A week in the mountains

Triglav National Park

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I've been to Slovenia twice. I have always just touched the Triglav National Park and in the middle the tempting summit of the Triglav of the same name; the summit that every Slovenian has to climb once in a lifetime. Kind of tempting, isn't it?

The dream of Greenland has burst early this year. Somehow it doesn't work. Steffen and I simply don't have the time to escape everyday life for so long that it's worth it. Finally, we agree on a camping holiday: a week south. Maybe a little longer. The goal remains undecided for a long time. We only decide in the car. It will be Slovenia . Kind of cool. I am looking forward to the Triglav National Park . I've been wondering for a while when I can finally walk through the national park. The hike will not work again this time, but we still have hellish fun in the mountains.

It is almost dark when we drive over the Wurzenpass from Austria to the Slovenian border. I remember my first trip to Kranjska Gora well . Back then it was a short stay in the Sava Valley. I only saw the tip of the iceberg of the beauty of the Julian Alps. The upcoming week should change everything. The next day we are drawn to our first goal.

The little beginner's via ferrata in Mojstrana. We don't want to overdo it and start slowly. The via ferrata is popular and we are happy to be able to overtake a group at the start. Then it continues pleasantly. When I climbed here three years ago I was alone. Now it is trickling again and again, kicked off by other climbers above and this calls for our full attention. In all possible >

We only see him some time later. We are already a few kilometers away at the Peričnik waterfall. We quickly cover the short path to the tourist magnet and can enjoy the waterfall in all its beauty. The sun shines through the curtain of water. It is pleasantly cool in its vicinity. A dream on the hot day. We decide to tackle a second via ferrata in Gozd Martuljek. The heat of the day brings a strong thunderstorm and we leave the entrance to the via ferrata a little disappointed and return to the campsite.

"O Triglav, my home" - that is what it says on Slovenia's 50 cent coin. "Oj Triglav, moj dom" was first published as a poem in 1894 and recited in 1895 at the opening of the Aljaž bivouac on the summit of Triglav. The composer, priest and alpinist Jakob Aljaž then composed the song of the same name. His legacy is not only the homeland song that expresses his love for the mountain, but also the many mountaineering bases and huts around the summit. Including the highest hut in Slovenia, the Kredarica hut. Due to its immediate location to the summit, it is often only called the Triglavhaus.

We are slowly approaching our goal. The weather still prevents us from climbing directly, so we explore the area and take a look at the huge massif around the Triglav. The mighty walls of over 1000 meters are an expression of strength and beauty in the national park. From Viševnik, our view of the Triglav is almost unrestricted. We get a first feeling of which mountain we want to tackle. Even if we are looking into the neighboring valley, the sight is slightly awesome.

From the Vrata valley to the summit there are a little over 2000 meters of altitude. We estimate a day hike with a via ferrata to the Triglavhaus and then the next day the summit ascent and the descent down to the valley. Now only the weather has to play along. However, we continue to kill the rainy season in Ljubljana . Ljubljana itself is not far away, as is almost everything in Slovenia. A little stroll through the city is still in there and at the high point of the castle the rain begins and doesn't let go for a while. Only when the evening slowly approaches we come dry in our car and back to the campsite. We cook like every evening and then our backpacks are packed for the Triglav climb.

The new day starts calmly and we don't stand in the parking lot at the Aljažev hut until 9 a.m., put our shoes on and start to climb the Tominšek trail. Through dense forest, we quickly climb meters. It is still cool and the efforts are limited. We put our via ferrata set on the first rope safety device. The difficulty is limited. In the following passages, too, I often have the feeling that the parts where you might feel insecure have no securing, while other passages are secured, but only for the good feeling. When the first rope hook comes towards me when I touch it, I decide to trust my hands and feet rather than the ropes. We sweat either way. The sun is now directly above us and when we reach the intersection with the Prague path, it really burns. The ascent continues via the subsequent scree field. Crevices in the rock formed by ice alternate with rocky passages. Shortly before the Triglavhütte comes the last little via ferrata passage, which we safely ascend.

When we arrive at the hut, we briefly consider whether we should still tackle the summit, but the clouds and the lack of a view make us prefer to enjoy the hut meal and the sun rather than putting on our hiking shoes again. Only when the next morning the whole pack starts to wake up to climb the summit, do we get ready. We have breakfast quickly, leave a backpack behind and start the ascent with full equipment. Hundreds of people are already in front of and behind us; many Slovenians, but also a large international audience. For beginners and those who are not sure-footed and not afraid of heights, the via ferrata set is a must and definitely has a calming effect. I only clip on the exposed areas, but use the tensioned steel cable to hold on and guide. After the little Triglav, it continues very exposed on the ridge. Here we meet more and more people not only in our direction, but also the relegated ones. A wild clipping and sorting on the steel cable is the result. The ascent is also likely to take only an hour and a half. Definitely longer in weekend traffic. Even very inexperienced and overweight people can be guided to the summit by mountain guides. Overtaking is almost impossible. You can do this unsecured in only a few places. I also pass a very slow group with some climbing. Steffen gets stuck in traffic and reaches the summit a few minutes later.

After our Elbrustour 2017 the Triglav is a common highlight again. If not as strenuous as at high altitude, the Triglav has its peculiarities. The enormous height difference between valley and summit and the climbing on the way are not without. After the obligatory summit photos, we now face the six-hour descent. Up to the Triglav house it is better than expected hanging down on the ropes. After a short break, we take the same route as the ascent, but then turn onto the Prague trail and torture ourselves down. The path is uncomfortably gravel and therefore slippery. We don't get the hang of it and are always overtaken. I can't understand how to run the passages faster. The road is dragging and my legs are getting heavy. So I was all the happier when I arrived in the Vrata Valley to take off my shoes by the ice-cold river, hang my feet briefly in the water, wash my T-shirt and refresh my hat. It is unbearably warm and the last few kilometers to the car are easy, but they drag a lot.

The next day we really notice what we did. Shaky legs and a funny walk are the result. We prefer to leave hikes and other via ferratas. It can no longer work well. For this we drive to Bovec, in the Soča valley. Here we join a kayak school and no longer have to think so much about our legs. In the fairway of the Soča we enjoy the landscape, the mountains, the clear river and our last day in Slovenia. Again this country surprised me positively and finally I was also in the Triglav National Park.

South of the Triglav National Park is the wide landscape of the green karst . This is where the Via Dinarica begins, whose hiking trails wind up to Albania . The Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle are also well known.

  1. Hello Dominik,

    Triglav National Park is really a dream. I was out and about in the Jülischen Alpen last year and was really excited. Unfortunately there was so much snow on the tour that I did with a friend that we had to turn back about 50 meters before the summit of Triglav because there were no more safety ropes to be seen. All the better that everything worked out for you. In any case, you made me want to try again.

    Best regards, Daniel.

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