Carnic Alps

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Carnic Alps
Alps Cjargnelis  (Friulian)
Karnische Alpen  (German)
Alpi Carniche  (Italian)
Karnijske Alpe  (Slovene)
Lago volaia.jpg
Wolayer Lake in the Carnic Alps
Highest point
Elevation 2,782 m (9,127 ft)
Coordinates 46°36′N12°53′E / 46.600°N 12.883°E / 46.600; 12.883
Countries Austria and Italy
Länder, Regioni Tyrol, Carinthia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Veneto
Range coordinates 46°30′N13°00′E / 46.500°N 13.000°E / 46.500; 13.000 Coordinates: 46°30′N13°00′E / 46.500°N 13.000°E / 46.500; 13.000
Parent range Southern Limestone Alps
Orogeny Alpine orogeny

The Carnic Alps (Italian : Alpi Carniche; German : Karnische Alpen; Slovene : Karnijske Alpe; Friulian : Alps Cjargnelis) are a range of the Southern Limestone Alps in Austria and northeastern Italy. They are within Austrian East Tyrol and Carinthia, and Italian Friuli (Province of Udine) and marginally in Veneto.



They are named after the Roman province of Carnia, which probably has a Celtic origin.

The mountains gave their name to the stage on the geologic time scale known as Carnian, an age in the Triassic Period.


They extend from east to west for about 100 km (62 mi) between the Gail River, a tributary of the Drava and the Tagliamento, forming the border between Austria and Italy.

Alpine Club classification

The Carnic Alps are divided into two distinct areas:
  • Carnic Main Crest (Karnischer Hauptkamm) (AVE  57a)
  • Carnic Prealps (Karnische Voralpen), i.e. the Friaul Dolomites and their foothills, the former are, from the Mauria Pass southwards, counted as part of the group known as the Southern Carnic Alps (Südliche Karnische Alpen) (AVE 57b), which also includes the Bellunese Prealps (Venetian Prealps).

In the Carnic Alps is the southernmost glacier in Austria, the Eiskar, nestling in the Kellerwand massif.

Notable peaks

Hohe Warte and Kellerspitzen, view from south (Monte Arvenis) Monte Arvenis - panoramio.jpg
Hohe Warte and Kellerspitzen, view from south (Monte Arvenis)

Among the most important mountains of the range are:

Mountain passes

Wind turbine on the Austrian side of the Plocken Pass Plockenpass-pass-wind-generator.jpg
Wind turbine on the Austrian side of the Plöcken Pass

The chief passes of the Carnic Alps are:

See also

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Plöcken Pass

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Lesachtal Place in Carinthia, Austria

Lesachtal is a municipality in Hermagor District, in the Austrian state of Carinthia. It comprises the western part of the eponymous valley formed by the upper Gail River, and stretches from the Carinthian border with East Tyrol down to Kötschach-Mauthen in the east.

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Gailtaler Polinik

The Gailtaler Polinik is a mountain, 2,332 m above sea level (AA), in the Carnic Alps in the Austrian state of Carinthia. It lies on the main ridge of the Carnics and is the highest peak of the Eastern group.

Gailtal Alps

The Gailtal Alps, is a mountain range of the Southern Limestone Alps in Austria. It rises between the River Drava (Drau) and the Gail valley and through the southern part of East Tyrol. Its western group called "Lienz Dolomites", is sometimes counted as part of this range and sometimes seen as separate.


The twin peaks of the Kellerspitzen form the second highest mountain in the Carnic Alps, a mountain range in the Southern Limestone Alps. The two summits rise in the middle of the east-west oriented Kellerwandgrat, an arête that forms the main chain of the Carnic Alps here. The border between the Austrian state of Carinthia and the Italian Province of Udine runs along this ridge. The West Top (Westgipfel), also called the Grohmannspitze, is 2,718 m; the East or Main Top is 2,774 m. The mountain offers a wide panoramic view in all directions which, along with its numerous climbing routes, makes it a popular destination for mountaineers.