Stap is beautiful small field or large meadow placed at 860m, half way from the sea towards high area of Velebit. Trailhead for Stap is Ljubotic village. From there it takes 2.30h of walking to reach Stap. How to do that and much more info on Stap area find on Stap page.
Route described here is second part of practically same route which is split in two parts by Stap refuge. To climb Visocica from Ljubotic via Stap is quite a task in a day so it is better to split it in two by sleeping over on Stap. I did it once, both ways in a day and that is only for those in very good shape. I started at 8am from Ljubotic and returned at 10.30pm!
This section of the route is moderately tough if you start fresh from Stap in the morning. Visocica is 750 vertical meters above but there are few ups and downs so count on 1000m. Distance is quite significant so count on little bit less than 4h to do it. Route is fresh even in summer because path most of the time goes through high beech forest which provides excellent shade. Lets go.
Stap – Dalmatinska Vrata – Visocica: 4h
Behind the refuge path immediately begins to ascend through beech forest and in sharp bends surmounts steep couloir between cliffs above Stap. In 10mins you get over small pass and reach small plateau in the forest where is double junction. First one shows that towards left is 15mins to Siroka Vrata. 20m behind it is right towards Stapina, Kamena Galerija and Rujno. Writing on the beech shows that Visocica direction is straight ahead.
Soon path leaves the forest and over a grassy and rocky shoulder descends into small basin and into the beech forest again. Here begins first of two steep ascents till Dalmatinska Vrata pass. After 15mins first climb is behind you as you reach nice meadow in the forest. Behind the meadow ascent continues gradually and in next 10mins you reach the foot of second steep climb. You need some 15mins to surmount it. When you do you’ve reached Dalmatinska Vrata (1200m) pass (Door of Dalmatia or Dalmatian Door). 1h from Stap. In front of you is forested valley. It is closed by Kajino Mirilo pass on the other side. That is half way point to reach continental edge of the mountain at the foot of Visocica from Dalmatinska Vrata. Right above are white cliffs of Veliko Ploce (1350m).
Behind the pass path descends little bit steeply and flattens shortly only to continue to gradually descent again, cutting steep slopes which are falling towards left and bottom of the valley. After some 15-20mins path crosses on the left slopes above the valley. In next 10-15mins you are at the foot of the climb which you surmount in next 10mins. Now you are on Kajino Mirilo pass, 40mins from Dalmatiska Vrata, 1.40h from Stap.
On the other side of the pass path descends steeply but flattens quickly only to reach main part of the descent where you loose some 100 vertical meters in several sharp bends. Once at the bottom path begins to moderately ascent again. After some 35mins from Kajino Mirilo you reach junction where from left our path is joined by old VPP (Velebit Long Distance Trail) which came from Jelova Ruja. In next 10mins path takes you to the end of macadam road above Jandrina Poljana meadow (1130m) which is visible right below through the forest. Behind you can see steep continental slopes of Troseljev Vrh (1445m). 2.30h from Stap.
Marks follow the macadam road and soon, on one sharp bend, you are on the ‘main’ macadam road which ascends from Rizvanusa in Lika and here is where both routes join. Little bit further marks turn left above the road shortening next sharp bend. Be careful here not to miss marks. If you do you will reach marks behind next 180° left turn. Immediately behind it is next right 180° turn. Between these two turns path crosses the road and continues to ascend steeply using narrow ridge. At the end of the ridge, some 15mins above the road is small plateau where path turns right continuing to ascend steeply. In some 10mins you are at small meadow where path turns left and behind meadow enters the forest again. Few minutes after you reach Visocica refuge and few meters behind ruins of Gojtanov Dom hut, 3.15h from Stap. Just by the ruins is cistern with good water. Bucket to take water out is in the refuge.
Former hut is placed on the forest line so ascent continues over steep grassy slopes of Visocica. Views are now fantastic. Once around grassy head (1525m) you are at the foot of main summit. On the left, deep below, is Lika region. Path ascends steeply towards the summit. Once on the summit ridge it is right few minutes to the summit of Visocica (1619m), 45mins from the hut, 4h from Stap. Enjoy fantastic view.