Our highest mountain, a national symbol, every 'true' Slovenian is supposed to stand on its summit at least once. Mt. Triglav is undoubtedly the best-known and most visited Slovene mountain. But despite the popularity, ascending to its summit is not for anyone!. Do not be too reckless! The described trip begins and ends in Vrata – a charming valley, which 'crashes' into the majestic Triglav North Face at its end. Our trip will actually 'surround' the Triglav North Face - we will ascend along its right side along the toughest secured climbing route (via ferrata) that leads to Triglav, and descend on its left side along the classic route past Kredarica hut and 'Čez Prag' back to Vrata valley. A true mountain experience for experienced mountaineers!
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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.
From the parking lot in Vrata go straight to 'Aljažev Dom' hut and proceed from there on a wide path towards Luknja (signposted). Before long you come to a huge rung (a memorial to all mountain victims) and walk straight on the left bank of a stream towards Luknja saddle, which you can see on the right edge of Triglav North Face. The mighty Face is in front of you at all times and a view on Vrata Valley behind you gets more and more beautiful with every step you take. When you reach Luknja saddle, the 'real deal' starts.
The path across Plemenice (called also Bamberg's path) is the most difficult secured path (via ferrata) to Triglav. It turns left, steeply uphill. From the start there are a few almost vertical and very exposed passages, which are well protected with steel cables. Once you get higher you still move across steep terrain, which is not so difficult but there are only a few stemples for security and a 'sure step' is needed! The view mostly goes to the Trenta side, but every now and then you come completely to the ridge and peek down into Vrata valley and take a closer look at the Triglav North Face. Some exposed parts (not tougher than the first climbing part) have to be overcome on the way. Once you ascend to Sfinga (the steepest section of the Triglav North Face and a challenge for the best alpinists – you will spot it on your left), the path flattens out and leads you to the west Triglav plateau across a karstic terrain. Here you join with the path that ascends to Triglav from Dolič hut. Turn left at a signpost and take on the steep rocks again. The first part is exposed but well secured. Make your way on a narrow path through a crumbling gully, at the top of which the path from Planika hut connects to yours. Signposts on a rock direct you to the left and proceed climbing with the help of iron pegs (or stemples). The terrain is not that tough anymore and shortly you reach the summit.
Descent: Descend eastwards on a narrow ridge in the direction of Mali (= Small) Triglav. The path is well secured (steel cables), but the terrain falls vertically on both sides. Definitely not for people with vertigo. Descend carefully to Mali Triglav. The path splits behind it. Choose the left path, which descends steeply towards Kredarica hut. In my opinion this is the toughest section of the descent, especially due to the slippery rocks. Once at Kredarice hut, turn left along an initially gently sloping path southwards. It goes along an extremely unusual karstic terrain past the remains of Triglav glacier and takes you below the vertical wall of Begunjski Vrh summit. From here on there are two paths back to Vrata valley: 'Tominškova' and 'Čez Prag'. For descending I recommend the path 'Čez Prag'. The only 'problem' on this path is a 15 meter vertical wall across which you have to descend. The wall is full of stemples and footholds are carved into the wall too. Otherwise this path is relatively easy and there are only a few more stemples in the lower section. A helmet is advisable since stones fall down quite often. The path leads you to a stream and continues along it back to 'Aljažev Dom' hut.
Triglav: 2864 m
Vrata valley - Luknja saddle: 2 h
Luknja saddle - Triglav: 4.30 h
Triglav - Kredarica hut: 1.15 h
Kredarica hut - Vrata saddle: 3.30 h
Total: 11 h
5 - The path across Plemenice is the toughest secured climbing route (via ferrata) to Triglav. The starting section above Luknja saddle is the most difficult. It is very exposed but well secured. A via-ferrata safety set comes in handy in this part. Later you move on steep terrain with very few iron pegs (stemples) or none at all. The route includes some sections which only skilled mountaineers will enjoy. Descending from Triglav summit towards Kredarica is very exposed as well; it mostly runs on a narrow ridge and the rocks are slippery due to Triglav's popularity. The path is excellently secured. One more obstacle awaits you on the way from Kredarica towards Vrata valley (Čez Prag): a 15 m high vertical wall across which you have to descend. The whole route is suitable only for experienced mountaineers! Leave vertigo at home...
Type of path: Marked path