As you drive down the motorway toward Dalmatia, a peculiar group of standalone rocks carefully hidden behind the broad Velebit range
suddenly appears on your right. Rising from the middle of the flat Lika field and impossible to overlook.
Actually, for many drivers Zir is last nice thing they are going to see before hitting the bottleneck at Sveti Rok tunnel, only they don't know it yet.
Because of it's remoteness, this mountain was seldom visited in the past - first climbing routes opened no early then late 80's.
Now, it is a kinda of motorway attraction- or driver's distraction. It's familiar SE face becoming almost a trademark of the area.
Behind the Zir's rocky southeast face is one kilometre long east-west oriented hogsback, covered with European Hornbeam. Once on the hogsback,
careful eye will spot some Narrow-leaved Asparagus as well. And once on the summit, one may enjoy big time panorama from the small-size mountain.
Flat ground covered with shrubs of Calluna vulgaris and punched with reddish pot-holes filled with western brackenfern are layed all the way to the southwest, Until finally terminated by the long barrier of South and Southeast Velebit range.
Time required = between 90 and 120 minutes
Description: from the Trkulje village, follow the carriage road due west, route mildly ascents Zir's hogsback,
bypassing the small cave - feel free to creep iside, headlight comes handy - path forks due left and uphill,
zigzagging between extraordinary thin and knotty European(common) hornbeam trees.
Finally, we reach the small plateau beneath the southern rock. Here, the path steepens a bit, could be a bit slippery,
especially after the rain, short final scramble up the limestone rock takes us to the main summit.
Climbing routes: 6 multi pitch routes, between 60 and 100m long
|Route name||Valentina i Ida||Ratnik svjetlosti||Ne okreci se sine||Mirakul||Brajdic-Vukovic Route|
|Difficulty||6a, 5c||6c+, 6b+, 7a||6c+, 6a+||6c, 6a+, 5b||5c, 6a+, 6c|
car A1 motorway Split- Zagreb, exits Sveti Rok or
Ploca. Gornja Ploca a bit more convinient. Drive to
village Donja Ploca,
pass under the motorway, and drive 5km till village Trkulje, where the marked trail begins. Trkulje village can also be reached from once main,
now secondary Gospic - Gracac road, via Raduc. This road crosses railtrack and approaches Zir from the right side of the mountain.
By train or coach: There are no convinient nearby bus or train stops.
Air transport: nearest airport is Zadar international . Apart from regular connections, this airport is also destination for several low cost carriers
Weather, Maps, Security
Best time of the year is either spring or autumn. Winters are harsh, access to the mountain is partially by the secondary roads that may-
or may be not- cleared properly from snow. And as any other karstic depression, Lika field may be trapped by temperature inversion,
thus lot of moisture, low clouds and fog. Summer is okay from the weather conditions point of view. You may find it just too hot.
In case of climbing, on should consider that both rock faces are oriented south to southeast.
Meteo stations closest to Zir are in nearby towns of Gracac and Gospic.
Gracac 7 day weather forecast Gospic at Accuweather
Maps & books:
Supplied large scale topomap should be more than enough. Zir is small sized crag in comparison to neighbour mountain range (Velebit)
and there was never extra map/guide issued, covering Zir only.
Book: Croatia climbing guide Zir is featured here with both diagrams and climbing routes description. Please note, older editions of this book
don't include any info on Zir.
Emergency mountain rescue, dial 112
Red Tape, Camping
therefore no special rules either. Use your common sense as you allways do when in natural environment.
Camping - there are no campings or huts in Zir area. As the regular hike requires less then half a day, visitors usually come and go on the same day.
For climbers, climbing camp is usually set beneath any of the 2 Zir's main rocks.
Bring the neccessary equipment (tent, stove, water supplies, sleeping bag...).
Nearest commerccial camping sites are located on the seabord side of Mt. Velebit - some 65km distance from Zir
accross the Alan pass, close to the Paklenica climbing area. Thus, it is possible to combine Paklenica with Zir and vice versa.
Nearest moutain huts are located on the Ostarije pass - Gospic-Karlobag road.