Triglav is Slovenia’s national symbol and pride, which we carry in our hearts as well as on our flag. Its pyramid-shape summit rises above central Julian Alps and is clearly visible from far and near. As the highest mountain, it has stirred the imagination of explorers, hikers and climbers already in the 18th century, when it was first conquered by four brave men from Bohinj. After that Slovenian and German mountaineering societies practically competed in the number of marked and climbed routes. Nowadays, challenges in its huge north wall are left for the best climbers, and the ascent to the summit is a wish for most Slovenians and an increasing number of tourists as well. But there is no easy way to the top...
It is not perfectly clear where the name 'Triglav' (= Three Heads) came from. No matter from which side you look at it, its shape only has two 'heads', so it is more likely that it got its name after an old Slavic goddess.
Climbers and explorers began to tackle it in the second half of the 18th century, and in 1778 it was conquered successfully by four men from Bohinj: Luka Korošec, Matevž Kos, Štefan Rožič and Lovrenc Willomitzer. In Ribčev Lay near Lake Bohinj you can see a statue in their honor where they are hugged together pointing towards Triglav, which can be seen in the distance. On the opposite side of the mountain, in Dovje village, someone else points to Triglav as well. Here stands a memorial of a priest Jakob Aljaž, a great mountain-lover, who bought the Triglav summit itself (a few square meters) from the Dovje county at the end of the 19th century and built the Aljaž tower, which still stands on the top of Triglav today. The tower used to serve as a shelter, but these days it is a 'baptistery' for everyone who ascend to the top of Slovenia for the first time, and receive 3 symbolic strikes on their bottom for good luck.
The ascend to Triglav is no joke. No matter which starting point you choose, the route will be long and in the upper part very exposed, full of stemples and steel cables. Just below the summit there are 4 mountain huts (Triglavski dom na Kredarici, Dom Valentina Staniča, Dom Planika and Koča na Doliču). Paths that lead up to them from various start points (except from Vrata valley) are mostly technically simple whereas the upper part demands more mountaineering experience and a careful step. Despite the difficulty of the ascent, Triglav is a very popular summit in all seasons. Between June and September there is usually no snow, but during other months complete winter equipment is necessary for the ascent and relevant experience and/or a guide. The toughest climbs are, of course, in the domain of climbers, who seek challenges in its demanding north wall. There are quite a few routes of different difficulties in it. In the company of a guide some of these routes are managable also for 'normal people', but the toughest routes are reserved only for professional alpinists.
If mountaineering is not your sport but you would still like to feel the glory of Triglav, drive to Vrata valley. Just a few-minute walk will offer a wonderful view of the magnificent Triglav North wall.
Triglav is the center of the spectacular Triglav National Park, which occupies the area between Bled, Kranjska Gora, Bovec, Kobarid, Tolmin and Bohinj. This fantastic natural treasure offers infinite possibilities for activities in nature and is a major magnet for all seekers of mountain adventures, hidden gorges, crystal clear streams and rivers, vivid waterfalls and tranquil spots in fresh air. Take a look at the park's official website for more information about Triglav National Park.
Note: The duration and difficulty of the trip relate to the ascent to the summit of Triglav.