Last year when I was on Triglav summit, I have seen lovely mountain range on horizon. At that moment I had no clue, what it is. Few day after my return, I started to investigate what is that mountain range, highest summit of it and some other info. Soon it has been clear that I want to visit Grintovec (2 558 m / 8 329 ft) as the highest peak in Kamnik–Savinja Alps.
First of all I had to find the best way to the summit and plan it. Wait for a good weather conditions and free weekend. All the plans had to wait till August. We planned with my girlfriend to come on Saturday morning, ascent to Kranjska hut and then to Ceska hut, where we will spend the night. Early Sunday morning we will go to Jezerska Kocna summit, Grintovec, back to Ceska hut. From the hut, we will descent to parking place and go home.
As you know, from time to time reality is a bit different than a plans. This weekend is one of them. In Saturday morning we are traveling for 4 hours to park under summits of Kamnik–Savinja Alps. Unfortunately peaks are in clouds and we can not see them. From parking we follow unpaved road. We have reached to cable car station, which are used to delivery goods to both huts. It took as about 15 minutes.
Sign says it is 2 hours to Kranjska hut, I am sure we will be bit faster. So far we have no clue, where we are going. Everything above us in clouds. However we are walking thru woods, and there is nothing to see. Once we get out of the woods, we finally see all the beauty of Kamnik–Savinja Alps. There is plenty of lovely peaks and each of them is worth of visit. While we are reaching Kranjska hut we see couple of climbers. Second half of the path is steep, some of the places are secured with fixed rope. We have to stop every couple of steps. Somehow we are not in good shape, or something is wrong. Maybe it is caused by early wake up and no breakfast. It is time to sit down and have something to eat. I believe this will help us.
Breakfast did not help and both of us still suffering. I hear voices from Krajnska hut, but can not see it. In couple of minutes we see the hut and few more minutes later we are at hut. We walk to the hut almost 3 hours. While we are having some food and drinks, I check all the signs. It is nice to know how far are other points where we can go. For a while we are discussing possibility to go to Velka Baba, which should be about 2 hours hike. In current conditions we have agreed that we will go to Ceska hut. If we have enough energy there, we will ascent to Vratca hill.
Hike to Ceska hut should take about 2 hours, for us it was more than 3. We are surprised how come this happened. Probably we lost a bit of time in lovely via ferrata which is on the way. Descent was nice, but slow due to lot of rock. However the path it self is very nice and one family with two kids did it as well.
At Ceska hut, we are glad to get there. We are not going anywhere today. It is time to relax and admire beauty of Kamnik–Savinja Alps. From the menu we order dinner and test couple of different local shots. Of course we can not taste all of them otherwise tomorrow we will not be ready to hike.
On Sunday morning we want to start hiking at 7:00. It is shortly after 8:00, when we get out of the hut. After good breakfast it is easy to climb steep hill which goes up to saddle between Grintovec and Jezerska Kocna. From what I know, the path should be easy via ferrata with few secured places. Sign at the hut says it is 3 hours to Jezerska Kocna. Both of us enjoy hike a lot. It is mix of walking and easy climbing. Few hikers pass us, but it is not an issue. We are happy to go up and see something new.
After three hours we are at the ridge. My guess is that it takes about 45 minutes to Jezerska Kocna. However we did not know we can not make it. In one place, not far from the crossroad, it a huge rock in the middle of the path. You either climb below it (it is not secured) or lay on the rock and push yourself thru tiny hole. Lucka did not feel secure to go thru it. For a while we watch other hikers coming thru.
At the end we have decided, to go at least to Grintovec, which is not far and we can clearly see people on the summit. Ridge it self is really exposed. I would not call this hiking path, because each hiker has to use hands a lot. Whole terrain is exposed and everyone is watching each step. After tough descent in the ridge we sit down and eat something. We need to calculate a bit. To the Grintovec it is about one hour. We spend couple of minutes on the summit and descent with this terrain will take about 3 hours. It is about 2 hours from the hut to the parking place and 4 hours of driving.
We this in mind we can not go to Grintovec. It would mean we will come home too late. Now we will enjoy last few moment in Kamnik–Savinja Alps and start descending to the Ceska hut. We are going down via same way as we got here. Knowing what we went thru, descent will be fun. I expect it will take about 3 hours to reach hut.
Descent is bit faster than I have expected. We save lot of time in lower part of the descent, where we “ski” on snow field and it saves a lot of time. Also lower part is regular hiking path and it is not that technical. At Ceska hut, we have short break and start descending to parking place.
Soon we leave Ceska hut, we are walking in woods. From time to time we can see a bit of Kamnik–Savinja Alps ridge. At one of those moment we hear huge noise. Rock avalanche is falling somewhere between Ceska hut and Kranjska hut. Probably it is the place where is the via ferrata. Couple of second later is everything back to normal. I hope than in next coming minutes I will not see helicopter and everyone is OK.
From the parking space is great view on the whole ridge. Those mountains are stunning. Before we cross Slovenia Austrian border we stop on one parking place which offers amazing view on Kamnik–Savinja Alps. This time we did not reach any of the summits. At least we mapped the terrain and we know what to expect when we come back to those amazing mountains. We will come back for sure!