Easy hike to Kotovo pass

On Friday morning, we pack our stuff for trip to mountains. Again, we do not know, where we are going, so we need to have pretty much everything. We pack sleeping back, sleeping pads, tent, via ferrata set, rope and so on. Only one thing which left home are crampons and ice axe.

After weather update is decision made. We are going back to Slovenia. It seems we are going to hike to Jalovec and via ferrata to Mala Mojstrovka. That is at least our plan. We are aware that we might need to change it. Everything depends if one hut will be open. We want to sleep there from Saturday to Sunday, but maybe we will change our plans.

At least we have clear idea. Right after work, we will drive to Slovenia. Same evening, we will have easy hike to “Dom v Tamarju” hut. They have free beds, so we can sleep there. On Saturday, we will climb Mala Mojstrovka via ferrata and go to “Zavetisce pod Spickom” hut. On Sunday, we will reach top of Jalovec and descent to Tamar valley and back to the car.

Travel to Slovenia is easy as always. It took us bit more than 4 hours. On parking place, we pack things, which we need for next two days. From parking place, it takes about one hour to reach hut. It is getting dark. On our way to the hut we see lots of fireflies. Last 10 minutes we have to walk with light from phone. We are lazy to take out head lamps from backpacks.

Hut is closed, which is huge surprise for us. They are open only till 9 pm. We do not see any light inside. It is 10:30 pm a we do not want to walk back to the car. I walk around the hut, trying to find someone inside. I see one guy sitting inside and browsing the web. Knocking on window helps. He is opening hut for us and shows us, where we are going to sleep. Both of us are really glad, that we have place to sleep and do not need to walk all the way back. Hopefully tomorrow we will wake up soon without alarm clock.

No, we did not. It is shortly after 8 am. It is time to have quick breakfast and find out if the other hut is open. Unfortunately, not. We have to change our plans a do hike differently. Today we will try to hike to Jalovec and tomorrow we will climb Mala Mojstrovka via ferrata.

Descent start in the woods, but quickly we are above the forest. Views are really interesting with all the peaks around us. We can clearly see our path in the middle of scree. I am wondering if it will be tough as it looks like. On the way, up we want to go via Jalovska skrbina and on the way back via Kotovo saddle. At least this is plan I could create in the morning.

At the end of the valley we are losing hiking path and scree starts to be really steep. After every two steps, we descent one step. All the stones go bit down with us. It is really “nice”. Somehow, we are in the middle of scree and have no idea which way we need to go. I know for sure, that we cannot go via Jalovska skrbina, because it is steep and covered by snow. Without crampons and ice axe it could be dangerous.

There is only one way which we can take. We have to go up to Kotovo saddle. Question is, if we are able to reach Jalovec summit. It is already after a lunch time and still it is far to the top. Close to the saddle we are having a break, cooking easy lunch, because we are running out of energy. In the meantime, Jalovec is fully covered by clouds. With my girlfriend, we have made decision that we are not going to Jalovec. At least we go to Kotovo saddle. From here we can enjoy view to two valleys and Mangart summit, also hidden in clouds.

However smaller peak in front of us caught my attention. From this angle, it looks like legendary Matterhorn in Switzerland. In Slovenia, they have peak called Small Matterhorn, but it is in different valley. This one is called Kotova Spica.

During short break in saddle I did 360 panorama picture, enjoy the views and it is time to descend. We are going to descend different way. It should be much easier. On our way, we walk around bivouac which is close to Kotovo saddle. At the beginning is descend easy, but at the end it is really steep. I am sure this is much better way to go up than the one we took.

After steep, we are almost at the bottom of scree. From this point is descent very easy. At Dom v Tamarju we have short break and descent to the car. We are going to find some place, where we can spend the night under the stars. We want to find place, which is close to Vrsic pass, because tomorrow we want to go to Mala Mojstrovka.

We are trying to find nice place in next valley from Italian side. In Italy, they are nicer to wild campers than in Slovenia. However, lakes under Mangart are full of people and shooting movie. Besides that, camping in tent, is forbidden here. Sleeping in caravan is OK. We are going back to Slovenia and sleep at Vrsic pass in “Ticarjev dom na Vrsicu” hut. For few euros, you can get a bed and food. It is not really luxury hotel, but for one night it is ok. Tomorrow we are going to Mala Mojstrovka via Hanzova pot.

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