Piton Climbing in Slowenia

Piton Climbing in Slowenia

Climbing week 06.-13.08.2022

Matija has long wanted to bring club members to his home mountain range, the Julian Alps in Slovenia, enticing us with promises of huge walls, lonely valleys, adventurous climbing, and perfect rock. Well, maybe not the last one. The relative looseness of the limestone in Slovenia means that pitons are one of the primary forms of climbing protection, so along with exploring a new place we had the opportunity to learn (or perfect) the art of placing these strange pieces of metal. 

Slovenian culture has a “mi casa es tu casa” vibe, and Matija duly borrowed a beautiful cabin high up in the Soča Valley as our basecamp for the week. AACZ candidates and members trickled in for the first few days, and by Monday the full squad of seven eager climbers was assembled and ready to explore.

Over the first few days we climbed smaller routes, some even a bit bolted (much to Matija’s dismay), and adjusted to the rock and style of the Julian Alps. Thursday appeared to be our last, and best, good weather day of the trip, so we split into three teams, each with three objectives designed to push (but hopefully not exceed) our limits. 

Yoann and Jenny chose Smer Likar-Markič on Zapatoški vrh, a wild wall way up a side valley of the Soča, Tim and Clara picked the Centralni steber of Veliko Špiče, an imposing tower accessible via a long approach straight from the cabin, while Ven and Ulla selected the Bavarska smer on the biggest prize of them all, the nordwand of Triglav.

The details of each climb can be left to the imagination, but Tim and Clara returned first at 8pm after a 15 hour day. Jenny and Yoann arrived later at 11:30pm having barely escaped the mountain before darkness, and Ven and Ulla, instead of walking through the night, opted to stay at a hut near the summit of Triglav. Needless to say Friday was a rest day with plenty of sleeping, ice cream, and exchanging of stories.

Thank you again to Matija for giving us this wonderful experience in your home country – I think all of us would be excited to go again.