Mountaineering amongst Alpine pastures of Pokljuka – Exploring Slovenia

Hidden in southwestern Pokljuka, a excessive karst plateau within the Julian Alps with 6,300 ha of largely fir forests, are quite a few Alpine pastures with previous wood huts that appear misplaced in time. A few of them have been became vacationer houses, whereas others are stored easy by the brand new generations of the previous shepherd households. In summer season, hikers could make a cease to style scrumptious home-made cheeses, bitter milk and typically native cured meats and štruklji – a welcome aid on their wanderings alongside the lengthy trails of Pokljuka.

In winter, nevertheless, there’s a sense of contented isolation. As usually as not, from late-autumn till mid-spring the pastures, particularly the upper ones, are uninhabited and inaccessible by automobile, and might solely be reached on skis or showshoes. Set in opposition to a playground of excessive peaks of the Julians Alps and but so snugly hidden within the in any other case thick forest, Pokljuka’s Alpine pastures provide good winter climbing objectives with breathtaking views of the winter wonderland.

On this snowy spirit, right here is a superb 18-km loop hike within the Triglav Nationwide Park amongst Alpine pastures of Pokljuka that’s completely attractive in wintertime and protected to get pleasure from too.

Protected winter trails that can blow your thoughts
Visoki Mavrinc, a beautiful and protected peak above Kranjska Gora
Mountaineering security in excessive mountains

Planina Konjščica, 1,440 m

As many nice treks within the Julian Alps, amongst them additionally probably the most scenic tour to Triglav, this one too begins from Rudno Polje, a sports activities middle at 1,350 m largely centered on Nordic snowboarding and biathlon. About an hour into the trek via the tall fir forest I left the primary path in direction of Triglav and adopted the signal for dairy goodies pointing downwards in direction of the untouched snow with no marked path in sight. I adopted my hunch (in contrast with the monitoring app) and shortly noticed the primary little hut within the distance. 

The nearer I got here, the extra stunning it turned and shortly I used to be confronted with round a dozen little huts scattered alongside a kilometer-long clearing surrounded by tall mountains. On the western facet, the Sleme ridge stretched from south to north and ended with its highest peak Ablanca at 2,005 m. Like an amphitheater of peaks, they continued from north-west to north – Veliki and Mali Draški Vrh, 2,240 m and a pair of,132 m, and Viševnik, 2,050 m; whereas the rocky partitions of the Plesišče peak, 1,790 m, a relatively modest peak on the traditional option to Viševnik, towered above the japanese facet of the pasture. 

No indicators of different folks confirmed within the recent pristine snow, simply occasional footprints of deer, chamois and hare implied that life certainly does attain this pasture even after a giant snowfall. I sat down on my backpack, listening to a small stream trickling down its method from the snowy mountains in direction of the valley. The pasture appeared so idyllic, distant and wild when lined with a thick blanket of snow. The exact opposite of the summer season when it’s normally bursting with life.

Ultimately, the solar started to sink behind the Sleme ridge and the chilly of the shade despatched me ahead to the subsequent objective, the Uskovnica Alpine village.

Uskovnica, 1,130 m

The path from Planina Konjščica to Uskovnica adopted the Ribnica stream, weaving via a fluffy white panorama between snow-capped rocks and white fir bushes. The Ribnica is definitely one of many uncommon few everlasting water streams within the Pokljuka space. Not as a result of there wouldn’t be a lot rainfall, quite the opposite, the common annual rainfall right here is definitely between 1,300 – 1,900 mm with the foothills of Mt. Debela Peč reaching as a lot as 3,000 mm! The explanation lies within the underground system of lengthy cracks, caves and rivers on this karst excessive plateau which swallows the water to then feed the Bohinj and Higher Sava Valleys.

I crossed the Ribnica stream yet one more time – this time on a wood bridge throughout a gorge carved by the water. Shortly after, I reached a small village unfold throughout a distant hummock-strewn clearing. First talked about within the fifteenth century, Uskovnica was a spot for dairy farming in summer season. Within the nineteenth century it additionally grew to become a resting level on the best way to Triglav, whereas within the twentieth century Alpine tourism began to develop, which continues even right this moment.

As a lot because it was stunning, I didn’t dally lengthy earlier than heading in direction of my final climbing vacation spot of the day, the Zajamniki pasture. I solely had an hour till the sundown and photographing the Zajamniki Pasture for sundown with recent snow had been my want for fairly a while. 

Bled’s must-go out of doors spots
Mountaineering in Slovenia: the gear you will have

Zajamniki, 1,280 m

A lot smaller than Uskovnica, it’s one of the romantic Alpine meadows I’ve ever seen. Surrounded by forests, about sixty huts lie stretched throughout this high-altitude pasture with a backdrop of mountain peaks of the Julian Alps to the west and the attractive Bohinj mountains to the south.

I discovered the final golden larch tree on the southern tip of the pasture and appeared via its glowing branches because the solar slowly sank behind the horizon. The snowy slopes misplaced its spark for a second and it appeared like all the things got here to a standstill. Some ten minutes later the clouds all of a sudden exploded in pink and orange, reflecting its fantastic colours onto the pasture and the mountains round.

How I acquired again to the automobile you ask? In different phrases, one other 6 km and 230 m of ascent on high of the earlier 12 km and 420 m of ascent in recent snow. However now at night time. Fortunately, half of the hike again adopted kind of an open terrain, properly lit by the complete moon. The opposite half was spent speaking to my canine, pondering of the well-known Pokljuka wolves, and comforting myself that it was truly higher to easily benefit from the hike blissfully ignorant, seeing solely the couple ten meters throughout the head torch vary. In opposition to all odds, I survived.

All joking apart, I truly liked each second of the hike and wouldn’t have achieved it in another method!

Keep tuned for extra out of doors adventures! Be a part of forty-five thousand Exploring Slovenia followers by liking us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you happen to loved this story, join the month-to-month e-newsletter. A handful collection of tales from Mountaineering and Climbing in Slovenia, delivered to your inbox each month.

On the lookout for a beautiful tour within the mountains? Exploring Slovenia gives guided climbing and climbing excursions!