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Karnische Alpen

Key to symbols   
Stage point (start or end of stage)
Intermediate accommodation possibility
Town, village
Other locality

Bakery / grocery
Hardware / sports shop
Bank / cash dispenser
Open automobile access

A Tarred or paved road
B Dirt track
C Mule trail
D Mountain trail
E Equipped trail (cables, ladders)
F No trail

Stroll / tourism (broad, non-exposed trail)
Hiking (mountain trail, in places narrow and exposed)
Alpine route (equipped or very exposed section, snow field, blocks)
R20 Zollnersee Hütte ehm. Dr. Steinwender Hütte » Untere Valentinalm
  |   6h00   |   22 km   |   818 m   |   1358 m

The trail leads across the meadowland of the Obere Bischofalm and over the 2,167m high Köderkopf, from which you can enjoy a wonderful view. This climb is followed by a descent across alpine grass and later through an area of gnarly trees predominantly overgrown with alders to the Obere Tschintemuntalm pasture. An old military cemetery bears witness yet again to the senselessness of wars, in which there can only be losers.

Point Segment
Name Services Information Marking
Zollnersee Hütte ehm. Dr. Steinwender Hütte
1739 m
|   1.3 km / 0h20
Obere Bischhofalm
1574 m
|   8.6 km / 2h40
2150 m
|   2.7 km / 0h40
Obere Tschintemuntalm
1842 m
| D  2.7 km / 0h50
Untere Tschintemuntalm
1467 m
|   4.2 km / 0h55
1211 m
| BC  2.5 km / 0h35
Untere Valentinalm
1211 m
Detailed route description
Natural and cultural heritage
Other long-distance trails and alternative routes
S. alpine long-distance trail 03, KGW Carinthian border trail. Geo-trail and peace trail, "Roman Way"/Sentiero Via Romana v. Kötschach-Mauthen - Timau, Museumserg /Sentiero Storico v. Plöckenhaus - Bar Laghetti; via ferrata on trail: Kl Trieb /Pta. Medatte 2,095m and Gr. Trieb/Cuestalta 2,199m, Frischenkofel/Cellon 2,238m, Kollinkofel/Creta di Collina 2,689m, Klabauter track in the Mauthen ravine.
Useful topographic maps
  • WK 223, Naturarena Kärnten, Gailtal, Gitschtal, Lesachtal, Weissensee, Oberes Drautal ~ Freytag&Berndt (1:50.000)
  • Nr. 197 ~ Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen (1:50.000)
  • Nr. 09 ~ Tabacco (1:25.000)
  • Nr. 60, Gailtaler Alpen - Karnische Alpen ~ Kompass (1:50.000)
  • Nr. 47, Lienzer Dolomiten - Lesachtal - Karnischer Höhenweg ~ Kompass (1:50.000)
Useful guidebooks
  • Kulturweg Alpen Bd 1, Gerhard Stürzlinger ~ Pichler (ISBN 3-85431-288-1)
  • Karnische Alpen u. Friaul, Ingrid Pilz ~ Styria (ISBN )
  • AV-Führer Karnischer Hauptkamm, P. Holl ~ (ISBN )
  • Österreichischer Weitwanderweg 03 "Südalpenweg", Sekt. Weitwanderer ~ Sekt. Weitwanderer (ISBN )
  • Kärntner Grenzweg ~ Heyn (ISBN 3-7084-0129-8)

Favourites, criticisms ? Make your personal comments on this stage. For more general notes please use the comments section of the page Over to the Via Alpinists.

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  • flautix - 2023-08-21
    Eine sehr schöne Etappe bei gutem Wetter! Wege sind zum Teil sehr schmal, aber für geübte Bergwanderer mit Stöcken m. E. kein Problem. Deutlich sichtbar sind noch die Schützengräben aus dem 1. Weltkrieg oben an der Grenzlinie am Köderkopf. Wer über den Wahnsinn dieses unsinnigen Krieges in den Alpen mehr erfahren will, sollte das Museum in Kötschach-Mauten besuchen.
    Untere Valentinsalm mit neuen Pächtern. Gutes Essen, nette Bedienung! Kleiner Hinweis für große Leute: die Betten in den hübschen Doppelzimmern sind nur 1,9m lang!
  • flautix - 2023-06-06
    Gute Nachrichten: es gibt jetzt neue Pächter auf der Valentinsalm und ab sofort kann wieder online gebucht werden: Birgit und Andreas Pernull, Hüttentelefon: +43 660 6799784, Mail nach wie vor:
    Der Link zur Onlinebuchung befindet sich auf der Website:

  • flautix - 2023-03-19
    Vom derzeitigen Pächter der Valentinsalm, Bruno Neumayr, kam gestern folgende Info: Sein Pachtvertrag wurde nicht verlängert. Meine bereits bestätigte Reservierung auf der Valentinsalm für den Sommer wurde daher storniert. Buchungen sind im Moment dort offensichtlich nicht möglich! Die richtige Mailadresse der Valentinsalm lautet:
  • Julien Trieste Monaco - 2022-08-15
    The way up to Köderkopf was clear of vegetation at the time I hiked it.
    That being said, I confirm Oliver's word. This trail can be dangerous by rainy conditions. It was also pretty unpleasant despite the good weather as it was too demanding (too steep and requiring persistent attention).
    Ended up at Untere Valentinalm. Owner not so friendly. 25€fpr a bed in a dorm. Camping prohibited in the valley.
  • Oliver - 2022-07-18
    Unfortunately the trail vegetation was only maintained in some areas. Large sections are hip to shoulder deep overgrown which makes seeing, hitting and staying on the trail quite difficult. In dry conditions no Problem, but since I crossed in the morning after a thunderstorm the previous night I was soaked to my underwear by the time I got to the top. The way down is also no trifle in wet conditions and sticks help immensely.

    If you have little experience in the mountains or have issues with exposed trails I would advise to take an alternate route if conditions aren't ideal.

    That said, the episode offers stunning views and I enjoyed it immensely, even though it requires a lot of concentration and focus for long periods of time.
  • Oliver - 2022-07-18
    Carsten's comment is a bit dramatic for my taste but there is some truth to it. The trek over the Köderkopf will take you 4-5 hours ascend+descend. Do not get caught in bad weather since there is no real alternative/escape. The trail on both sides is in parts moderately steep, narrow and in parts washed out. There are several parts where you have room for exactly one foot and since none of the broken sections have cables or reinforcements I found myself clinging at hazelnut bushes to balance through. Especially because the trail is fairly exposed at times.

  • Carsten - 2022-01-10
    Worst section of the Via Alpina so far. Except for beginning and end, the trail deteriorates into a track that is exceedingly difficult to walk. Be prepared to slip: walking sticks as support are almost a must, gloves to protect one’s hands when one slips, long pants as protection against the undergrowth (and stinging nettles at one place on the descent). Much of the difficult track consists of crossing steep slopes, plus a steep descent. The scenery does not warrant this painful track. The vegetation suggests that this is a particularly rainy corner. Halfway down the descent, the signposted trail diverges from the GPS (and the trail indicated by the GPS coordinates no longer exists).

    Alternative: Consider descending from the Zollnersee Huette (beginning of R20) to the town of Mauthen to resupply ( will display a walking route) and then returning to (almost) the end of R21(?) on a small road that runs parallel to (though distant from) the main road (or check for a bus).
  • POPEYE GG - 2018-06-13
    25 juin 2017
    Compte tenu des prévisions de mauvais temps, et du besoin d'argent liquide (en Autriche rarement possible de payer en carte bleue, même parfois dans les hôtels en plaine!), j'ai quitté momentanément la Via Alpina et suis descendu sous la pluie battante sur Mauthen (très touristique et cher) puis le village voisin Kötschach. J'y ai trouvé un hôtel qui reçoit aussi des groupes de motards, mais qui n'accepte pas la carte Visa.
    Le temps est redevenu beau à l'arrivée!
    Automatic translation [Google]
    June 25, 2017 Given the forecast of bad weather, and the need for cash (in Austria rarely possible to pay in blue card, even sometimes in hotels in the lowlands!), I temporarily left the Via Alpina and went down in the pouring rain on Mauthen (very touristy and expensive) then the neighboring village Kötschach. I found a hotel that also receives biker groups, but does not accept the Visa card. The weather is again beautiful on arrival!
  • Eva - 2017-09-15
    After Plöckenhaus the marked trail differs from the GPS track. I believe the GPS track follows an unpaved road while the hiking path is really nice. So just follow the signs. Very friendly people at Zollnersee Hütte and good coffee :-). The hüttewirt doesn't want you to camp, but as long as you're or of sight, it's allright. I camped on the parking lot, because there were cows everywhere and the grass is quite wet.
  • Bumbum - 2015-08-03
    Auf dieser Etappe ist die Mitnahme eines Leathermans empfohlen um den dreifach über den Weg gespannten, bereits unzählige Male geflickten, Stacheldrahtzaun am Waldrand oberhalb der Unteren Tschintemuntalm zu durchtrennen – als symbolischer Akt gegen Grenzen und gegen Krieg an diesem geschichtsträchtigen Ort.
    Automatic translation [Google]
    At this stage, you carry a Leatherman's is recommended by the triple on the way strained, countless times patched to cut barbed wire fence at the edge of the forest above the lower Tschintemuntalm - as a symbolic act against limits and against war at this historic site.
  • tof - 2014-12-25
    Trieste- Monaco le 13/7/14

    Belle étape alpine d'un point de vue historique. Pas de ravitaillement sur le parcours. A gite Untere Valentinalm possibilité d'acheter barres de chocolat. Bivouac en forêt un peu avant d'arriver sur le gîte.
    Automatic translation [Google]
    Trieste- Monaco on 07/13/14 Beautiful Alpine stage in a historical perspective. No refueling on the course. A cottage Untere Valentinalm opportunity to buy chocolate bars. Bivouac forest just before arriving at the cottage.
  • Brido - 2013-03-31
    Wir haben festgestellt, dass Ihr Wegzeitberechnungen nicht stimmen. Die Hüttenwarte geben bis zu 50% mehr Zeitbedarf an. Auch die Berechnungen nach DIN oder den Richtlinien des SAC ergeben viel mehr Zeitbedarf. Können Sie Ihre Zeit überprüfen. Danke für eine Info.
    Automatic translation [Google]
    We have detected that your Wegzeitberechnungen not agree. The caretakers indicate up to 50% more time needed. Also, the calculations according to DIN or the guidelines of the SAC give much more time-consuming. Can you check your time. Thanks for info.
  • M.Keller - 2013-03-18
    Passage de l’itinéraire jaune à l'itinéraire rouge: A Tolmezzo (B12-B13), prendre le bus pour Timau à la station centrale. A Timau, suivre le sentier 402 qui monte à Casera (2h). Continuer sur la piste (402) et après 700m prendre à droite le petit sentier qui monte sur la crête frontière "Cra Pramosio" (15 min). Prendre le sentier qui descend direction nord-ouest :il rejoint l'itinéraire rouge (R20) en 20 minutes. Il y a un panneau de la Via Alpina à la jonction. (entre Köderkopf et Obere Bischhofalm).
    Le passage de l’itinéraire rouge à l'itinéraire jaune est aussi facile.

    Automatic translation [Google]
    Yellow route passing through the Red Trail: A Tolmezzo (B12-B13), take the bus to the central station Timau. A Timau, follow the trail that climbs to 402 Casera (2h). Continue on the track (402) and after 700m turn right into the small path that climbs the ridge border "Cra Pramosio" (15 min). Take the path down northwesterly direction: he joined the Red Trail (R20) in 20 minutes. There is a panel of the Via Alpina at the junction. (Between Köderkopf and Obere Bischhofalm). The transition from red to yellow route route is easier.
  • Daniel - 2012-09-26
    The dorms of the Valentin Gasthof are in a separate building. At night they locked the outside door, and in the morning we had to shout out the window to get us freed!
    HP 36 euro.
Last update : 2019-12-15