This time we will visit the west part of the Košuta ridge on Slovene-Austrian border. Its far west summit is called Veliki Vrh and is the most popular hiking destination on the whole Košuta ridge. The path between Veliki Vrh and the slightly less visited Mt. Kladivo is a real treat. The view is spectacular and there are lots of opportunities for a comfortable rest in the grass. On our way we visit two amazing alpine meadows: Kofce and Šija. There are 'active' pasture huts on both off them and they offer simple but tasty local food throughout the whole year.
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From the main road 'Tržič – Ljubelj Pass' turn to the right in Podljubelj village and follow the signposts for Kofce. Leave your vehicle by Matizovec farm. The road ends here and it gets very crowded on sunny weekends.
Go straight on a dirt road from Matizovec farm and follow the signposts. The path gradually ascends through the forest and in about an hour you arrive to the cute Kofce alpine meadow. The forest ends here and views in all directions begin to open. 'Dom Na Kofcah' hut and a charming pasture hut offer food and refreshments. Proceed across a meadow straight towards the grassy ridge. Soon you come to a cross and the marked path splits shortly after it. Pick the left path towards Veliki Vrh (the right one rises to 'Kofce Gora' on a narrow ridge and you could also continue towards Veliki Vrh from there or turn right towards Kladivo). A wide path begins crossing the slope to the left. You have to overcome a short steep and a bit exposed passage on the way; there are some steel cables to help you. Ascend to the ridge and go along it towards west to the summit of Veliki Vrh. A view on Julian Alps and the west part of Karavanke chain (Begunjščica, Vrtača, Stol,…) finally opens from here.
The view on the Košuta ridge is fantastic as well and practically invites us to go on towards Kladivo. Descend back to the place where you came to the ridge and carry on along it eastwards. Cross the summits of 'Kofce Gora' and 'Malo Kladivo' on a narrow grassy path (you could also return back to Kofce meadow from Kofce Gora on a marked path across a narrow ridge). One path goes below 'Malo Kladivo', but it is worth ascending a few more meters for an incredible view on Kladivo itself. Descend to the saddle between Malo Kladivo and Kladivo. There are just a few steps to the highest point of the trip. The view on the meadows that stretch at the foothill of Košuta and on Kamnik-Savinja Alps is phenomenal.
Descent: Go back to the saddle between Kladivo and Malo Kladivo, where an unmarked footpath branches off southwards. At first the path is poorly visible but later you can follow it without problems. Descend towards Šija alpine meadow across steep grassy slopes, keep right and you will reach the pasture hut. Sausages, sour milk, an amazing view and more are on the 'menu'. Proceed on a dirt road towards south-west to Kofce meadow and from there go back to the starting point down the path of your ascent.
Veliki vrh: 2086 m
Kladivo: 2094 m
Matizovec farm – Kofce meadow: 1 h
Kofce meadow – Veliki vrh: 1.30 h
Veliki vrh - Kladivo: 1.30 h
Kladivo – Kofce meadow: 1.30 h
Kofce meadow - Matizovec farm: 45 min
Total: 6 h
2 - The route is technically easy most of the time. There is a short section when ascending to Veliki Vrh, where there are some steel cables, but nothing too hard. The path between Veliki Vrh and Kladivo is narrow and runs across more or less steep grassy slopes, which can be troublesome when wet. A few meters below the summit of Kladivo are quite steep. More caution is needed during the descent from Kladivo to Šija meadow when the ground is wet.
Type of path:
The descent from Kladivo to Šija meadow is unmarked, but well traced and there should be no problems with orientation. Other parts of the route are marked.