Češka koča (Czechs' hut) is one of rare pristine, true mountain huts in Slovenian mountains (many others are more or less only inns and restaurants). It stands on a lovely place, on the edge of a terrace called Ravni, above the valley-end of Ravenska Kočna, Kamnik and Savinja Alps. Above the hut, high northern walls of Kočna, Grintovec and Dolgi Hrbet are rising, so it's an ideal trailhead for the (hiking) ascents on those mountains. The northern walls of Dolgi Hrbet, Grintovec and Dolška škrbina are very popular with climbers, Kočna also offers a few routes. And, due to its rich tradition, Češka koča is also the centre of extreme skiers. Waterfalls just below the hut (Sinji slap, Vikijeva sveča) offer in winter nice and demanding ice climbs.
The hut has 33+20 beds and a permanently opened winter room with 6 beds.
Opened from start of May till end of October, depending on conditions.
The hut was built by the Czech unit of Slovenian Mountaineering Organization in Prague, and was opened on July 26th, 1900. Now it's the property of Jezersko Mountain Club. Češka koča is the base of the famous Karničar family. Andrej Karničar was a legendary master of the hut, his sons and daughter were/are all excelent climbers and alpinistic skiers. Davo Karničar was the first man to continuously ski down from Mont Everest (2000).
Remark: All grades are on the Swiss Hiking Scalle (T1-T6).
The shortest approaches to the hut are trail variants from Jezersko resort. From Jezersko, two valleys are rising till below the northern walls of Kamnik and Savinja Alps: Makekova Kočna and Ravenska Kočna. The approach road into Makekova Kočna has a suitable parking place on some 955 m, on the road to Ravenska Kočna, there's a big parking place on some 1060 m. The approach routes are:
1. From Ravenska Kočna, 1060 m, short route. T2, 1 h 30 min.
From the parking we continue by the road to the lower station of material cable-way. Just before it to the right branches the shortest path to Češka koča. Well marked, it starts ascending in several turns over steep forested slopes. In good 45 minutes it reaches the altitude of some 1350 m and joins the path coming from Štularjeva planina (meadow). There, the hiking direction turns southwards. The well beaten path crosses forested slopes, gently ascending. In some 15 minutes from the right the trail from Makek farm joins. We continue in the same direction. The path becomes more and more panoramic. There are a few easy rocky sections, where the path is secured with cables, an there's also one wooden ladder. But the path difficulty hardly reaches T3. Just before Češka koča we reach the place called Mrzla dolina and the last short ascent soon brings us to the hut.
2. From Ravenska Kočna, 1000 m, over the Štular meadow. T2, 1 h 40 min.
We park at the end of the big meadow after Ancelj farm. From there, the marked trail goes towards the SW, first following cart-roads, then in shortcuts of a mountain road, reaching the alpine meadow. From the meadow, we continue southwards, soon reaching the junction with the short route.
3. By the ferrata, difficulty D (on the Austrian Scale), 2 h.
From the parking place, 1060 m, we continue by the road till the lower station of material cable-way. There left goes the Hunters' trail to Kranjska koča on Ledine, right, southwards, goes our trail - two variants to Kranjska koča and the hiking variant to Češka koča. So, we keep right and continue southwards. A short ascent brings us on a more open terrain, on the screes we deter right from the hiking trail to the ferrata entry. Then by the difficult ferrata directly up.
4. From Ravenska Kočna, 1060 m, via the valley-end. T3, 1 h 50 min.
From the parking place we continue by the road till the lower station of material cable-way. Before it, the shortest path to Češka koča (hut) deters right (westwards), but we continue a few more meters, till the next crossroads (plates). There left goes the Hunters' trail to Kranjska koča on Ledine, right, southwards, goes our trail - two variants to Kranjska koča and our variant to Češka koča. So, we keep right and continue southwards. A short ascent brings us on a more open terrain, then the path tends left, crossing an overgrown ridge. Gaining some altitude we reach the broad ravine, falling down from Žrelo. The lowermost trail branches left, continuing over the rocks to Kranjska koča. For Češka koča we shall continue right and on the next branching right again.
In switchbacks we easily (T2) gain some 150 m of altitude. Below the wall we reach the next crossroads. Left went the old path which was connecting both huts. Now, it's closed. So, we turn right, following inscriptions. We gain some 50 m, then after crossing the ravine, the trail starts crossing the dwarf-pine overgrown slopes. On the next edge it becomes more demanding. Crossing the next ravine is secured with cables and the path is also a bit exposed (T3 section). In another detail the path is especially narrow, but not too exposed (perhaps T4). Then we gain some 15 m of altitude and continue crossing the slopes. The path gets more and more easy and we soon reach the hut.
5. From Makek farm, 955 m, 1 h 45 min.
From the farm we continue eastwards. We soon leave the mountain road, marked shortcuts persistently lead us through the woods towards the SE. From the saddle below Visoki vrh we continue southwards and then soon join the trail from Ravenska Kočna.
This is only the tour list. Please find more detailed descriptions on the respective mountain pages and route pages!
Kočna, 2540 m, by the Kremžar route. T4, 3 h 15 min.
Grintovec, 2558 m, by the Kremžar route and Šprem route. T4, 2 h 30 min + 1 h 30 min = 4 h.
Grintovec, 2558 m, via Mlinarsko sedlo (saddle), T3, 3 h 30 min.
Dolgi Hrbet, 2473 m, via Mlinarsko sedlo (saddle), T3, 3 h 15 min.
Vratca tower, 1800 m, T4/T3, 50 min.
To Cojzova koča on Kokrsko sedlo.
To Suhadolnik farm and Kokra valley.
To Kamniška Bistrica.
To Kranjska koča on Ledine.
The hut can be visited all the year, but in winter season it is not always open, except its winter room. As the area is also popular for tour skiing and alpinistic skiing, ask on Jezersko Alpine Club if the hut is open. In winter conditions the ascents can become much more difficult, requiring also winter equipment.