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Long autumn and almost no snow in Slovakia, but also in other Alp countries is good for hiking. It is already December but in high mountains is almost no snow. Thanks to good conditions and excellent weather forecast I was able to reach highest summit in Slovenia – Triglav (2 864 m / 9 396 ft.).
When I have to decide where I will go for hike, I always try to be flexible as possible. In case of the Triglav it was the same case. In next year I would like to climb at least once summit which is above 4 000 m / 13 123 ft. I will do my best to climb Zumsteinspitze (4 563 m / 14 970 ft.). To come this dream true I am setting up bunch of people willing to go to Alps as much as possible. Within this group I have met Bibiana, who wanted to go to Triglav in summer. On Monday I have checked snow condition, weather forecast and we have agreed in case of good weather we are going to Slovenia to climb Triglav. In our small Facebook group I have asked who is willing to join for this trip. Within one day car was full. Lukas joined us. I have been with him in Grosser Priel in summer and Zuzka. Kredarica hut which is just below Triglav summit is opened all year. Some meteorologist lives there. Thru phone I have checked the condition, if they have free space and also the best way to the hut. It changed my plans a bit, but it was no issue. Originally I have planned to come up from Vrata valley, but guy from the hut suggested going from Krma valley. Thursday afternoon we made final decision. Weather forecast is just great, so let’s go.
Early Saturday morning at 5:15 am I have picked up Zuzana and at 15 minutes later we have met with Lukas and Bibiana. After putting all the necessary stuff from Lukas car to mine car, we were ready to hit the road. During the way to Slovenia, we have plenty of time to discuss hiking in general and know each other a bit. I didn’t want to pay toll on Slovenian highways so we went thru Italy. Thru Italy it is just few kilometers, but as soon we have exited highway we got stop by cops. They wanted to see our ID, however we keep them in our backpacks in trunk. As soon as they saw all climbing equipment, they let us go. Second surprise, was how far we were able to get to Krma valley. There is a forest road, however walking on the road would take maybe two hours.
About 10:30 am we are leaving the car a starting to walk towards Triglav. Of course today we will go only to Kredarica hut (2 515 m / 8 251 ft.). We need to ascent more than 1 500 m / 4 921 ft. In the valley is approximately 25 cm / 10 inches of snow. Path is covered by ice, however we can walk without crampons. Beginning of the path is boring. We are ascending very slowly and no views at all. Two hours later we came to hut “Planina Zgornja Krma”. To be honest I have no clue if it is name of the hut, but I can see it in my map. It is closed, but we will have short lunch break anyway. We are in the half way to the Kredarica hut. Second half will be shorter in distance but steeper.
I am only who doesn’t have hiking sticks. Therefore I have to be more careful. I already had crampons on my feet during the way up, but I took them off in one part of the path. Behind the hut are two ways how to proceed. Better is path going to the left – it is not that steep. We are in altitude about 2 000 m / 6 500 ft. Triglav is up there. Based on the map I can say it is not Triglav itself. It is just Small Triglav. We need to go thru two steep parts separated with horizontal part and we will be on the hut. Different sources on the web were saying it is 5 to 6 hours to Kredarica hut. We did it in 5 and half hours. Before the sunset we are going to Kredarica summit which is 10 minute walk. I am doing my best to identify all summits I can see. After the sunset it is getting colder and windy. It is time to warm ourselves in the hut.
Inside the hut is nice and warm. At least that is just my first feeling. In dining room is huge stove, which is warming room up. It is not hot at all. After supper we are having a beer and spend evening by talking. We need to plan tomorrow ascent to summit. Lukas wants to go to summit before sunrise. Girls are scared so we are splitting to two groups. Lukas goes first and later we will follow him.
Ascent to Triglav
Shortly after 6 am we are waking up. As agreed Lukas goes to summit by himself. All the stuff, which we will not need are left on the hut. We already left the hut but guy from the hut wants us to come back and pay for the night and dinner. I am telling him we will come back shortly but he insists on paying immediately. We have to come back to the hut and pay. For the second time we are leaving the hut shortly after 7 am. Sign says 1 hour to Triglav summit. On the web I have read that it is nicely exposed path. Let’s see. During our ascent to Small Triglav sun is coming out. As always it is nice to watch. Ascent itself is from my point of view easy. If you have some experienced with exposed terrain, you will have no problem. Only one part of the path is bit tricky because of ice. Before we reach Small Triglav summit, we all put crampons on. It is not just safer, but let us to enjoy the ascent much more.
In saddle between Small Triglav and Triglav we met Lukas. He is already on his way back. However he goes back to the summit with us. From this point of view remaining part looks dangerous. At the end it is not that bad. In less than two hours we are on the Triglav summit.
View from the summit is amazing. Sky is clear and I try to identify peaks with help of mobile app. Some of them are nice memories for me, because I have been there this year or in the past. My attention gets caught by Grintovec on the east, but also Skrlatica, Mangart, Jof di Montasio. From the peaks are further it is for sure Grosslockner, where I have been one month ago and Dachstein, Grossvenediger and couple more.
We will do some summit pictures, few group selfies, check the bivouac on the summit and get ready to descent. With crampons on it is just easy walk. Even the tricky part from Small Triglav can be descended without a rope. Sun is really warm and all of us are hot. As soon as we reach the hut I am taking of my warm underpants. I have planned that going to summit and back will take about 2,5 hours. It took us 3,5 hours. Luckily we have plenty of time. Let’s have a lunch break at hut. It is December 13th but sun is really hot. I am able to sit outside in my T-shirt and enjoy my lunch. I would love to stay here at least one additional night.
Shortly before 12 am we start to descent to parking place. We are taking the same path as we went up. Usually I don’t like this kind of hikes, but at least we know what to expect. Descent is really fast. At least that is my feeling. After checking the time, I know it is not just a feeling. We are fast for sure. We descend half of the way in 2 hours.
Now we have one steep part to descent and then it is just never ending story thru long valley. At least this is how I imagine remaining part from the hut, where we have short break. Unfortunately I was correct. The valley is not ending at all. Every little while I am checking my position based on GPS coordinates. I am going right direction but my location on the map is moving really slowly towards the car. It is better to think about nice views we have seen up there this morning. Suddenly I am next to some building. Finally! Parking place is just minute away.
My friends are coming few minutes later. I didn’t event take off crampons. We changed clothes and are ready to go back home. Descent took only 3,5 hours and we walk normally without rush. I am surprised how fast we did it.
As always I really enjoyed beauty of Julian Alps. Weather was perfect, night at Frederica hut was luxurious. Room was cold, but with the sleeping bags and blankets none of us was cold during the night. Climb Triglav from Krma valley is worth of try. I would recommend this hike also to less experienced climbers. However make sure, you have already been in exposed terrain before.
All the pictures in gallery are taken by Lukáš Fapšo.