Gornja Klada – Zavizan: 5h
Gornja Klada (350m) is small village just above the Adriatic road, 10km south of Sveti Juraj and 25km from Senj. It is accessible by car, turn towards Velebit at ‘Gornja Klada’ sign. Some kilometer up the narrow asphalted road you reach last houses where you can leave the car. This is tough and long ascent with significant altitude difference. Route has nice views towards the sea. While you gain altitude changes in climate and scenery are quite noticeable, from Mediterranean to sub alpine.
From the end of asphalt marks will take you between two houses and left, uphill in sharp bends over a rocky terrain. In some 20 minutes path flattens and you descent on large plateau, crossing over a dry creek bed. Here it turns right and heads towards the end corner bellow the higher hills. Ascent begins again as wide path winds up the slope of Bijondinovaca (681m). On top of this section is smaller plateau, altitude 650m. At its end ascent begins again, wide path gain altitude in many sharp bends with nice views towards Goli Otok island. Two hours from Klada you reach Babrovaca houses (900m). Vukusic family still two houses during the summer. Bellow them are terraces of small meadows, soil is good for potatoes.
5 minutes behind Babrovaca sign ‘Zavizan 2.5h’ will direct you towards left. Through the pines path begins to ascend steeply, in many bends. After 30 minutes there is nice view from rocks that stand out of forest. 15 minutes above are rocky meadows surrounded by beech and pine forest. In next 10 minutes of ascent through the beech forest you reach a small pass where paths Klada – Zavizan and Sica – Alan cross. Behind the crossing is nice Javorje meadow. Ascent continues through the beech forest till next terrace, Ciganski Docic meadows (15mins). Than another 10mins of ascent till Zive Vodice meadows (1280m), where are two open wells. After 20 more minutes of ascent you are on the edge of deeper meadow (1350m). Path turns right here and ascents steeply over the slope of Opaljenik (1473m). In little bit less than 30mins you reach the forest line and enter onto grassy slopes. Wide view opens towards the sea. In 10mins you are on a pass (1520m) on the edge of Kladsko Katuniste meadows. Zavizan hut comes into view. 15 more minutes to the hut over the grassy slopes.
When there is snow crampons are needed. Walking sticks would mostly do, ice ax only if you are going to climb some steep rocky peaks. When there is no snow your regular equipment.
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