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Perfect winter climbing conditions in Slovenian Alps

This winter brings almost unreal conditions to most of the Slovenian alpine walls and an increasing number of Slovenian alpinists found real climbing treasures in the hills!
 

Although Slovenian Alps are no more than 2864 m high, they have provided the traditional training ground for Slovenian alpinists aspiring to higher walls or even Himalayan expeditions. In snowy, clod winters the peaks become quite challenging, with long approaches, often marginal protection, loose rock and changeably snow/ice conditions. However, in the last decade or more, lack of real winter, and easier access to many other areas in the Alps, had led to big faces in Slovenia becoming deserted.  Sometimes there were more Slovenian alpinists climbing hard routes above Chamonix than could be found in their home country.

But this winter brings almost unreal conditions to most of the Slovenian alpine walls. In December it rained, right to the level of the summits. This guaranteed that, subsequently, snow and ice would stick to the steepest of walls. Once a period of high avalanche danger has passed, an increasing number of climbers found real climbing treasures in hills. Now many of the “most in” routes are climbed on an almost daily basis, and new routes are constantly being added. The walls are busier than whenever in “the old times”! Here is only small a selection of harder and more spectacular climbs achieved.
Back in December, before the arrival of the “perfect conditions” Marko Lukić and Andrej Grmovšek added another free dry-tool ascent to the north face of Raduha. They climbed the route DD, summer grade VI+, 185m at tricky M7. In last years they started with dry tooling existing routes in this small, fine, step wall, always in worst – “like Scottish” conditions and started something of a revolution, bringing Scottish mixed climbing techniques onto the steep walls of Slovenian mountains that form no ice smears. See more on this at: http://grmoclimb.net/?str=502&aid=33 .


At the end of December first of “perfect conditions” new climbs was put up by Urban Ažman and Jurij Hladnik, who added the route Kozmična kataklizma, V/5, M7, 500 m to the North face of Prisojnik. More: http://www.aoradovljica.com/controler.php?modul=reportaze&action=read&id=177.


On the 17th January Lukić and Grmovšek picked another fine plum of Slovenian winter Alps. Route Ledenka, VIII+, 95o, 550m in Štajerska Rinka was climbed in 1991, by legendary Franček Knez. Knez was the best, most productive and visionary Slovene alpine climber of ’80 and ‘90, and always ahead of time. His route Ledenka was ahead of its time to, and it received only one, aid ascent till this year. Knez led the hardest pitch trough rotten, loose overhangs in climbing shoes.  But this winter the rock was full of soft snow and Grmovsek decided for a slight variation, and use of “modern” drytooling. He suggested M8 grade for it. See more on this at: http://grmoclimb.net/?str=502&aid=34 .


Perfect conditions were found by Andrej Erceg and David Debeljak in classic Špik direct route V/AI5, M, 900 m, summer grade V+. Anyway that this long and aesthetic line was climbed in winter in a day already in 1971 it's really rear to see it in such conditions. Check more on this at: http://www.pdcrnuce.si/CAO/index.php?Id=2&sid=409&type=1&part=0 .


Few more interesting ascents were done last week of January in Štajerska Rinka. Marko Brdnik and Luka Ajnik made rare (and almost free) repeat of Huliganska route, summer grade V+,A2e, 350m (more: http://picasaweb.google.com/Marko.Brdnik/HuliganskaStajerskaRinka# )  and Lukić and Grmovšek did first mix free repeat of  Direct route (V/AI5+, M6+), 450m, summer grade VI-. See more on this at: http://grmoclimb.net/?str=502&aid=34.


So if you've ever thought about winter climbing in Slovenia, now is the right time for action (mountain faces or ice falls - almost all are in condition). Check the photos in the links and decide. It is possible to buy a useful climbing guide with excellent photos on http://www.sidarta.si/plezanje/zimski-vzponi.html, but it's written in Slovene.

 
 


just GrmO

2011-02-09
Triglav, impressive winter ascent

Luka Krajnc and Andrej Grmovsek carried out hard winter ascent up the North Face of Triglav (2864m) Sanjski Joža (VI/V,M7+, 1050m).
2010-09-20
How was it in Canada? WILD!

On the expedition to the Cirque of the Unclimbables Tanja and Andrej were fascinated by the sheer wilderness of Canadian North. They went trough real wilderness adventure with lot of good climbing, to much bush hiking and not enough scenic paddling!
2010-07-20
Via Sandro Pertini and Via Cattedrale

Luka Krajnc and Andrej Grmovšek finsihed short visit to the Dolomites with the first free ascent of Via Sandro Pertini, Cima Grande (7c, 250m) and free ascent of the magnificent Via Cattedrale (8a+ or 8a, 650m, 850m long), Marmolada.
2010-01-26
Perfect winter climbing conditions in Slovenian Alps

This winter brings almost unreal conditions to most of the Slovenian alpine walls and an increasing number of Slovenian alpinists found real climbing treasures in the hills!
2009-10-01
Are we afraid of sharks?

Famous and still unclimbed Meru Sharks Fin had turned away jet another climbing team. Beginners lessons for “old experts?” Silvo, Marko and Andrej.
2009-06-18
When everything goes well!

Andrej fight to the end ... and at the end did a one-day free ascent of route Donnafugata, 8a, 750m, Torre Trieste.
2009-05-29
Perfect Morocco

The expedition to Morocco was really great. We were enraptured with its diversity and hospitability of the local people. And especially with unbelievably amounts of reddish walls, one of the best limestone climbing cliffs we know!
2009-03-31
NO winter SIESTA

Amazing busy winter season for Andrej and Marko with some really good and well done routes around Alps like Illuminati and No Siesta! Great climbers on great routes and they don't have any siesta!

2008-09-07
Climbing in South Greenland

Really great climbing expedition, on which we found excelent rock, great weather, many long routes, good friends, beautiful nature and perfect timing.

2008-02-08
Free Mix Lines above Chamonix

Good winter season above Chamonix during which Andrej and Marko were looking for good and chalenging mix routes.


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Oblikovanje in izvedba: Branko Ivanek, 2005  © [grmoclimb.net] Tanja & Andrej Grmovšek, 2005 - 2014