EM360 Digital Blog

08 Sep 2015
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Daily Inspiration

On autumn week­ends with good weath­er you can almost expe­ri­ence car­a­vans of peo­ple march­ing over the grandiose look­out bal­conies between the Dolomites and the Tauern and fill­ing the moun­tain lodges to capac­i­ty. But very few peo­ple have the idea of turn­ing the per­spec­tive around and approach­ing the Car­nic ridge for once from the val­ley side. And that is some­thing that is cer­tain­ly worth­while.

It is no coin­ci­dence that at Hein­fels in the val­ley of Drau, which is called Puster­tal here, there stands an ancient cas­tle that still appears to be for­ti­fied. It guards the entrance to two val­leys: the Vill­gra­ten­tal and the Tyrolean Gail­tal. The lat­ter is quite hid­den, as it begins with a ter­rain lev­el high above the val­ley floor of the riv­er Drau.

There is a climb of sev­er­al hun­dred metres on a ser­pen­tine road before reach­ing the com­mu­ni­ty of Kar­titsch, with the pret­ti­ly shaped tow­er of the St. Leon­hard parish church. From the enclo­sure wall of the ceme­tery you can enjoy a dis­tant view to the west into the Puster­tal, which here runs in a strik­ing­ly straight line. The rea­son for this is a dis­tinct geo­log­i­cal line, the “peri-adri­at­ic seam“. This fron­tier line leaves the Puster­tal in Kar­titsch and fol­lows the Tyrolean Gail­tal, which to the east of the Kar­titsch­er Sat­tel is called the Tilli­ach­er Tal, and then fur­ther east beyond the fed­er­al bor­der with Carinthia again changes its name, and for the next 20 kilo­me­tres goes under the name of Lesach­tal. At Kötschach-Mau­then the name of the val­ley changes again, con­fus­ing­ly back to Gail­tal, which at Vil­lach at last flows into the Drau.
Viewed from above, the Gail or Lesach­tal also runs in a straight line. There is a clear dis­tinc­tion in appear­ance between the north­ern and south­ern sides of the val­ley. N ons side the gen­tle foothills of the Lien­z­er Dolomites, with its wide alp areas, on the oth­er side the rocky con­tours of the Car­nic ridge tow­er­ing above thick moun­tain for­est and mark­ing the state bor­der with Italy.
In Kar­titsch we are already 1.350 m above sea lev­el, the area is one of the high­est sit­u­at­ed val­leys in East Tyrol, which itself is at high alti­tude.
Some 200 m high­er the Kar­titsch­er Sat­tel is reached, from where you can look down onto Ober­tilli­ach and Unter­tilli­ach.
“Golzen­tipp“ is the name of the local moun­tain in this area. A per­fect van­tage point with a grandiose panora­ma view, encom­pass­ing the Hohen Tauern and the Schober group of moun­tains, the Lien­z­er Dolomites, the Car­nic Alps, the Sex­ten­er Dolomites and far into the Puster­tal. The chances are good that the view can also be enjoyed, as tes­ti­fied by the many years of mete­o­ro­log­i­cal records tak­en in this region, show­ing an above-aver­age num­ber of sun­ny days.
Fans of high rocky cliffs will pre­fer the south side of the val­ley and head for one of the many side val­leys of the Car­nic ridge. Pfann­spitze, Großer Kini­gat, Porze, Cima Man­zon, Gam­skofel, Hochspitz, Steinkar­spitz – between the Obstanser See and the Lug­gauer Scharte there are count­less oppor­tu­ni­ties to test your sta­mi­na and alpine abil­i­ties in the midst of grandiose moun­tain scenery.
[From mountainvillages.at]

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