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

In winter, nonetheless, there’s a sense of contented isolation. As typically as not, from late-autumn till mid-spring the pastures, particularly the upper ones, are uninhabited and inaccessible by automotive, and may 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 supply excellent winter climbing targets 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 beautiful in wintertime and secure to get pleasure from too.

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Planina Konjščica, 1,440 m

As many nice treks within the Julian Alps, amongst them additionally the most scenic tour to Triglav, this one too begins from Rudno Polje, a sports activities heart at 1,350 m principally centered on Nordic snowboarding and biathlon. About an hour into the trek by means of the tall fir forest, I left the principle path in the direction of Triglav and adopted the signal for dairy goodies pointing downwards in the 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 lovely 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 aspect, 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 slightly modest peak on the basic strategy to Viševnik, towered above the japanese aspect of the pasture. 

No indicators of different individuals confirmed within the contemporary 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 means from the snowy mountains in the direction of the valley. The pasture seemed so idyllic, distant and wild when coated with a thick blanket of snow. The exact opposite of the summer time when it’s often bursting with life.

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

Uskovnica, 1,130 m

The path from Planina Konjščica to Uskovnica adopted the Ribnica stream, weaving by means of a fluffy white panorama between snow-capped rocks and white fir timber. 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 typical 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 once a spot for dairy farming in summer time. Within the nineteenth century it additionally turned a resting level on the way in which to Triglav, whereas within the twentieth century Alpine tourism began to develop, which continues even right this moment.

As a lot because it was lovely, I didn’t dally lengthy earlier than heading in the 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 contemporary snow had been my want for fairly a while. 

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Zajamniki, 1,280 m

A lot smaller than Uskovnica, it’s one of the crucial 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 seemed by means of its glowing branches because the solar slowly sank behind the horizon. The snowy slopes misplaced its spark for a second and it appeared like every little thing got here to a standstill. Some ten minutes later the clouds immediately exploded in pink and orange, reflecting its fantastic colours onto the pasture and the mountains round.

How I received again to the automotive 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 contemporary 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 chatting to my canine, considering of the well-known Pokljuka wolves, and comforting myself that it was really higher to easily benefit from the hike blissfully ignorant, seeing solely the couple ten meters inside the head torch vary. Towards all odds, I survived.

All joking apart, I really cherished each second of the hike and wouldn’t have finished it in another means!

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