Carnic and Gailtal Alps

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Carnic and Gailtal Alps
Italian: Alpi Carniche e della Gail
German: Karnische und Gailtaler Alpen
HoheWarte KellerspitzeWest Karnische.jpg
Hohe Warte/ Monte Coglians, the highest summit of the range, on the right, and Kellerspitzen on the left, viewed from the northwest.
Highest point
Elevation2,780 m (9,120 ft)
Coordinates46°36′25″N 12°52′56″E / 46.60694°N 12.88222°E / 46.60694; 12.88222Coordinates: 46°36′25″N 12°52′56″E / 46.60694°N 12.88222°E / 46.60694; 12.88222
SOIUSA-Alpi Orientali-sezione33.png
Carnic and Gailtal Alps (33) within the Eastern Alps
CountriesAustria and Italy
StatesTyrol, Carinthia and Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Parent rangeSouthern Limestone Alps
Borders on
OrogenyAlpine orogeny

The Carnic and Gailtal Alps (Italian: Alpi Carniche e della Gail, German: Karnische und Gailtaler Alpen) is a geographic grouping of mountain ranges belonging to the Southern Limestone Alps. They are located in Austria and Italy.


The range is bound by the Drau River in the north, separating it from the Western Tauern section of the Central Eastern Alps. The northern, entirely Austrian range is called the Gailtal Alps or Drauzug, bordered by the Gail River in the south. The Gail Valley is on the Periadriatic Seam, so that from a tectonic perspective the Gailtal Alps belong to the Central Eastern Alps. The Gailtal Alps are divided by the very deep Gailbergsattel (981 m) into a higher western section called the Lienzer Dolomites and a lower eastern section, to which the name Gailtal Alps is sometimes restricted. Passes in the eastern section include the Kreuzbergsattel and Windische Höhe.

The main ridge of the Carnic Alps forms the Austrian-Italian border and stretches from prominent Mt. Helm near Sexten at the tripoint of East Tyrol, South Tyrol and Veneto to the Canal Valley at Tarvisio in the east. It includes several peaks reaching nearly 2,800 m (9,200 ft) as well as the Plöcken and Naßfeld passes.

In the south the Carnic Prealps stretch between the Piave and Tagliamento rivers down to the Padan Plain.

Administratively the range is divided between the Italian Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and the Austrian states Tyrol and Carinthia.

SOIUSA classification[edit]

According to SOIUSA (International Standardized Mountain Subdivision of the Alps) the Carnic and Gailtal Alps are an Alpine section, classified in the following way:[1]


The Carnic and Gailtal Alps are divided into three subsections:

Notable summits[edit]

Mount Lumkofel (2,287 m), in the Gailtal Alps
WWI. Austro-hungarian machine gun team at Mount Gamskofel, c.1916

Some notable summits of the range are:

Name metres subsection
Coglians / Hohe Warte 2,782 Carnic Alps
Kellerspitzen / Creta delle Chianevate 2,774 Carnic Alps
Große Sandspitze 2,770 Lienzer Dolomites
Spitzkofel 2,717 Lienzer Dolomites
Cima dei Preti 2,703 Carnic Prealps
Monte Peralba 2,694 Carnic Alps
Monte Cavallino / Große Kinigat 2,689 Carnic Alps
Hochstadel 2,681 Lienzer Dolomites
Monte Duranno 2,668 Carnic Prealps
Rosskopf 2,603 Carnic Alps
Zwölferspitz 2,592 Carnic Alps
Eggenkofel 2,591 Lienzer Dolomites
Monte Terza Grande 2,586 Carnic Alps
Monte Cridola 2,581 Carnic Prealps
Hochspitz 2,581 Carnic Alps
Torrione dei Longerin 2,571 Carnic Alps
Wolayer Seekopf 2,551 Carnic Alps
Monte Brentoni 2,548 Carnic Alps
Cima Monfalcon di Montanaia 2,548 Carnic Prealps
Gamskofel 2,526 Carnic Alps
Steinwand 2,520 Carnic Alps
Monte Chiadenis 2,459 Carnic Prealps
Gamswiesenspitze 2,486 Lienzer Dolomites
Helm 2,434 Carnic Alps
Reißkofel 2,371 Gailtal Alps
Lumkofel 2,287 Gailtal Alps
Trogkofel / Creta di Aip 2,195 Carnic Alps
Jauken 2,276 Gailtal Alps
Gartnerkofel 2,195 Carnic Alps
Dobratsch 2,166 Gailtal Alps (Villach Alps)


  1. ^ Marazzi, Sergio (2005). Atlante Orografico delle Alpi. SOIUSA (in Italian). Priuli & Verlucca. ISBN 978-88-8068-273-8.