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General remark: When reading Slovenian words on maps or in books, you will find special characters for ch, sh, and zh. They are written with c, s and z with a caron - little v above them. Kočna is pronounced as Kotchna.
It is interesting that the word Kočna is originally used for valleys, which lie on the northern side of the mountain. Makekova and Ravenska Kočna are near Jezersko, while Belska Kočna is further to the east.
Otherwise the name stems from a romanic word, meaning "red". In Rhaetian Alps there are also some summits, named "cotschens", "cotschna". In latin "coccinus" means "scarlet", red colour. And indeed, also our mountain is characterised by a brittle red rock, mixed into grey limestone.
Kocna Gets Presented
The highest two mountains of Kamniske Alps (Alps of Kamnik), Grintovec, 2558m and Kocna, 2540m are an interesting pair. Many say, a typical pair of peasants from Kranjska district: a broad, well fed woman and a tiny, just a little bit taller man. Kocna - the woman is indeed a broad, rocky mountain with three almost equally high peaks: Jezerska Kocna (2540m), Kokrska Kocna (2520m) and Na Krizu (2484m). With Kocna the central part of Kamniske Alpe start. It rises high above the river Kokra valley and on east side it passes hand to the neighbouring Grintovec. From all sides the mountain fascinates with its massiveness. Besides the three highest peaks the Kocna massif has also many lower ones, either on main ridges (NW, NE) or in a broad north face. An interesting phenomenon is also the highest waterfall of Slovenia. Slap (=waterfall) Cedca on the northern side of Kocna is 138m high, but its water reservoirs are poor, so usually only a tiny water stream can be seen.
The ascent on Kocna is high from all sides. Kokra valley on its foothills is 2000 meters below! On the northern side, on a terrace above Kokra valley, Jezersko tourist resort lies but is still only around 1000 meters above the sea level.
Kocna is primarily a mountaineering mountain. As it lacks solid rock walls it is not so popular for climbing. On the other hand it is steep and rocky enough to offer demanding hiking routes. As no easy route exists, all of them are secured artificially. Kocna is also not a typical skiing mountain. The upper part is very demanding for skiing although a descent can be done from just below the summit.
Jezersko resort, and Kocna as a playground, is the home of famous Karnicar family. Father was long time the master of Ceska koca (hut) and all his children are good climbers and skiers. Davo Karnicar is the first man who did the continuous ski descent from the summit of Everest to the base camp (in October, 2000). Also in Kocna Karnicars did many first ascents and ski tours.
Portraits of KocnaAlmost from all sides Kocna looks like a broad, powerful massif. On the following pictures you can also see details, described later on ascents.
Getting ThereKamnik Alps group page!
Kocna foothills is easily accesible from the main road Ljubljana - Kranj - Jezersko - Austrian border (Seeberg Sattel). From this road you can choose either the south approach or the northern approach from Jezersko resort.
For the south approach you can drive by car to Suhadolnik farm, 901m. From the main road you deter in Zgornja Kokra (village).
For the northern approaches you can drive either into Ravenska or Makekova kocna (valleys).
Kocna and its routes
1. From the south-east. This ascent is long, with a big heigth difference (from 900 m to 2540 m) and also the hut (Cojzova koca) is quite remote from Kocna. You can shorten the route not going to the hut, but then this becomes a long one day hike. From the valley between Grintovec and Kocna, named Dolci - Zgornji (Upper), Srednji (Middle), Spodnji (Lower) - you have two choices: the left one, by the bivouac and the summit of Kokrska Kocna, and the right one, over Dolska Skrbina. From Suhadolnik farm cca 5 hours.
2. From the north. From Jezersko you first ascend Ceska koca (the hut, 1543m). From there over screes to Zgornje Ravni and westwards over Kremzar route (medium hard ferrata) on the notch in main ridge - Dolska skrbina, 2270m. From there below Kocna's east ridge to the summit. From Jezersko cca 5 hours.
3. Direct south scramble. Bivouac in Kocna can also be ascended directly from Suhi dol (on the map: black dotted). No path, only weak trails on some places, also details of easy climbing. On the upper part a medium hard ferrata.
4. Veliki vrh. In the NW ridge of Kocna the summit of Veliki vrh can also be ascended by a marked route. This is a nice short tour, which brings us higher on the slopes of Kocna. The ascent further by the ridge to the summit of Kocna requires climbing.
In Oltarji, the summit in the NW ridge climbers also did a few short, harder climbs.
2. SW ridge. A long, pathless scrable, with sections of climbing up to UIAA II degree. very rarely done. The ascent starts in Suhi dol, by crossing you reach Na Plazeh basin (also called Srce), then climb up on the SW ridge. Mala vrata is a small rock summit where the route is hardest, then you continue by the ridge on top (Na Križu).
WaterfallsAbove Jezersko and Kokra valley there are more than 10 waterfalls, which in winter offer good ice-climbing opportunities. The highest and quite challenging was once Cedca: topo, but today it is collapsed and extremely dangerous.
Alpinistic Ski Tours
1. East slopes. From Kocna there is no normal, easy ski tour. Skiing is possible towards the East, into Dolci valley (on the upper part hard, sections are S4), but once being in Dolci, it's extremely hard to find a passage down to Suhi dol.
2. Povnova dolina. This is a very hard alpinistic ski descent, especially exposed on the lower part and on the very top. IV, sections are S5, 1200m.
3. Kremžar route. Where the summer Kremžar ferrata goes, Davo and Drejc Krničar skied down already in 1994.
Other Items of InterestIn the northern face of Kocna there is a waterfall, high, but usually poor with water. With 130m it is the highest in Slovenia, but is worth visiting more or less only in times of melting snow or after heavy rain. The link to its web page is here.
That used to be once... But in June 2008 a series of landslides happend and today Čedca is no more the highest waterfall in Slovenia. On the Slovenian mountaineering organisation web page it was also written that "all the past ice climbs will stay only a nice memory..."
Sledge piste. On the forrest road on northern slopes of Veliki vrh in winter Jezersko tourist club usually arranges a nice sledge piste. Its altitude difference is some 250m.
Red TapeNo limitations.
When To Climb
On the summit of Kocna take care of lightning. Red rocks indicate quantities of iron, which is very dangerous in bad weather.
Weather: see here.
1. Ceska koca na Spodnjih Ravneh, 1540m. Reachable from Jezersko in 1h 30min.
2. Cojzova koca, 1793m. Reachable from Suhadolnik farm in 2h or from Dom v Kamniski Bistrici in 2h 30min.
3. On south ridge of Kocna, on the altitude of 1952 m also a bivouac stands (the propriety of Mountaineering club Kranj). It has 8 beds and is allways opened.
The two huts and bivouac are enough to cover this mountain, there are no camping places close by. If you are travelling around these mountains you can be sure that sleeping in wilderness is very safe here. There are no dangerous wild animals and also people are friendly. But take care of nature!