The second highest summit of Krn group is getting far less attention than other vice-summits in Julian Alps. Of course Krn is very dominant and the group is small, but yet we can also with Vrh nad Peski find some good reasons to visit the area.
I would put on the first place the beautiful valley of Lužnica with its small lake. It belongs also to the other neighbouring summits, yes, but the natural highest point of the valley is Vrh nad Peski.
Secondly Vrh nad Peski can be very attractive in times of tour skiing. The slopes falling down towards Krnsko jezero (lake), so towards the north, are among the most beautiful ones for skiing in the group. And skiing can also be done towards the south.
On the third place, and let's leave the broad panorama aside, is the bloody history during the World War I. On the neighbouring plateau mountain Batognica the front line was stuck many months and even nowadays if you walk over the rubble slopes of Vrh nad Peski, pieces of iron will show up on almost every second step. Still today you can see concrete remains of a building on the very top of the mountain.
A Little of Geography
Parallel to this ridge, from Prag down towards the SE, the valley of Lužnica (or: Po Lužnici) stretches. In its lower part, west of Škofič, there's a small lake on 1801 m of altitude. It's some 40 meters in diameter and some 10 meters deep, of a nice blue colour. From the lake there are only a few steps on the notch between Maselnik, 1903 m, and Mali vrh, 1931 m. A tiny water stream frows from the lake towards the notch, but after only 10 meters it disappears in the karstic ground.
The whole northern and eastern side of the mountain is lowering steadilly down towards the big Krn lake, 1389 m, and Prehodci saddle, 1635 m.
Summit PanoramaAll sides of a horizon are free, only towards the west there is the ridge going over Batognica on Krn. It's a nice scene too, fine is the plateau north of Krn, the Lužnica valley and in the distance the two different sceneries on the northern and southern side. The highest summits of Julian Alps on the north and the hilly landscape on the south.
Getting ThereYou can start the tour on Vrh nad Peski from many sides, some trailheads are more, others less remote.
1. From planina Kuhinja. The shortest approach comes from the parking place on planina Kuhinja (alpine meadow), 990 m, just above Krn village. You can reach the village and parking place from Soča valley, from Kobarid or Kamno.
2. From Tolminka valley. This approach is much longer. You can park there on planina (alpine meadow) Polog, 500 m.
3. The third valley to approach Vrh nad Peski is Lepena, a side valley of Soča valley. This is the approach from the north. In Lepena you can park on 700 m.
If you sleep in Gomiščkovo zavetišče, 2190 m, just below the summit of Krn, you go by the ridge and reach Vrh nad Peski in an hour and half.
1. From planina (meadow) Kuhinja, 990 m
First, it crosses the slopes towards the SE (the shortcut goes more directly towards the E-NE) and on the altitude of 1400 m reaches a better marked path, coming from the right from planina Sleme. On the grassy slope we turn left and start crossing the slopes in the N direction. Soon the good path starts ascending the distinct valley in several turns. On the left are the steep rocky slopes of Maselnik, on the right of Mali and Veliki Stador. The scenery becomes more and more alpine and the valley more and more rocky. On 1700 m towards the right a marked path on Rdeči rob deters, but we keep straight, until the valley turns sharp left, towards the NW direction. Above one or two valley steps there's the saddle, 1858 m, between Maselnik on the SW and Škofič on the NE. Just on the other side of the saddle there is Jezero (lake) v Lužnici, 1801 m.
2. From planina (meadow) Polog, 500 mDue to rugged and hardly passable slopes west of the valley of Tolminka (Polog is its end) this is a very long tour. The direct marked path would go first towards the north on Prehodci pass, 1635 m. There is an important crossroads (was even more important in the World War I). We take the marked path left (towards the W-SW). Over the slopes of Malen, 1775 m, and by the broad edge of the high plateau the path finally brings us to the memorial pyramid on Mali Peski, 1975 m. There the path turns right, to the NW direction, ascends below the E ridge of Vrh nad Peski from where we go on top. Would be some 5 hours of ascent.
The second, shorter, but unmarked option would be over planina (meadow) Lašca. From the end of the valley we turn sharp left and ascend the alpine meadow on 1319 m, then we continue towards the west till the high basin below Rdeči rob. On 1750 m we take the W and then NW direction. The path crosses the slopes of Škofič and ascents directly to the memorial pyramid on Mali Peski. A bit shorter, but more difficult orientation. See also this route description: http://www.summitpost.org/rdeci-rob-over-lasca-meadow/332629!
3. From LepenaThis is mostly a ski tour. In summer the upper part is pathless, unless we go much around on Krnska škrbina and over Batognica. We park by Dom (hut) Klementa Juga, 700 m. A good, marked path takes us towards the SE to Koča (hut) pri Krnskih jezerih, 1365 m. From there we continue towards the SW to Krnsko jezero (lake), 1389 m. We can get there of course also from other directions, for example from Komna. From the lake we continue in the SW direction to Planina na polju, 1543 m. There a steep valley towards the south opens. Above, the slopes get broader and broader and bring us on the eastern ridge of Vrh nad Peski. Some passages are steep for ski ascent. 4 h 30 min altogether.
4. From the summit of Krn
You can do a very nice round tour, combining ascents #1 and #4 (in any directuion).
You might be tempted to ascend on top of Vrh nad Peski directly from Prag saddle. Well, the ridge is rocky and quite crumbly. You can do it, but have in mind that obeve it requires also some easy climbing around UIAA degree I. So, not adviced much.
Map: Krn, 1:25000. Planinska zveza Slovenije.
1. Koča na planini Kuhinja, 991 m. reachable by car.
2. Gomiščkovo zavetišče on Krn, 2190 m. 3 h from the parking place.
3. Koča pri Krnskih jezerih, 1365 m. reachable in 2 hours from Lepena valley.
4. Dom dr. Klementa Juga, 700 m. At the end of Lepena valley, reachable by car.
And some more remote huts, like those on Komna plateau.