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Slovenia's highest in one day? More than I can chew.

Slovenia's highest in one day? More than I can chew.


Postby jacob » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:18 pm

Date walked: 01/08/2016

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Triglav is the name of Slovenia's highest. It is situated in the Julian Alps and although with an height of 2864 metres it is far from the heighest in all the Alps, it is said to be one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the Alps. This due to the fact that for hundreds of kilometres there is no higher mountains to be found.
Jakob Aljaz (what's in a name) was a priest, a poët and a mountaineer. He was not the first to ever ascent Triglav, but he did buy the summit, unhappy with the fact that al the main routes and doms (mountainhuts) were exploited by Germans and Austrians. He declared it a Slovenian heritage, the reason why up till today a picture of the three heads (tri glav) is proudly shown on the flag, the national weapon and all their Euro coins.
Jakob also was responsable for the placing of a little metal houseshaped tower on the summit. This tower, apart from being frequently hit by lightning, was blown up by Slovenian anti-fascist Partizans, as a protest during WW 2.
(Slovenia still honours its anti-fascist Partizans, memorials can be found everywhere).

There are many routes up Triglav. Most of them are walking routes and via ferratas. Only the north face of the mountain offers various technical routes. The lady and I were on a campsite in Trenta, west of Triglav, so my ascent would be from the west. I'd read about ascending Triglav. And I'd read about how it is strongly advised to sleep in a dom and spread the ascent over two days. I just didn't feel like doing that. I'd have to make a reservation in one of the doms, while I had no idea if and when I would give the ascent a try.

I was determined to do it in one day. Just wake up early and don't fool about. It is, from Trenta (620 above sealevel), only a 2244 metres ascent, including one of the most challenging via ferratas in Slovenia. The via ferrata is found on the Bambergweg. Most of this Bambergweg is either very steep walking, or grade 1 or maybe 2 scrambling. It's only at those points where scrambling is either too dangerous (exposure) or impossible (technical rockclimbing required, that there is the steel cable. No worries. At that time I hadn't read the Triglav guide book, I only saw it about a week later, which states about my choses route, and I quote:
"Only masochist mountaineers, ie exceptionnally well trained and experienced enthousiasts can be recommended to attempt the ascent of Triglav from the Trenta valley with the Luknja pass and along the west ridge and the Plemenice plateau (Bamberg route-Bambergova pot).........."

Hmmm. Sometimes it's only just as well you read stuff in retrospective I guess. A masochist I like to think I'm not. But this information, together with the 1000+ metres of ascent I made with the lady just the day before, explains why at 5:20 in the morning I was more optimistic that I was hours later, looking at the summit of Triglav. Which was in fact quite close. But my legs were nackered. I just couldn't anymore. I bit it of in enthousiasm, but I couldn't chew it. No, I didn't make it to the summit of this great mountain.

SAM_3449 wh.jpg
Half past five in the morning. After a short walk, this is the view in the Zadnjica valley, east of the village of Trenta, west of the big beast Triglav. The view is towards Vrh Zelenic, member of the Triglav massive.


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A look back into the same valley, while climbing up Korita, the gully that leads to the bealach Luknja pass. On the other side of the valley, one can see yesterdays route into the bealach of Cez Dol (1632), I walked with my wife.


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After a walk that's described as easy, but I found quite streneous, I arrived at Luknja Pass, the bealach between Zadnjica valley and the larger Vrata valley. The top of the bealach is at 1758 metres and this is the view down the gully, back to where I came from.


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Same Luknja Pass, but now facing the north into Vrata valley. As I didn't but should have known, only found out here, the way up from the north is less steep and one makes less ascent.


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Luknja pass is the start of the via ferrata. In the centre of the picture you can see two persons scrambling their way up to the first line.


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That means gearing up for me as well. Who doesn't look good in a helmet.


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After having scrambled up myself to where the metal cable starts, this is the view looking down the gully of Korita again, into Zadnjica valley.


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A view on a part of the via ferrata. Top centre, one can spot another climber dressed in something blueish, just below where the sky makes a W-mark in the mountain. In the down left corner a sinister reminder of how dangerous this route is.


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And this photo shows how incredible steep the via ferrata is. Top left you can see some coloured spots. Those are people, either having lunch or gearing up themselves. In the down left corner, dressed in blue, there's a I gues ten to twelve year old girl, who together with her father was overtaking me in a intimidating and humiliating speed.


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So at a temporarily end to the metal cable, I was more than happy to offer them free passage, so they could keep their own tempo, scrambling up towards the next piece of cable. At that moment I got a textmessage from the mrs, asking me how I was doing. I confessed to having been beaten by a very young person.


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No worries though. I thoroughly enjoyed the excitement of the via ferrate, loved the nescessary scrambling here and there and I was still positive about my goal: the summit. Views were improving by the second.


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More views.


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And more.


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After some serious height gain, this is a view looking back down. The diagonal in the photo (shadow vs sun) roughly marks the route of ascent on the Bamberweg.


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This is the father and his daughter again, quite a bit higher than I am, but unaware of the (itself equally unaware) mountaingoat close by. Nice encounter.


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And this is the maestro himself. I love this photo.


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And this is the view I was sharing with this beautiful creature by now.


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By this time I was nackered. My positivity melted as snow in the sun when I discovered that however close I was to the summit, I had been looking at a false summit all along. True Triglav can been seen here, behind the false summit I'd been focused on. If I do interpret my map properly, this discovery was made at a height of about 2400 metres, maybe a bit less. Which would make the final ascent some 400+ metres. Normally I'd be thrilled, but although it was still quite early, all strenght seemed to have gone from my legs. I just couldn't anymore. And with the memory of very painful knees on the descent yesterday, I was quite anxious as to how long my descend would take me today.


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This is where I was.......


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and this is how disappointed I was after my discovery. Triglav overlooking me from behind.


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So what else to do than taking some more snapshots.


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Last view before turning back to campsite.


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Returning back to the mrs, same route as the ascent route, offers me a last view on the bealach we passed yesterday.


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Until finally disappearing in the forest again.


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And this is the last view on the bealach Luknja Pass. The steep wall on the right of the bealach shows the steepness of the via ferrata once more.


So I didn't make it to the summit, but my disappointment has made way for fond memories of a beautiful and challenging day in great weather.
Maybe one day.......who knows..
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Re: Slovenia's highest in one day? More than I can chew.

Postby ChrisW » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:24 pm

at 5:20 in the morning I was more optimistic that I was hours later


This is a description of every hike I do mate :lol:

No shame in not making that monster Jacob, after 1000m the day before then choosing the masochists route :crazy: In answer to your question "who doesn't look good in a helmet" ...me, I look like an egg :roll:

I too love the shot of the mountain goat and have to say if I find myself loitering around europe for any length of time I might just give this mountain a look (maybe over the 2 days though :wink: )
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Re: Slovenia's highest in one day? More than I can chew.

Postby dav2930 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:08 pm

Never mind you didn't make the summit on your first attempt, that was a valiant effort which'll stand you in good stead for another time. It really does look hugely spectacular around there, it must have been quite an experience. You captured some amazing views in your photos.

Your account made a great read - very informative too. All in all an inspiring report that makes me want to visit that part of the Alps & maybe have a go at Triglav! :clap: :clap:
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Re: Slovenia's highest in one day? More than I can chew.

Postby jacob » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:34 pm

ChrisW wrote:
at 5:20 in the morning I was more optimistic that I was hours later


This is a description of every hike I do mate :lol:


:lol: :clap:

ChrisW wrote:
No shame in not making that monster Jacob, after 1000m the day before then choosing the masochists route :crazy: In answer to your question "who doesn't look good in a helmet" ...me, I look like an egg :roll:

I too love the shot of the mountain goat and have to say if I find myself loitering around europe for any length of time I might just give this mountain a look (maybe over the 2 days though :wink: )


No shame, I know, although I didn't choose the masochists route. I choose what at the time in my opinion was the easiest route (shortest in km, so I was wondering why it wasn't a much chosen route).

You should give it a look might ever you be around, it is a beautiful national park, Triglavski. You might as well be able to do it in one day. JohnJoe did a report about a one day bagging of Triglav this week (funny how there's no reports on Triglav and suddenly in one week there's two), in this report: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=65819
From reading his report I think (can you confirm johnjoe?) he choose a route from the north-east.
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Re: Slovenia's highest in one day? More than I can chew.

Postby jacob » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:36 pm

dav2930 wrote:Never mind you didn't make the summit on your first attempt, that was a valiant effort which'll stand you in good stead for another time. It really does look hugely spectacular around there, it must have been quite an experience. You captured some amazing views in your photos.

Your account made a great read - very informative too. All in all an inspiring report that makes me want to visit that part of the Alps & maybe have a go at Triglav! :clap: :clap:


Thanks Dav, it truly was spectacular. Both the views and the via ferrata. As I said to Chris: yes you should try and visit. Slovenia is a very outdoor- and walker/cimberfriendly country, with quite some rough terrain on higher grounds. You as a scrambler will really enjoy it I'm sure.
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Re: Slovenia's highest in one day? More than I can chew.

Postby simon-b » Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:13 pm

Great arttempt, Jacob. I've enjoyed both yours and JohnJoe's reports from this mountain.
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Re: Slovenia's highest in one day? More than I can chew.

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:15 pm

Great report :clap: :clap: :clap: - Dav2930 has already said it all: nothing to add.
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Re: Slovenia's highest in one day? More than I can chew.

Postby JohnJoe » Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:05 pm

jacob wrote:From reading his report I think (can you confirm johnjoe?) he choose a route from the north-east.


The route I did is described as the 'northern approach' - starting at the top of the Vrata valley and going via the Tominskova route. For the decent I retraced my steps about half way then split off to the left and followed the Prag route back down to the Vrata valley.

Your walk report is great for me - I can see the 'other side', the approach I did not even get a glimpse of from my route. You also had better weather and take better pictures :D

I did some research before going and did not have the guts to try your route by myself, especially in one day. It seems to be the hardest technically as well as the most terrifying. I'll have to try it one day though!

For anyone thinking of climbing Triglav I would recommend the little booklet I found called 'How to Climb Triglav', complied by Stanko Klinar. It has good descriptions of many possible routes, although bizarrely advises you to 'avail yourself of the artificial aids' up to the summit. I thought these were pretty essential protection against falling several hundred metres off the ridge!

I totally agree about Triglav national park and Slovenia as a brilliant location for walking, climbing, scrambling....etc. The area is stunning and everything - accommodation, facilities etc - is geared towards outdoor activities. And it's not expensive. Can't recommend it enough.
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Re: Slovenia's highest in one day? More than I can chew.

Postby jacob » Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:26 pm

JohnJoe wrote:Your walk report is great for me - I can see the 'other side', the approach I did not even get a glimpse of from my route


Well, your walk report is great for me. As I only got a glimpse of the summit. :lol:

JohnJoe wrote:You also had better weather


Yes, I was quite surprised to see that much snow in your video. I have seen snow around Triglavski, even a lot lower down like in Cez Dol, but from my photo of the summit I could not have guessed your circumstances over there. What a difference a week makes
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