occurred in waves which often overtook each other. Thus the layering often shows new layers sandwiched between old ones, or same age layers distributed over a complete face with younger ones interspersed. Mooskofel, though of minor climbing importance, is a Mecca for geologists.

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113748

Mooskofel Group
  • Rauchkofel
    • Western summit (2436m)
    • Eastern summit (2460m)
      Wait for the upcoming Rauchkofel page.
  • Mahderkopf (2155m)
  • Judenkopf (1833m)
  • Grubenspitz (2305m)
  • Plenge (2372m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=119002

  • Gamskofel (2526m)
    Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=114358Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=115388

  • Hinterer Mooskofel (2510m)
  • Mooskofelturm (2364m)
  • Mittlerer Mooskofel (2359m)
  • Vorderer Mooskofel (2284m)

9 - Rinaldo Group

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113751

The subgroup is located to the south of Peralba but still north of the Piave River. It has some importance in climbing circles but is far less known (and important) than the Peralba - Chiadenis - Avanza Group.
Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West) photo_id=113749
  • Monte Carro (2136m)
  • Cima Mezzana (2249m)
  • Monte Rinaldo (2473m)
  • Croda dell'Oregion / Croda dell'Oregone (2429m)
  • Campanile Luisa (2420m)
  • Campanile Visdende (2416m)
  • Campanile Brunner / Campanile Innominato (2410m)
  • Schartenturm / Torrione Senza Nome (2350m)
  • Reichensteinturm / Campanile di Val Popera (2390m)
  • Torrioni Berti (2450m)
  • Monte Franza (2329m)

  • Monte Righile (2467m)

  • Cresta del Ferro / Cresta Righile (2400m)

  • Monte del Ferro / Eisenberg (2348m)

  • Torre di Mezzogiorno (2300m)
  • Monte Lastroni (2449m)

  • Monte delle Caverne (2073m)

  • Monte della Piana / Monte Piano / Flächkofel (2162m)
  • Monte del Larice (2025m)

Getting There

Carnic Alps Main Ridge (West)Carnic Alps Main Ridge (East)Southern Carnic AlpsPrealpi Carniche (North)Prealpi Carniche (South)
Interactive overview map of the Carnic Alps. Hover the mouse over the numbers to obtain the subgroup description. Subgroups, which have already been posted can be reached by clicking the numbers

Since the border between Austria and Italy runs along the northern chain of this large mountain range the itineraries are quite different. While all the important Austrian towns and villages are lined up along the river Gail the more complex structure on the Italian side calls for different approach routes depending were you want to go.

Getting There From Italy
The most important village / town in the area is:
  • Getting There by Plane:
    The closest airports are the international airports in Venice (180 km) and Trieste (140 km)
    • Marco Polo International Airport (Venice)
      Take the train to Calalzo di Cadore (3 hours) then by bus to all Carnic Alps villages with Dolomiti bus.
    • Ronchi dei Legionari Airport (Udine)
      Take the bus to all Carnic Alps villages with Dolomiti bus.

  • Getting There by Train:
    Those who travel by train stop at Calalzo, the end of the line from Venice and Padova or at Carnia on the Udine Tarvisio line. Connect to any of the Italian Carnic Alps destinations by frequent bus lines that meet the main trains. So, two possibilities:
    • To Calalzo di Cadore (from Venice direction Belluno, three hours) then by Dolomiti bus to any of the Carnic Alps Villages
    • To Udine (from Venice direction Trieste, two hours) then by Dolomiti bus to any of the Carnic Alps Villages.

  • Getting There by Car:
    • From A22, Brenner motorway, exit "Ora" and then through the Pordoi and Falzarego passes to Cortina d'Ampezzo, Misurina and Auronzo (3 hours - better solution in summer period).
    • From A22, Brenner motorway, exit "Bressanone/Brixen" to Bruneck / Brunico and then to the Carnic Alps over Passo Monte Croce / Kreuzbergpass or "Monte Comelico" Pass/Ploeckenpass (2 hours and half, better solution in the winter period).
    • From the Veneto side take the Venice-Belluno motorway and then go towards Pieve di Cadore.
    • If you come from Friuli leave the Udine-Tarvisio motorway at the Carnia exit and drive towards Villa Santina and Forni Avoltri (45 km.).

Getting There From Austria
The most important villages / towns are aligned along the Lesachtal and Gailtal Valleys. They are :
  • Getting There by Plane / Train
    The nearest airports are the ones at Klagenfurt and Innsbruck, both local airports, which are served only sporadically.
    • From Innsbruck take the train to Brixen / Bressanone where you have to change to the line going through Pustertal / Val Pusteria. At Sillian change to the busline into Lesachtal towards Kötschach Mauthen.
    • From Klagenfurt take the train to Villach and on to Hermargor or Kötschach-Mauthen. From there go on by bus to your final destination.

  • Getting There by Car:
    • From the West (Brenner Motorway A22)
      Leave the Brenner Motorway near Brixen / Bressanone and follow SS49 to the east through Pustertal / Val Pusteria. To the east of Innichen / San Candido you cross the Austro-Italian border and follow the road (now B100) to Tassenbach. Turn right (south-east) here onto B111, which runs through Osttiroler Gailtal, Lesachtal and Kärntener Gailtal. All the towns and villages mentioned above are located on this road.
    • From the North
      There are two possible roads:
      • From Kitzbühel over B108 through the Felbertauern Tunnel to Lienz, then southeast to Oberdrauburg and Kötschach-Mauthen (B110), where you turn on to B111 west into Lesachtal.
      • From Salzburg along motorway A10 to Spittal. Turn west on B100 to Oberdrauburg, there south to Kötschach-Mauthen were you turn east on B111.

Red Tape

The only place, where I have become aware of red tape is the region arount Wolayer See (Hohe Warte Group and Biegengebirge). This area is a natural preserve. On the other hand you have to keep in mind that you are on the border between Austria and Italy. Though borders have less and less meaning in Europe today, an ID-card should be in your backpack.

When To Climb

The season starts in June and ends by the end of September. Most of the muntain huts are open mid June through the end of September and the restaurants in the valleys close at that time of the year, too. Luckily the area is not developed for skiing so that winter is a very lonely time. The various northern side ridges offer great panoramic ski tour possibilities and the westernmost part of the main ridge also is a good skiing destination.


On both sides of the Austrian - Italian border there are a lot of hotels and appartments to be had. While on the Austrian side the relevant info can be found on one site (two links though for the different Austrian states) on the Italian side of the border you will have to look for the single towns and villages on the web. Here is an excerpt for the towns and villages mentioned in the "Getting There" section:



The Carnic Alps Main Ridge serves as a weather divide, especially if the winds come from the north or south. So often you can encounter clouds oozing over the ridge with one side deeply in the fog, the other clear and sunny. For up to date weather information follow one the links below.

Maps 'n' Books

I have been using maps by Kompass Verlag, which are very good for the hiking trails though they don't show ALL the relevant summits of the area.
  • Lienzer Dolomiten / Lesachtal
    Kompass Map WK47
    Kompass Verlag
    ISBN: 3-85491-053-3
  • Gailtaler Alpen / Karnische Alpen / Oberdrautal
    Kompass Map WK60
    Kompass Verlag
    ISBN: 3-85491-067-3
  • Tabacco Maps, all 1:25000

As for books please look at the corresponding section of the Carnic Alps page.



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Carnic AlpsAreas & Ranges