Information about the Garnitzenklamm
The Garnitzenklamm is not only a geological feature and marked as a Geotrail, but also an impressive landscape, which was formed by water. Also botanical peculiarities can be found within the gorge.
The Garnitzenklamm owes its origin to a geological fault zone in the mountains, which offered less resistance to the outflowing water than the surrounding rock formations. The Garnitzenklamm is around 10,000 years old.
In 1891 the lowest section of the Garnitzen gorge was opened by the Alpine Club Hermagor. Already in 1900 the gorge was continuously accessible!
The gorge changes again and again, especially due to floods, which changes the stream landscape. Unfortunately, the paths are often destroyed. The Alpine Club Hermagor invests a lot of time and work in the care and maintenance of the gorge.
In addition to its scenic beauty, the Garnitzen gorge is also home to rare and protected plants. Due to the special microclimate of the gorge, flowers and plants which are native to the alpine region, such as the alpine rose ("Almrausch"), the Turk's bunch lily and the auricula (popularly called "Petergstamm"), find their way down to the valley.
At the same time, Mediterranean species such as the manna ash and the hop beech, grow in the gorge.
Throug the Garnitzen gorge there is also a geological educational path, where the formation of the mountain is represented by existing rock phenomena.
THE POWER OF WATER
The gorge is defined by water. Through the power of this element the gorge changes again and again.
The hydrographic basin of the Garnitzenbach is very large and extends from the Egger Alm to the Kühweger Alm. In periods of heavy rain, huge amounts of water can run through the gorge.
The path system and bridges are always exposed to great danger of destruction. Some of the bridges built in 1963 were built close to the water surface. Due to flooding these bridges did not last long. The floods in the years 1984, 1985, 1993, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 caused repeatedly damage to bridges and path sections. Therefore, the new bridges were built higher to make the track through the gorge well accessible and safer.
The power of Garnitzenbach is also used economically. At the first barrier, the water is routed through a pipeline to the power plant near the entrance of the gorge, thus generating electrical energy.
Photos: Andreas Schuller