What's New On This Page?
> June 19th, 2006 - Added: North Route, Kleinobir/Mali Obir chapter, a few pictures.
> August 12th, 2005 - Northern approach mentioned.
> April 9th, 2005 - Initial set up of the page.
Obir massif from the SW, from Plesivec flow - winter ascent
The broader massif is called Obir
. The highest summit is called in German Hochobir
, in Slovenian Ojstrc
(because of its sharp cone) or also only Obir.
The fourth highest mountain of Karavanke/Karawanken range is a kingdom for itself. Standing on the very northern side of the range, just above the Drau/Drava river
, it offers one of the greatest panoramas in the group. But also the diversity of the mountain is very interesting: nice hikes, various ski tours, mountain biking, cultural diversity of the landscape, a nice system of karst caves, a spa resort, rests of abandoned mines and more...
Towards the south Hochobir/Ojstrc shows a broad shoulder and only a small summit cone is more sharp. Towards the north the view on the main summit is obscured by the broad fore-summit and only if you go a bit towards east a sharp, rocky mountain shows up. The most magnificient is the view from the west, where Hochobir/Ojstrc sends a broad rocky face, rugged and intermitted with many ravines.
The northen border of Obir massif is the river Drau/Drava. The eastern and western borders are two creeks, flowing into Drau/Drava river: Vellach/Bela
on the east and Freibach/Borovnica
on the west. On the southern side the Obir massif is attached to the rest of Karavanke/Karawanken on Schaida/Sajda
saddle, 1068m. From this saddle towards east the Ebriachbach / Obirski potok
(creek) flows. While the mountaineering highlight of the massif is actually only the highest point, the massif consists of a few more summits. North of the highest point the Kleinobir / Mali Obir
(Small Obir) stands, 1948m. This summit obscures the view on the main summit from north, from Drau/Drava valley. On the SW ridge there's an elevation, called Kuhberg / Kravji vrh, 2024m, while the two other ridges, the SE and the NE ridge, carry only lower and less important elevations.
|The summit of Hochobir/Ojstrc |
|Obir from the east |
|Hochobir/Ojstrc from the N
Wiews On The Massif From The Distance
|From the South |
|From the South |
|From the West
Kleinobir / Mali Obir
North of the main summit a 200 meters lower shoulder rises, called Kleinobir / Mali Obir (=Small Obir). Its western and northern slopes are still steep and rugged, towards the South, a gentle summit plateau descends. Between the two summits there's a saddle, called Freibachsattel, some 1700m, and on the western side of it the picturesque Jagoutz alpine meadow.
Kleinobir / Mali Obir is often ascended, as it is a great panoramic point and also the view on its taller brother is excellent.
|Kleinobir / Mali Obir |
|The summit |
A Bit Of Geology
The North Karawanken Chain, with Hochobir, belongs to the big geologic group of East Alpine mountains, the subgroup of the so-called Drauzug (Drau chain). The famous Periadriatic fault goes just south of it, by the Ebriach valley. The rocks of Hochobir are from triassic limestones, more precisely from the Wetterstein limestone (Ladinian, Carnian period). On the southern side, along the Ebriach valley and Eisenkappel basin, so on lower altitudes, narrow stripes of old crystalline and granite rocks are stretching towards the east.
What To Do There?
Kaernten/Koroška and its lakes
The primary goal of most visitors of Obir is hiking over many of its paths. They are good marked and the summit offers a great panorama on the Karavanke/Karawanken chain and Kamnik Alps.
The massif offers also some nice ski tours. The most frequented is the route from the summit down to Eisenkappler hut and further to Ebriach/Obirsko (the upper part - nice 600m of downhill, below a forrest road). Skiing is also possible in some other directions, also from Kleiner Obir / Mali Obir down to jagovc farm (Sele-Hmelse / Zell Homoelisch), finally, also through its NW ravine (Gipfelrinne, falling down from Obirscharte, 2100m), but only in ideal snow conditions.
On the northern side of the massif the Wildensteiner waterfall is a nice tourist attraction. In Slovenian language Wildenstein is called Podkanjska vas, so the waterfall is referred also as Podkanjski slap. It is 54 meters high and can be reached from the end parking place in some 15 minutes.
One of the greatest attractions of Obir is the nicely decorated karst cave, called Tropfsteinhoehle. Tourist visits are arranged from Bad Eisenkapel / Zelezna Kapla (bus + guided cave visit).
Here is the tourist page of the cave with bus schedules.
Bad Eisenkapel / Zelezna Kapla is a well known spa.
Because of many abandoned mines in Bad Eisenkapel / Zelezna Kapla and in its surroundings also fans of mineralogy will find many interesting sites.
A self-made map of Obir massif
The summit of Hochobir/Ojstrc can be reached from all sides by marked paths. Some of them are shown on the map above. Except from the south and from the Eisenkappeler Huette all approaches from valleys are long, but technically easy hikes (except the northern ascent).
The ascent from the Eisenkappler Huette (hut), 1553m, is the most obvious and often done. From the parking place by the hut we go northwards and through a steep wood (a learning path, equipped with demo tables) to the plateau of Kraguljisce, 1828m, from where we first see the main summit. Now we ascend towards W by a broad shoulder and over a short summit slope to the highest point. 1h 30min.
On the SW ridge of Hochobir/Ojstrc
The route from Sajda saddle, 1069 is also often used. Good marked (yellow plates and usual red marks, No. 623) will bring you on the summit in some 3 hours. You start by the mountain road (closed for public traffic), but the path soon starts crossing turns of the road. We hike up by steep forrest slopes, but the path goes in wide turns and is so quite comfortable. On some 1600m we leave the road for the last time (by wooden staircase). After some 100m we reach a nice God sign and continue less steeply across the eastern slopes of Kuhberg / Kravji vrh, 2024m. On the saddle betwen Kuhberg / Kravji vrh and Hochobir/Ostrc a broad panorama towards the NW opens. Now we continue by the main ridge or just below it to the summit. 3 hours.
The route from Wildenstein waterfall parking place is also very rewarding. It brings you by this nice waterfall, through the valley of Krtolovec and on the East ridge, where it joins the route from Eisenkapeller Huette. 4:30h-5:00h. You also don't need to go around, on the east ridge. From the meadow at the end of Krtolovec (Hofovška planina), you can go right (also marked) until in an hour you reach the ridge (saddle) above Jagouc alm (meadow). Then you continue on top by the north ridge (see below and the link).
Interesting is also the Northern ascent. To Jagovcevo sedlo, between Mali Obir / Kleiner Obir and the highest summit, we can ascend by a marked path, either from the west, either from the east. From there we follow southwards a tiny path, which later gets lost and we reach the summit in an easy climb (UIAA I). 4 hours from the valley, 1 hour from the saddle.
The broader area of Obir massif
For a broader overview see the Karavanke/Karawanken page!
The northern villages below Obir massif can be reached by local roads of Drava/Drau valley. You deter from the Klagenfurt - Graz highway towards south. To reach Bad Eisenkappel / Zelezna Kapla town you drive through the Vellach/Bela valley. From the southhern side, it means from Slovenia the town can be reached over the Seeberg / Jezerski vrh saddle, 1218m.
The southern side of the mountain can be rached by a good local road either from Bad Eisenkappel / Zelezna Kapla (from the east) or from Ferlach/Borovlje (from the west). The valley below Obir is called Ebriach/Obirsko and consists of many picturesque settlements. High mountain farms are scatteres over broad, sunny slopes. From this valley the Obir panoramic road ascends up to the Eisenkappler Huette, 1553m. It is opened from April till winter (depending on snow conditions).
You can see a detailed map on: http://www.austrianmap.at/.
That's in German, but as of classical maps, you can refer to: Karavanke, Central part and Grintovci, 1:50000. Planinska zveza Slovenije.
flow - on the summit ridge
Because Obir massif is rising in the northern chain of Karavanke/Karawanken, it offers an immense panorama. Perhaps the most interesting is the view towards the west, along Karavanke/Karawanken chain. Great is also the view on Kamnik and Savinja Alps, we see this group from the northern side. Towards the north we see Gurktal Alps and in a clear day also Niedere Tauern, Dachstein and towards the NW Hohe Tauern. Below us, there is a nice landscape of Kaernten with several lakes and river Drau/Drava.
flow - Morchella semiliberaNo restrictions. The Obir panoramic road must be paid during the season (€5,5).
When To ClimbHochobir/Ojstrc can be ascended any time of the year.
For weather see here and then choose on the menu: Kaernten.
Huts and CampingThe only alpine club mountain hut, supporting outdoor activities on Obir is the Eisenkappler Huette. It is opened also in winter if the weather is nice. Tel.: 0664 – 38 58 907, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask for Silvia & Marian Orasche.
Because of the Obir panoramic road, which reaches 1553m, only to reach the summit camping is not needed.