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Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Kamiske Alpe (Alps of Kamnik), Slovenia, Europe

Lat/Lon: 46.35821°N / 14.52272°E

Object Title: Kocna

Activities: Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Scrambling

Season: Summer, Fall

Elevation: 8333 ft / 2540 m


Page By: Vid Pogachnik

Created/Edited: Sep 26, 2003 / Aug 4, 2017

Object ID: 151907

Hits: 14658 

Page Score: 92.32%  - 38 Votes 

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Kocna (right) and Grintovec
Towards Jezersko resort Kočna sends a broad, more than 1500m high north slope

What's New On This Page?

> November 9th, 2014: First ascent chapter added.
> April 13th, 2013: SP V3 design updated.
> January 19th, 2005 - A major redesign.

The Name

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 Kamniške Alps (Alps of Kamnik), Grintovec, 2558 m and Kočna, 2540 m 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. Kočna - the woman is indeed a broad, rocky mountain with three almost equally high peaks: Jezerska Kočna (2540 m), Kokrska Kočna (2520 m) and Na Križu (2484 m). With Kočna the central part of Kamniške 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 Kočna 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) Čedca on the northern side of Kočna is 138 m high, but its water reservoirs are poor, so usually only a tiny water stream can be seen.

The ascent on Kočna 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.

Kočna 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 Kočna as a playground, is the home of famous Karničar family. Father was long time the master of Češka koča (hut) and all his children are good climbers and skiers. Davo Karničar is the first man who did the continuous ski descent from the summit of Everest to the base camp (in October, 2000). Also in Kočna Karničars did many first ascents and ski tours.

Kocna from the west, from Veliki JavornikKočna from the W
Beautiful winter day above...A winter scene
Kocna from south-west, across...Another portrait

First Ascents

Kocna from the S
Suhadolnik kingdom
Kočna was almost certainly first ascended by members of Suhadolnik farm, who also for centuries kept sheep on its eastern and southern slopes. It was also known that in 1861 cartographers were on top. The first tourist ascent was done in 1876 by the well known mountain explorer Johannes Frischauf from Graz. He systematically climbed all main summits in Kamnik & Savinja Alps, and Kočna was among the last ones he reached.

First, Frischauf wanted to find a tourist approach on Kočna from the north, from Jezersko. In 1875 he climbed with the local guide Mavc up by the valley of Povnova dolina. They reached Kokrska Kočna, but crossing to the highes peak was not possible. Even more, on the top they met Andrej Suhadolnik, who was looking for lost sheep. He guided them by chamois passages and over a more flat part, called Plesme, down to Suhadolnik farm. Now Frischauf knew whom to ask to guide him on the highest point.

In 1876 Frischauf made the second attempt. He was guided by Primož Suhadolnik. They used the shepherds passage to Dolci, then they climbed to broad screes and through a steep ravine and summit rocks on Kokrska Kočna. Then they continued climbing by the ridge on the highest point - Jezerska Kočna. On the descent Primoz was guiding Frischauf on the NW ridge and then down to the small scree field Na Plazeh (today called Srce). Frischauf was only admiring Suhadolnik how easily he was climbing down over a difficult terrain, even lighting his pipe, not stopping to walk.

Source: Vladimir Habjan, Planinski vestnik, 2013, pages 28-29.

Portraits of Kocna

Almost from all sides Kočna looks like a broad, powerful massif. On the following pictures you can also see details, described later on ascents.

from the NW

from the N

from the NE

from the W


from the E

from the SW

from the S

from the SE

Getting There

Kamnik Alps Map
Kocna and Grintovec
Rising high above Suhadolnik farm
For the broader overview see the Kamnik 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, 901 m. From the main road you deter in Zgornja Kokra (village).

For the northern approaches you can drive either into Ravenska or Makekova Kočna (valleys).

Routes Overview

Kocna and its routes. Click on the map above to get a very detailed topo map (Kočna routes are yellow)!

Non-climbing Ascents

Under the  bellys  of Kocna s...
A detail below the SE ridge
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 koča) is quite remote from Kočna. 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 Kočna, named Dolci - Zgornji (Upper), Srednji (Middle), Spodnji (Lower) - you have two choices: the left one, by the bivouac and the summit of Kokrska Kočna, and the right one, over Dolška Škrbina. From Suhadolnik farm cca 5 hours. (On the detailed topo map routes: 2a, 2b and 3.)

On the Kremzar Route. Behind...
On Kremzar route
2. From the north. From Jezersko you first ascend Češka koča (the hut, 1543 m). From there over screes to Zgornje Ravni and westwards over Kremžar route (medium hard ferrata) on the notch in main ridge - Dolška škrbina, 2270 m. From there below Kočna's east ridge to the summit. From Jezersko cca 5 hours. (On the detailed topo map route 5.)

3. Direct south scramble. Bivouac in Kočna 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. (On the detailed topo map route 4.)

4. Veliki vrh. In the NW ridge of Kočna 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 Kočna. The ascent further by the ridge to the summit of Kočna requires climbing. (On the detailed topo map route 6.)

Climbing Ascents

The north face of Kocna from...
North face
SZ greben Kocne
NW ridge climb
1. NW ridge. Long and nice climb, which starts on Veliki vrh. UIAA III.

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).


Above 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 Čedca: topo, but today it is collapsed and extremely dangerous.

Alpinistic Ski Tours

1. East slopes. From Kočna 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, 1200 m.

3. Kremžar route. Where the summer Kremžar ferrata goes, Davo and Drejc Krničar skied down already in 1994.

Other Items of Interest

Cedca waterfall
Waterfall, blown by the wind
Slap Čedca (waterfall). In the northern face of Kočna there is a waterfall, high, but usually poor with water. With 130 m 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 250 m.

Red Tape

No limitations.

When To Climb

On the summit of Kocna with...
Too late and not appropriately equipped...
The best time is from July to October. In this region the most stable weather is from August to October. If you seek adventure, the mountain can be climbed also in winter.

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.

Click for Letališče Jožeta Pučnika Ljubljana, Slovenia Forecast


The Bivouac in the Kocna...
In Preddvor there is a decent hotel (Bor), also Jezersko is a well known tourist resort with some family hotels.

Mountain huts:

1. Češka koča na Spodnjih Ravneh, 1540 m. Reachable from Jezersko in 1 h 30 min.
2. Cojzova koča, 1793 m. Reachable from Suhadolnik farm in 2 h or from Dom v Kamniški Bistrici in 2 h 30 min.
3. On south ridge of Kočna, 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!

Miscellaneous Info

Summit panorama of Kozji vrh....
Kočna massif from across Kokra valley