What's new here?
> August 18th, 2017: Northern ascent on Kriška gora, a few pictures added.
> December 19th, 2015: Initial page setup.
This page was created because the page of Storžič, which has been on SP since 2002, became too big. As these are my home mountains, I want to describe them a bit more in detail.
GeographyOn the west the ridge (and thus the whole Storžič group) rises from the valley of Tržiška Bistrica. There are the towns of Tržič and Bistrica pri Tržiču. In the lower part the slopes of the ridge are forrested and partly rocky, but in the upper part you can see characteristic grassy slopes. Nowadays they are a bit more ovegrown as in the past, when people used to cut the grass there and exploit those slopes. The northern slopes of the ridge are all covered with woods and in many places steep and rocky, especially in higher regions.
Just south of Kriška gora and its hut, in the lower part of the ridge, there is a nice terrace with the village named Gozd, 897 m. From the valley (from Križe) a mountain road reaches there and so the village is one of the most popular trailheads for hikes on Kriška gora and Tolsti vrh.
In the very eastern part of our ridge we have two distinct saddles with two nice alpine meadows: Mala (small) Poljana, 1327 m, and Velika (big) Poljana, 1410 m. On both there are huts - on Mala Poljana a hunters hut and on Velika Poljana a private (shepherds) hut. These two saddles are dividing the groups of Tolsti vrh and Storžič. Between the two meadows there is a quite sharp and mostly overgrown peak, named Grebenc, 1479 m. Only from its summit rocks you have some nice views around.
What To Do There?Tolsti vrh and Kriška gora are almost exclusively hiking mountains. The crags are not high and compact enough for climbing and the slopes are too overgrown for skiing. However tour skiing descents are possible, but not very popular. Additionally, Kriška gora is very popular as a starting point for paragliding and in the lower part there are also nice mountain biking and biking routes. In winter from below Dom pod Storžičem a nice sledge piste is arranged.
|From Tolsti vrh we have excellent views towards the south, over Gorenjska plane. More towards the west we see nicely Julian Alps with Triglav. The western and Northern horizon is showing the nearby Karavanke summits - Stol group and Košuta group. And very interesting is also the view towards the east, on the nearby Storžič.|
We can ascend on the ridge from almost all sides. The main trailheads, all reachable by car, are:
RoutesAll difficulty gradings are on the Swiss Hiking Scale.
1. Tržič - Kriška gora
From Sv. Jožef church above Tržič we follow marked paths and cart roads, ascending through the woods. The path soon becomes quite steep, leading us by Mala Mizica and Velika Mizica. The latter is a more nice viewpoint. Then the path becomes even steeper and only below the upper part of the ridge ascends more gently. Soon we see the first grassy slopes, from the right the path from Gozd joins (W variant) and we follow it on the final part of the ascent and to the hut. Easy (T2), 2 h 30 min.
2. Gozd - Kriška gora
From the parking place in Gozd village (near the church) we continue in the northern direction. Two marked paths go towards the hut. They are broad and comfortable, in many gentle switchbacks they ascend through the woods. Below the hut they reach the meadows and ascend over them in additional few switchbacks. Easy (T2), 1 h 15 min.
3. Kriška gora - Tolsti vrh
This is a very nice and panoramic part of the hike. The marked path goes mostly by the southern side of the ridge, but on some points it also goes by it and there we encounter nice scenery. From the mountain hut on Kriška gora we go in the vicinity of the main ridge towards the east. The path is very comfortable and gains altitude gently. Near Vrata the path goes by the ridge, then again by its southern side and later on the ridge again. The last part is steeper and the path more and more rocky. It can require some additional care if the terrain is icy, one short part of the ascent also goes by a more narrow ridge. But in good conditions the whole ascent is still easy. So we reach the fore-summit, descend a bit and then with the final ascent reach the highest point. Easy (T2), 1 h.
4. Gozd - Tolsti vrh
The crossroads is above the village, on the eastern side. While the marked path on Kriška gora goes straight up (towards the N), our route (inscription tells us that we have 2 h to Tolsti vrh) continues by a comfortable cart road almost horizontally towards the east. All its branches are well marked. Higher the cart road converts into a more and more steep path, which later brings us out of the woods on quite steep grassy slopes. Crossing them is easy in good conditions, but take care if the slopes are covered with snow or icy! In the middle of those slopes there is a nice bench with a memorial plate. From there we keep continuing crossing the slopes and then reach the edge of a high forrest. There the path from Mala Poljana comes up, so we keep left and continue ascending more steeply. Forrested ridge is becoming more and more rocky, on a few places there are steep ascent sections. Higher from the right another marked path joins (also from Mala Poljana) and we continue steeply up. Only just below the summit the ascent becomes more gentle again. Medium difficult hike up (T3, mostly T2), 2 hours.
This ascent, in combination with the descent by route #3, represents the most beautiful route on Tolsti vrh. The round tour is especially nice in the afternoon. We can even afford to wait for a sunset, as the descent from Kriška gora to Gozd is quick and short. The whole round tour can be done in 4-5 hours.
5. Grahovše - Kriška gora
This is a rarely done ascent on the main ridge from the northern side, done mostly by locals. We park in Grahovše village in Lom valley, 800 m. From there we go to the Hrib hamlet and further southwards. For orientation, hard is only the beginning. We stick to cart roads, but above the second meadow we deter right on the hunters path (first marked with white arrows and a few old red circles). The path is keeping towards the right, reaches in the vicinity of Mali and Veliki turn rocks, 1183 m, and steeply (a bit exposed, but the path is good and well beaten) further on to the hunters hut and far towards the right on the main ridge. Then right some 200 m to the hut on Kriška gora, which we reach in a few minutes. 2 h 15 min, T3. This route can nicely be used in combination with other routes to make a round tour. For example: From Tržič on Kriška gora (#1) and down by this route to Grahovše (where bikes should be waiting us). Or: By this route on Kriška gora, then by the main ridge further on Tolsti vrh (#3), then down on Mala poljana (#9) and further down to Dom pod Storžičem (#7), where bikes should be waiting us.
6. Grahovše - Tolsti vrh
Also this is a rarely done ascent on the main ridge from the northern side, done mostly by locals. We park in Grahovše village in Lom valley, 800 m. From there we go to the Hrib hamlet and further southwards. The path is only at first weakly marked, later we follow an even weaker, unmarked path, wich gets lost on a distinct, steep scree field, falling down from below Vrata notch. The last part of the ascent on the ridge is steep and tedious. After reaching the ridge marked path, we continue left on top. 3 h.
7. Dom pod Storžičem - Mala Poljana
From Dom pod Storžičem, 1121 m, we continue by mountain roads and cart roads towards the SW, or following the marked path to Mala Poljana. We reach the saddle and the meadow beyond it in some 45 minutes (road: easy, T1, marked path: T2). The road is suitable for mountain bikes - but the last 150 m of altitude are really very steep. Still, if you are returning here into the lom valley, it's worth preparing bikes as high as possible.
8. Povlje - Mala Poljana
The continuing goes by a marked path, which follows a quite distinct ridge towards the north. This is still the joint path on Velika and Mala Poljana. But just a few minutes higher the path branches. For Mala Poljana we go left, the path leads us into a distinct valley below Tolsti vrh. The valley is mostly overgrown and the ascent is not the nicest one. Also the path gets weaker. Through the most narrow part of the valley we ascend into its upper part, where we later reach a deteriorated cart road, by which we get out of the woods on the lower part of meadows. Soon we reach the hunters hut on Mala Poljana. Easy (T2), 1 h 45 min (from Zalog 2 h).
9. Mala Poljana - Tolsti vrh
From Mala Poljana two marked path are ascending on the summit of Tolsti vrh. Both go (one above the other) first on the western edge of the alpine meadow and then across the steep, forrested eastern slopes of Tolsti vrh. The lower path reaches the southern ridge quite low, while the upper path is a bit more direct. After reaching the southern ridge, we turn right and as described in #4 continue quite steeply on top. Easy to medium difficult hike up (T3, mostly T2), 1 hour.
10. Povlje - Velika Poljana
From the parking place above Povlje village, 710 m, there are two marked paths on Velika Poljana. The right (eastern one) is called also Dolenčeva pot and is less attractive. In the recent years the forrest around that path was mostly destroyed and everywhere we see ugly forrest roads, cutting the slopes. The western path is however very beautiful, although not much panoramic. It follows a distinct ridge, which is a natural southern continuation of Grebenc ridge.
a. Dolenčeva pot. On the parking place we already leave both roads and continue by a marked path northwards. It goes through the woods and by forrest roads. On the altitude of some 1000 m the path to Velika Poljana continues left across the slopes, while the path to Javornik meadow continues straight up (the crossroad is well marked). So we go left, following mostly forrest roads. They bring us on a distinct ridge, where from the left the western path joins us. There is a big turn and we continue again northwards. When reaching below Velika Poljana, we leave the cart road and continue the ascent over the meadows. The hut is standing on the upper part of the meadow, on the eastern side. Easy (T1), 2 h.
From Velika Poljana we can go on Mala Poljana by a comfortable shepherds path, connecting both meadows by crossing the northern slopes of Grebenc. 15 min.
- Dom pod Storžičem, 1121 m. Reachable by car.
- Zavetišče v Gozdu, 897 m. Reachable by car.
- Koča na Kriški gori, 1472 m. Reachable in 1 h 15 min.
- Mala Poljana hunters hut, 1327 m. Reachable in 30 minutes.
- Velika Poljana hut, 1410 m. Reachable in 45 minutes.