The highest point of Slovenia and a national symbol
Date: 15 and 16. 9. 2019
Starting point: Vrata valley – Aljaž hut – 1015m
Highest point: Triglav – 2864m
Altitude difference: 1850m
Ascent via Tominškova trail.
Descent via Prag.
Spent the night at Kredarica hut.
Climbing Mount Triglav is a tradition in Slovenia. It is almost like a duty of every citizen in Slovenia to climb it. Especially in the last years, when hiking is getting highly popular amongst everyone, our three-headed national symbol is getting lots and lots of visitors from near and far. I was hoping to avoid the crowds in the month of September, but that plan didn’t quite work out. We picked two days of perfect weather after a period of rainy ones and as suspected, we were not the only ones.
We chose the Tominškova trail, that leads from Vrata valley. It is considered the most difficult of the ways to get to Triglav, but it is also a very interesting one. The official rating of it is a difficult secured trail. I enjoy steeper routes that include climbing, much more than the normal hiking ones. Sunny kid even more. The more vertical, the better.
We drove up to the Vrata valley and started walking in a complete fog. The phone screen showing us a live camera from Kredarica hut sparkling in the sun was a motivation enough to hurry up. Up through the clouds. Walking through the forest on the start of the Tominskova trail is crazy steep and it seemed neverending.
Finally, after an hour and a half, the clouds gave up. The blue sky opened up above us and we were rewarded with beautiful views of the surrounding peaks. The sea of clouds below seemed like magic. The hike amongst drizzling trees immediately forgotten.
We were at the beginning of the secured part of the trail. Climbing with the help of steel cables and pitons led us higher and higher. Triglav’s majestic North wall showing off right in front of us. It certainly is a breathtaking view. The clouds below, shimmering like a lake amongst the rocky giants around the Vrata valley. Unforgettable moments.
The trail is not difficult. It is exposed on a few parts but otherwise, it is a beautiful way up to Kredarica, with really amazing views. I would recommend wearing a helmet and self belaying systems if you do not feel comfortable with such heights. Or even better if you are inexperienced, there are other, easier paths leading towards Triglav for less climbing enthusiastic hikers. Check out the trail from Krma valley or from Pokljuka plateau.
We advanced in a good rhythm and the secured part flew by, while we were so focused on walking, holding on and stopping to immerse in the beauty surrounding us. We reached the spot where Tominškova trail meets the other way from Vrata valley – Čez Prag. Another ascent, crossing rocks and scree and we were on Triglav plateau. Sun was scorching. We were early. We logically concluded that a long lunch break in the shade of the rocks would be on point. It was. And the views heavenly.
The next part took us to Kredarica hut. Sunny kid took the lead and was guiding us amongst rocks, over huge blocks, and around deep holes. I couldn’t stop taking photos. The background was like an imaginary painting. Alive.
Reaching Kredarica hut. One look at the ridge above us told us that we were not the only one who saw the amazing weather report and took Monday off.. 😉 There were literally lines all the way from Kredarica hut to the top and back.
A few deep breaths (I hate crowds) and an inner acceptance that this is how it is on Triglav. It is almost always crowded in the summer and fall season when the weather is good. I knew that. We decided to come up here anyway. I promised Triglav to my kiddo when she was five. So. Forget the crowds, wish everyone a safe climb and enjoy the mountains. I played this little self pep talk in my head a few times before we reached the hut. It helped. Also the promise of chocolate pancakes and coffee.
The only thing we could do to avoid the lines was to wait a bit. So we did. We started when all the big groups returned to the hut. At about 16:30 we started walking the so-called pilgrimage route of Slovenian people.
Leaving Kredarica hut, the first pegs emerge soon and with their help, we start ascending towards Little Triglav. Steel cables and self belaying systems are keeping us safe while climbing and enjoying amazing views. It is, of course, possible to climb up without the systems, like in the past, we have always done it without, even my grandmother years ago. But since I started taking my kiddo to difficult secured trails, I started using the self belaying systems. First of all, because of her. Cause, while she is experienced and cautious, a little slip on the rocks could end badly. And being a good role model now, I need to use a self-belay system too. There is no reason to not actually. Helmet is a must in any case.
It was such a great timing. Evening cold was still far enough, but the light was already superb, the sun low on horizon. Sunny kid was strong and happy in front. She has shown remarkable strength and determination again. Her goal firmly set. Triglav. That meant 1850 meters of ascend in one day. Little mountaineer walked and climbed with utter focus and positivity.
We started descending about half an hour before the sunset, to avoid climbing the difficult parts in the dark. Although tired, we flew down on the wings of a majestic sunset setting. The colors were breathtaking and the sky and peaks on fire. We arrived at the hut just after the dark has settled in. Tired. And extremely happy.
Sunny kid fell asleep before even climbing into her sleeping bag. I think I managed to get under the blankets before dozing off too.
We couldn’t resist seeing the sunrise in the morning. It would be cozy to stay in the warm bed, but the sights were calling us out. And it certainly was a sunrise to see.
All that was left to do, was to drink coffee, eat good breakfast and descend to the Vrata valley. It was a long and steep descent via a secured trail Prag. Sunny kid was hurrying us along, although her tired feet seemed to be tangling up towards the end. She was determined though, to catch her afternoon swimming training.
You know, Sunny kid got her Sunny nickname when we were trekking in Nepal in 2016. Before that, I used to call her Little fish. Cause she is one. Water was her environment since she was born. It was her first love for sure. Little fish. Well, she says she is a hybrid now. Of a fish and chamois 😉 As of this September she started training swimming in a young kids’ selection. And no surprise, she was told that she has very strong legs… Hehehe, she might yes.
We got to the valley early enough, had some time to eat and hurried to Ljubljana. Wow, what great two days it has been.
Go adventure together!!!! Kids are capable of ANYTHING!!!