Chasing winter on the highest peak of Karavanke range.
Start altitude: 1181 m – Valvasor hut
Top: 2236 m
Altitude difference: 1055 m
It´s been a long time coming. We have been on Mt. Stol almost three years ago, right after returning from trekking in Nepal. It was the first hike after coming home from the travel and returning to work. We relived all the special memories of the trek on this mountain and we had a perfect weather that time, sunny and warm with a view of the cloudy sea beneath. We kept Mt. Stol in really fond memories but haven´t had a chance to climb it again. Until yesterday.
After a long period of mostly rainy and unstable weather on my days off, we finally caught a good day for a mountain adventure. A day of poetry on higher grounds as I like to call it.
The path slowly ascends first towards a mountain pasture, where we turned left on to the Žirovniška path, which starts climbing up quickly, with beautiful views of Julian alps on one side.
We soon met some snow on the way, mostly patches on the parts that don´t get lots of sun. The view behind our backs was worth stopping. Valley of river Sava below and Bled lake seen like on an aerial photography shot.
We stopped at Prižnica, a great viewpoint and a place to rest after a steep climb up. Continuing up, we walked amongst scattered rocks, less and less trees and more and more magnificent views of the surroundings. The whole ridge leading from Stol towards the west part of Karavanke range, is right in front of us, waiting to be explored and praised for its beauty. In the valley below, a stripe of River Sava shines with its green – blue color, Lake Bled with its little island looks like an emerald and the chain of snow topped Julian Alps in the background adds the crown to the amazing scenery. The path is not difficult at all, but it is a long one, with more then a 1000 m elevation. The clouds started gathering while we hiked the final slopes to the mountain hut – Prešernova koča. They happily stayed on one side of the ridge though and let us observe their crazy dancing games with winds.
We reached the mountain hut at 2193m and took some well deserved break for snack and enjoying the views.
The hike from the hut to the top is a short one, just about 15 minutes long. At the moment there was quite deep snow all the way.
As soon as you reach the ridge you will be greeted with a splendid view down to the Austrian side. Gotta be careful on the cliffs edges since the North side of Mt. Stol is rocky and very steep, cut off straight down of the top at some parts. We ascended to the highest part of the ridge and of the Karavanke range – top of Mt. Stol with 2236 meters.
We stayed at the top quite a while. It was a warm and sunny day with a perfect mountaineering feeling. Just enough snow and just enough clouds to make it a bit more exciting. There was no one else around. We met some hikers at the hut, but no one came up to join us.
The hike down was quicker and mostly funnier. We took the opportunity and sledged down on snow as far as we could. Sorry for the shaky video… I forgot I was running 😉
We have some progress on the fundraiser 🙂 Big thanks to our forest friends 😉
With the hikes of last weekend added we have so far loved hiking this many altitude meters this year 🙂