The mountain belongs to Jof Fuart / Viš group. It rises in the ridge, dividing the before mentioned two valleys, being actually the last one, before the ridge comes down to the confluence of the two creeks. On the SSW the Sella delle Cave, 1334 m, is dividing Monte Re from other, higher mountains of the group. Over this pass a path connects the two valleys. Actually all the slopes of the mountain are steep, also rocky, and covered with dense woods and on top with pine bush. Just the last meters are grassy, allowing the famous panorama.
Andrej Mašera writes in his guidebook: "The legend says that the name of the mountain comes from the Langobards' king Alboin, who was supposed to ascend the mountain in the year 568, to have a view on Furlania plane. That is highly unlikely, because the plane can not be seen from the top and the ascent is too steep and tiresome for a king. Still, the legend is here and on the top of mountain we don't have the usual cross or ciarn but a nice crown."
In German language the mountain is called Koenigsberg.
One interesting feature of this mine is also a 5 kilometers long tunnel, connecting the mine and the valley of Koritnica on the Slovenian side of the border. The tunnel starts 240 meters below the level of the town and comes out on the other side in Log. In the past, waste waters were drained by the tunnel into Koritnica and further into Soča rivers and through the tunnel also workers from the Slovenian side were daily going on the job by a railroad. The tunnel was also of a great importance during the World War I and to a lesser degree in the World War II (partisans made a diversion in it, the consequence of which was that Germans killed all men in Strmec village). Today, there are plans to arrange the tunnel for tourist visits (thus establishing the deepest underground border crossing in the world), currently only the safety has still been the issue.
The geology of Monte Re is quite complex. Hiking on its top you will encounter mostly limestone (Trias period - the so-called Schlern Dolomit), which is covering the upper parts. But in the mountain there are intrusions of various minerals, from the volcanic Riofreddo intrusion to several others, resulting at the end in the masses, containing a lot of zinc and lead.
On the western side there are the high slopes of Cima del Cacciatore / Kamniti Lovec, towards the north the view is quite open to the lower hills above Tarvisio/Trbiž cauldron, and further to the Austrian mountains. The next important chapter is the eastern part of panorama. From Monte Re we are seeing the group of Mangart and Jalovec from a different perspective. Its wild northern part looks like a real chaos of limestone, because we don't see the valleys, going parallelly towards the main crest. The southern part of the group shows giant summits of the group - all like on a parade: Mangart, Jalovec, Pelc, Loška Stena. Right of this group we can also see a part of Krn group and more towards the right a part of Kanin/Canin group. A special attraction of Monte Re panorama is the view on Lago del Predil / Rabeljsko jezero, just south of our mountain.
Other Interesting Features Nearby
> Lago del Predil / Rabeljsko jezero. Beautiful glacial lake with crystal clear water and a nice island, 1500 meters south of the town. Some hikers do a walk around the lake (3 hours 30 minutes), which is 1300 meters long and 500 meters wide.
> Rio delle Cascate Waterfall. On the southern side of Cave del Predel you go eastwards by the creek to a nice waterfall (10 minutes).
> The mine and its features.
The Lake LegendLago del Predil / Rabeljsko jezero lives with a legend which was recorded by a Slovenian poet Simon Gregorčič: On the place, where today you see a big lake, once there was a beautiful and fertile valley. So, it was densely populated by people, but they were known as being very cold and hostile. In one dark and cold winter night, when all the inhabitants of the village were warming themselves in houses by warm fireplaces, a poor woman with her young son came from far away in the village. Looking for help she knocked on all door, but nobody let her in. Only at the end of the village she saw a small house with a window warmly lit, she knocked, and was hospitably and with great care accepted by a family, gathered around a fireplace. Soon afterwards a fierce storm raged over the valley. Strong winds were blowing, the earth was shaking. Strong, wild water streams rushed down the mountain slopes and the next morning saw a whole valley flooded. All houses disappeared, only the hospitable house at the end of the village, where the lady and her son were so kindly accepted, was spared, receiving sunshine on a small island. It's family was the only one rescued, while the Lady and her son (Madonna and Jesus) soon disappeared. Today they say, that when someone goes to the lake in Christmas night, he can still hear the bells of the sunken village loudly ringing. There's nothing to be seen today on the small island, however pictures from less than 100 years ago still show a small house on it.
Getting ThereSee the main area pages of Julian Alps how to get into Val Rio del Lago and Cave del Predil / Rabelj.
There are three approach directions:
1. From the north, driving from Tarvisio by the valley southwards up.
2. From the south-west, arriving in the valley over the pass of Sella Nevea. Till there you drive through Raccolana valley, from the Udine-Tarvisio highway you deter in Chiusaforte.
3. From the south-east, arriving in the valley over the pass of Predel/Predil (so, from Slovenia).
The trailhead for the ascent on Monte Re is practically in Cave del Predil / Rabelj town. On the SW side, where the entry into the big mine is, you can still drive some 50 meters up in Caroli resort, where you park. The road further on can still be passable by car, but the road is quite demolished, because since the mine is not operating any more, it is not being used much.
Ascent Route On Monte Re
A well visible plate with inscription "Monte Re" directs you across the ravine (right), where you find a good, well beaten path. It is marked and you can not lose it, but the trail bears no number. Almost immediately the path starts ascending in many turns directly upwards. The slopes are steep, as on the whole mountain, the direction is northwards. The ascent itself is quite boring, we can amuse ourselves only admiring nice pine trees around and spotting perhaps time to time some view around. In good one hour and a quarter we reach a panoramic elevation, point 1494 m (Piccolo Monte Re), which is close to the half of ascent. Just below it we can go some 100 meters to the right and find the highest laying rests of the mine. On the point 1494 m there is an interesting cross, made of unusual materials and mine items.
After a few meters down the meadow, the trail starts to ascend again through the woods. There are even a few steep passages, a short rocky ledge and we are already on the more open south ridge. Especially beautiful is the view on the nearby Viš group. The path by the ridge is cut in dense pine bushes. In the next 15 minutes we are on the southern fore-summit, then we go again a few meters down and in the next 10 minutes we are by the golden crown. Some 3 hours from the town, good 2 hours 30 minutes from the parking place above it.
Maps: Tabacco No. 019: Alpi Giulie Occidentali Tarvisiano. 1:25000.
Mountain Huts & Red TapeNo hut on the mountain, no red tape. Even if the nature is so devastated by the mine, in the upper part of the mountain nature is as beautiful as anywhere on more rarely ascended mountains.
When to Climb?
Monte Re can be climbed virtually any time of a season. Only when snow is deep, the ascent can become very hard. The southern orientation of the route guarantees that also during winter and spring the ascent can often be possible. The slopes are not very exposed to lavines, except, as said, when really there's a lot of fresh snow. Skiing from the top comes probably on nobody's mind.
Your Help NeededPlease add, if you have information:
> About ascent routes from other sides. Hunter paths from Rio Freddo valley?
> Winter ascent experiences.