|The Lienz Dolomites are a small mountain range in the south of Austria separated in equal parts into the states of |
. Though it carries the name "Dolomites" it is generally not counted among the regular Dolomites Groups, a fate also shared by the
. Both groups differ geologically from the rest of the Dolomites but the main reason for considering them a world apart is the respective location far from the heart of the mountain group. While
is located on the far (western) side of the Etsch/Adige valley, the
are located to the north of the
with a couple of mountain ranges in between.
From a geographical standpoint the
belong to the
, a mountain range wedged between the valleys of the
. They make up the western part of the mountain range and contain the highest and most impressive mountains of the whole
. The eastern remainder of the range can be considered as a number of high hills thrown in together with no distinctive ridges.
Partly this statement holds true even for the Lienz Dolomites. The group, though rather small, is very complex in its various ridgelines. Seen from the outside you often have problems to distinguish the locations of the various summits. All seems very chaotic and from different sides the group looks utterly different. Once inside the heart of the
, however, the structure reveals itself. A small number of short but very deep valleys leads into the group and separates it into distinctive subgroups. The summits themselves are not impressively high -
, the highest peak (also the highest summit of the
) is a mere 2770m high - but their base starts at around 650m. From the tops of the mountains you look into the
Valley 2000m below!
There are four mountains which require a little more attention than the others:
(2681m). The four are rather solitarily located at the four ends of the group. With the exception of
they all can be reached by "Klettersteige" / "Ferrate" (paths secured by fixed cables ladders and bolts) and offer perfect but utterly varying views into the heart of the mountain group.
The heart of the mountain range is the
, located in a circle around the deep blue
belong to this group. It is here that the name Dolomites really makes sense. The rock composition is solid limestone, in several locations even Schlern- or Main-Dolomite. The rock is very solid whereas in the outlying region of the group you have to struggle with loose and brittle stretches. A difficult ferrata to Kleine Sandspitze can be climbed and the traverse to
is reportedly one of the most beautiful climbs outside the proper
There is one great drawback when hiking/trekking/climbing in the
: you will find it difficult to find information on the mountain range. There have been a couple of books published in the 1980ies but they have been long out of print. The only hiking guide I have come across is the one by Rother Verlag, listed in the Maps & Books section. Though generally excellent as a hiking guide it doesn't reveal anything about ferrate or even climbing routes. Therefore I want to invite all who have travelled in the group to share their knowledge on this page.
1 Eggenkofel Group ◦
2 Spitzkofel - Kreuzkofel Group ◦
3 Laserz Group ◦
Kleine Gamswiesenspitze ◦
4 Hochstadel Ridge ◦
Böses Weibele ◦
5 Lumkofel Group ◦