IntroEven if I was two times on the summit of Rombon, I don't have good photo material. The first time I was in the army and of course didn't have a camera with me, the second time we had a video camera. But I don't doubt that pictures will come soon. One of the last 'big' summits of Julian Alps simply couldn't wait for its SP page any more...
Rombon, its peak is called also Veliki vrh, is the highest elevation in a side ridge, going from Kanin/Canin group main ridge towards the South-East. Thus, the whole massif is on the Slovenian territory. Even if it is a part of the massive Kanin/Canin group, the summit is from many sides seen as a fine, self-standing peak. That's why it also offers a great panorama on all sides. On the southern side, just below the summit of Rombon, there's Bovec, the only real town in the upper Soca valley. But it's altitude is only 460m, so by the shortest route you need to overcome for the ascent on Rombon more than 1700m. As Bovec lies on the North of a small plane, where Soca river makes a wide turn, Rombon summit is seen from many places in the valley. These southern slopes are covered with beech woods below, grassy above and considerably intermitted with steep rocks. On the northern side the beautiful Moznica valley divides Rombon massif from the main ridge and the side ridge of Jerebica. Also Moznica is deeply cut into mountains body, its meadows lie on the altitude of some 800m. Like the majority of mountains in Julian Alps, also Rombon has a steep, on some places almost vertical northern face, allowing also some harder climbs. The long wall from Rombon summit to the summit of Vrh Ribeznov is beautifully seen from Log pod Mangartom village and of course from Moznica valley.
As said, Rombon forms a small massif, but peaks other than the main one are more or less unimportant. The majority of them is rising from the main crest of Rombon (Vrh Ribeznov, 2022m, Prisna glava, 1946m, Malo and Veliko Usje, 2048m). From the summit of Rombon, the main ridge falls steeply down, forming just above Koritnica valley a few minor bumps (Kanja, Kucer, Na Robu). From the main summit towards the SW a side ridge goes, which also lowers soon, finally forming a distinct bump, called Cuklja, 1767m. We shall tell more about it later. West of the main summit, towards the main ridge of Kanin/Canin massif, a broad karst plateau is stretching. This is one of the most amazing places in Julian Alps. Its limestone is like a Swiss cheese, all water disappears immediately underground, so no wonder that in last decades some of the deepest caves in Europe were discovered here.
The ascent on Rombon is not hard, it's more or less only a strenuous walk-up by paths, marked or unmarked. The summit ridge is rocky, that's why Rombon is not a usual goal for tour skiing. Skiing can in good conditions be done from the very summit, but requires a perfect mastery of technique and good nerves on a few expposed passages. From the summit you have a great panorama on the whole wreath of mountains, encircling the beautiful Bovec cauldron.
Other Places To See
2. Cemetary from the World War I. East of Bovec, on the crossroads into Koritnica valley.
3. Kluze fortresses. The lower and the upper fortress (Fort Hermann), by the road into Koritnica valley.
4. Moznica waterfalls. A nice hike by unmarked paths, not all the time easy, visits some nice waterfalls and cascades.
A Heaven For SpeleologistsErosion and tectonic moves created in Kanin massif many very deep and long caves. The depth potential of the massif is over 1800m, which creates some possibilities to get even deeper as explorers came today. Each year, mostly in dry seasons, in these caves expeditions of the best speleologists of the world arrive.
The deepest cave on the Kanin-Rombon plateau is Cehi 2. Its depth is 1502m, the entrance was discovered in 1991 by Czech, Italians came till 1993 1370m deep and almost 4000m into the massif of Rombon. In 1999 Ucrainian speleologists in a 14-days expedition discovered a new perplexus of tunnels, which lead them down on 1380m of depth. Finally on December 29th, 2003 Slovenian speleologists reached the lowest point on the depth of 1502m.
Here's the list of some famous caves in Rombon massif (source):
1. Cehi-2, 5291m long, 1502m deep.
2. Crnelsko brezno, 11450m long, 1241m deep.
3. Vandima, 2500m long, 1182m deep.
4. Brezno Hudi Vrsic, 737m long, 620m deep.
The World War I On RombonOver the eastern part of Bovec plane during the WW1 the frontline was running. While on a small hill of Raveljnik, 519m, above Koritnica there were Austro-Hungarian positions, in Bovec and Cezsoca there were already Italians. They both didn't move at all, until the final 'blitzkrieg' in 1917. At Kluze, where the Rombon massif drops down to Koritnica valley, far back in Napoleon's time two strong fortresses were built, guarding the road passage above a wild, more than 70m deep canyon. The lower fortress is now renewed and can be visited, while the upper one (named also Fort Hermann) was standing on a less fortunate place and was shelled heavilly during the WW1. It's ruins can also be visited by a broad path. (Years ago you could also climb over a vertical wall, using a series of hooks, among which every third one was already very loose.) These two strongholds were already in Austro-hungarian hands and from the upper one a good path was ascending the very summit of Rombon, which was also in Austro-Hungarian hands. And not only a path but also a supply cable-car. Italians were holding already the nearby summit of Cuklja, and of course many other positions towards the main crest of Kanin/Canin group. So, on the very summit of Rombon there were heavy fightings. In one winter surprise attack a small group of Austrians attacked even the Cuklja summit. When visiting Rombon, you will have a chance to see many remains from the WW1.
Getting ThereSee the Julian Alps overview page and the Kanin Group page!
By car/bus Soca valley and Bovec can be reached over Vrsic pass (from Sava valley), over Predel/Predil pass (from Tarvisio) or from the south, from Gorica/Gorizia. Saca valley can be from Italy also reached from Udine via Tarcento.
For one of the routes you can also use the Kanin cable-car: It goes up - from 7:00 to 15:00 (each full hour) and down - from 8:00 to 16:00 (each full hour). pictures
Mountaineering Map: Julijske Alpe - Zahodni del (Western part). Planinska zveza Slovenije. 1:50000.
South-West RouteYou start in Bovec town, ascend through woods on Goricica meadow, further towards the North on Cuklja, further on the summit ridge and on top. 1750m, 5:30h. Marked walk-up, some rocks on the top. Hot in summer! From Cuklja to the summit we can also follow a steeper route, which goes all the time by the South ridge. It's harder and has some steel ropes to secure passages.
West RouteYou start from the upper station of Kanin cable-car, on 2200m. Over the notch below Prestreljenik, 2282m, you descend on Prevala pass, 2067m, continue over the southern slopes of the main ridge to Vrh Ribeznov notch (speleological bivouac!) and over the southern slopes of Rombon ridge towards the SE to the summit of Rombon. Marked path, only the summit part rocky (scramble). 3:30h to 4:00h.
South-East RouteYou start at Kluze fortress, on the main road. First you go up to the higher fortress, and then continue in a western direction by abandoned military paths. Between Krljišče, 1753 m and Kucer, 1638 m, you turn right (northwards), ascend the upper part of the mountain and continue towards the NW till the highest point. Marked, still some orientation skills needed. 1700 m of ascent, 5:00h. If behind Kucer you stick to the East ridge, you can reach the summit in an easy climb.
When To Climb?Rombon can be best climbed in late spring and in autumn. Summer is of course possible too, but the tours can be very hot. For tour skiing other goals in the Kanin/Canin group are more appropriate (but also Rombon is possible). Also classical winter ascents are possible but you will need a winter equipment (crampons, ice-pick) and you should have in mind a big altitude difference.
For weather, see the wunderground site - here's the direct link to Kredarica station, 2515m (below Triglav summit).
Red TapeNo limitations.
Huts And CampingOn the mountain there are no opened mountain huts. Camping is officially not allowed, but is tolerated for speleological expeditions. For mountaineering nobody will bother you if you set up a tent just over the night. Otherwise you can find accomodation in Bovec, which is developing into one of our most attractive tourist destinations. The main attraction of it is Soca river, of course.
Speleologists have arranged a bivouac on the main ridge, near Vrh Ribeznov, 2022m.