If Triglav is ‘the king’, then Škrlatica is ‘the queen’. The second highest Slovene mountain ‘reigns’ north above the Vrata valley and it constantly flirts with the Triglav north wall, which glows on the opposite side. The ascent to Škrlatica is long and there are no huts along the way, so it is not quite as popular as other champions of the Julian Alps. A short and extremely exposed section ‘spices up’ the otherwise undemanding ascent. During the descent, you can make an interesting detour across Dolkova Špica. Do I have to mention how amazing the view is?
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Vrata Valley. On the main road 'Jesenice – Kranjska Gora' a signpost guides you to the left towards Mojstrana. Follow the signposts for Vrata and carry on from Mojstrana for about 10 km to a large parking lot in front of 'Aljažev Dom' hut at the end of the road.
Continue on the road to ‘Aljažev Dom’ hut from the parking lot. You will spot signposts for Škrlatica and Križ a little bit before the hut on the right side at the end of a meadow. The path leads you into a forest and starts to ascend gradually. Simply follow the markings, which, a little bit higher, lead you to a ‘valley’ between Dolkova Glava and Stenar. When a small gravel valley opens behind Stenar (leading towards Stenarska Vratca), pay attention to the markings. The path turns to the right here and ascends steeply towards Dolkova Špica.
Soon, you reach flatter ground called ‘Na rušju’, where the paths split again: Škrlatica is to the right and Križ to the left. Turn right, wind around Dolkova Špica and finally take in the first sight of Škrlatica, which is still quite high above you. A wonderful view on the spectacular Triglav north wall opens behind you.
After a while, you come under a nasty scree slope, where the marked path turns slightly to the left. Pay attention to the markings, since the path nicely avoids a major part of the scree slope. Soon, you come to the next split: Dolkova Špica is to the left and Škrlatica to the right. Of course, you go right, cross the scree slope and start to ascend steep up the Škrlatica wall. The marked path leads you nicely across the easiest passages and takes you to the first steel cables. After a brief descent, the most difficult section starts. At first, you ascend steep up the narrow passage and then cross a smooth and very exposed rock. There steel cables and lots of iron pegs for security, but still be very very careful!
In the upper section, there are no more passages as difficult as this one. However, you have to cling on to the rock from time to time and pay attention to the markings because the path is not very clearly visible and it is quite easy to wander onto a difficult terrain. On the Škrlatica summit, there is a big cross and an amazing view, which you came for :)
Return back the same way to the scree-slope below Škrlatica. If you wish, you can ascend up to Dolkova Špica as well. The path ascends to the right towards the ‘Red saddle’, which is already visible in front of you. Just below it, the path is very steep and crumbling. Careful! Once you come to the top of the ‘Red saddle’, follow the ridge to the left. The path is not marked here, but finding the passages is not a problem with the help of little rock ‘pillars’. The summit of Dolkova Špica is marked with an entry book. This summit is extremely panoramic too.
Go back to the top of the ‘Red saddle’, turn left and descend across the scree-slope towards Križ. The narrow path winds underneath the rocky Gubno summit and takes you towards Stenar (which is ahead of you the whole time) across a peculiar Karst terrain. When the path merges with the ‘Vrata - Križ (or Pogačnik hut on Kriški Podi)’ path, turn left. The marked path leads you to the split, where you have stood a couple of hours ago. Return back the same way to Vrata valley.
Škrlatica: 2740 m
Dolkova špica: 2591 m
'Aljažev Dom' hut (Vrata valley) - Škrlatica: 6 h
Škrlatica - Dolkova špica: 1.30 h
Dolkova špica - 'Aljažev Dom' hut (Vrata valley): 3.30 h
Total: 11 h
5 - Most of the path to Škrlatica is not difficult, but there is a quite ‘interesting’ section in the upper part. You have to climb over a very smooth exposed rock that has a lot of ‘iron’ in it. If you are not 100% confident, a via-ferrata safety kit will be useful here. In the upper part also pay attention to the markings, otherwise you can easily find yourself on difficult terrain. If you have chosen the ‘detour’ across Dolkova Špica: the ascent across the ‘Red saddle’ is very crumbly.
Type of path:
Marked - Only the ascent along the ridge to Dolkova Špica summit is unmarked. Stone 'pillars' will help you.