Page Type: Area/Range
Lat/Lon: 46.44640°N / 14.41010°E
Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Scrambling, Via Ferrata, Skiing
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Elevation: 6995 ft / 2132 m

What's New On This Page?

  • June 14th, 2008 - Pictures attached/detached, minor text additions.
  • July 26th, 2005 - A complete redesign: One chapter for each major mountain added.


    Begunjščica, 2060m
    JFS - sunset below Košuta
    Note: Because of pronounciation I shall write here the name of this mountain as it is written in German. Otherwise the name is Slovenian (Kosuta), and means a hind.

    Some 120 km longe range of Karavanke mountains (Karawanken) has quite a constant altitude of 2000 meters. Although there are no such big walls we are used to see in Julian Alps, in many parts of Karavanke mountains the feeling is also high alpine. One of its highlights is more than 10 km long range of Koschuta.

    Koschuta is not one mountain. But its heigth is so constant that it can be best described in one chunk. Six summits of this range, expanding in a west-east direction, exceed the altitude of 2000 meters and the lowest part of the ridge has still 1869m. Just for convenience the range can be divided on the western and eastern part. The two are separated by Skrbina, the already mentioned notch in the middle, 1869m. As in other mountains of Karavanke, also with Koschuta there is a big difference between north and south slopes. The latter are grassy, mostly not very steep, along the whole range above the woods frontier there is a sunny terrace with many beautiful alpine meadows. Herds of cattle and horses are still numerous here. North slopes are very steep, along the whole range rocky, in many places there are almost vertical walls, appropriate also for climbing. It is hard to decide, but probably the most beautiful view on Koschuta is from north, from Austrian forehills of Karavanke.

    Koschuta offers best possibilities for hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking, tour skiing and also climbing, let alone other sports, which can also take place in mountains. Like the whole Karavanke range, it offers also a nice panorama. If I should be in a situation to recommend only one tour, it would probably be traversing the whole range in two clear autumn days.

    The long range of Koschuta (eastern part) from the NW, from Grlovec.

    The whole Košuta range from the south, from Stegovnik.

    Kosutica / Loibler Baba, 1969m

    Kosutica is a nice, self-standing peak, which is standing north of the main ridge, paralelly to Veliki vrh. Between the two summits there is Hajnzevo sedlo (saddle), which is easilly reachable from both, Slovenian and Austrian side. The summit is popular in dry seasons, in times of tour skiing usually only Hajnzevo sedlo is reached, doing the summit with skis is a steep, demanding tour.

    Routes overview:

    West ridge from Ljubelj pass, 1368m. On some places steep, but not hard marked path. 2h.
    From the road below St. Ana, over Korosica. On some places steep, but not hard marked path. 3h.
    From Hajnz farm, 960m. On some places steep, but not hard marked path. 3h.
    From Hajnz saddle (between Kosutica and Veliki vrh), 1675m. Medium hard, steep, on some places secured with steel ropes.

    Veliki vrh, 2087m

    haubi - in Tihotapska route
    Veliki vrh
    Veliki vrh

    Veliki vrh is the highest major mountain from the west. It is nicely seen from the south portalj of Ljubelj tunnel. Towards north it is steep and rocky, while towards south grassy slopes are just not too steep, so it offers one of the best ski tours in Karavanke.

    Next towards the east a non-important Kofce gora stands. It is just an elevation in the ridge, but as a home-summit of Kofce hut it is often ascended. Also in winter skiing is possible from its summit.

    Routes overview - Veliki vrh:

    From Kofce hut, 1505m. Easy, on few places steep, marked path. 1h 30min.
    From Hajnz saddle, 1675m. Medium hard, steep ferratta, on some places secured with steel ropes. 1h 15min.

    Routes overview: Kofce gora:

    From Kofce hut, 1505m. Easy, on few places steep, marked path. 1h 15min.
    Veliki vrh, 2088m JFS - Veliki vrh
    Veliki vrh is a nice start of... From the S
    Standing on Veliki vrh we... On Veliki vrh

    Kladivo/Hajnzturm, 2093m,

    Kladivo from the N

    Kladivo is a strong mountain with a nice north face, hosting some hard climbs. Over the summit a marked ridge path goes, so it is often ascended when traversing the ridge.

    Routes overview:

    From Pungrat alpine meadow, cca 1450m and oves Skrbina saddle, 1869m. Steep, marked path. 2h.
    From Skarbina Gasthaus (Male), 1035 over Skrbina saddle, 1869. Steep, medium hard. 3h. When visiting Skrbina notch last time (2005) I saw no path ascending up from the northern side!

    Tegoska gora, 2026m

    On Tegoska gora
    On Tegoška gora
    On the summit of Tegoska gora
    From Tegoška gora

    Tegoska gora is the next high elevation east of Skrbina saddle. It's a typical Kosuta mountain, rocky towards the north, grassy towards the south. It offers a nice ski tour down to Pungrat alpine meadow.

    Routes overview:

    From Pungrat alpine meadow, cca 1450m and oves Skrbina saddle, 1869m. Steep, marked path. 2h.
    From Skarbina Gasthaus (Male), 1035 over Skrbina saddle, 1869. Steep, medium hard. 3h. When visiting Skrbina notch last time (2005) I saw no path ascending up from the northern side!

    Macesje/Laerchenberg, 2124m

    Koschuta s ridge
    Petr Drápalík - Košuta range

    Going from the west, after Tegoska gora, the ridge goes over a few almost equal high elevations, before culminating on the highest point, Kosutnikov Turn. The first elevation is Uznik, 2079m, then the double-summit Macesje/Laerchenberg comes, 2124m, the last elevation is Ostrv, 2104m. From the north, the walls below these summits (and the two summits itself) are called Breitwand and Mittelwand.

    Macesje is a double-headed ridge mountain, quite steep and rocky also on the southern side. Its northern walls (and the wall of Ostrv) host many harder climbs, the ridge path is on many places secured with ropes and is a true ferrata - medium hard and a bit exposed.

    Routes overview:

    From Dolga njiva, 1402m. Steep, hard path - on top a medium hard ferrata. 3h.
    From Koschutahaus, 1280m over the notch, W of Kosutnikov Turn. Steep, hard path, then a medium hard ferrata, secured with steel ropes. 3h.
    From the W of Uznik summit marks show down on the northern side. This is a descent (and ascent of course too) option, which brings us down to Cjajnik notch, from which we can descent through the eastern Cjajnik ravine (50 deg. in snow, otherwise very crunchy, unpleasant, a few chains as anchors) down. Hard, no path!

    Cjajnik/Laerchenturm, 1967m


    Cjajnik is a special rocky tower. Standing north of the main Kosuta range, it is rocky and wild on all sides and offers no easy ascent. Because just below it the Koschutahaus is standing it is a very popular climbing polygon.

    Routes overview:

    The old climbing ascent: (II+), from Koschutahaus.

    On September 21st, 2006, a new ferrata on Cjajnik was opened. It is difficult, requiring a complete ferrata set and quite some power in hands. Rated in Austrian system: C/D. My comment would be - it's a pity that one of the last summits in Karavanke is now spoiled with a ferrata.

    Kosutnikov Turn / Koschutnikturm, 2132m

    Kosutnikov turn from the east
    Košutnikov turn from the E

    Kosutnikov Turn is the highest summit in Kosuta. It can be nicely seen from all sides, but from closer positions on the ridge it appears as a mighty rocky tower. The summit is often ascended from both sides, in the northern face it has some very nice hard climbs.

    Routes overview:

    From Dolga njiva, 1402 m. Steep, medium hard path. 2h 30min (two options, the eastern and western one).

  • From Koschutahaus, 1280 m through the west ravine. Steep, medium hard ferratta (easy climb). 2h 30min.

  • From Koschutahaus, 128 0 m through the east ravine. Steep, medium hard ferratta. 3h.

    Tolsta Kosuta, 2059m

    Tolsta Kosuta normal ascent
    On the E ridge
    Meli rock towers
    Rock towers in the E face
    Tolsta Kosuta is the last high elevation of Košuta, standing on the very east of the long range. Still with a steep rocky face towards the north and with grassy slopes towards the south. Ascent from the south (and by the east ridge) is not hard, as a ski tour very good conditions are required, as the summit slopes are steep.

    Routes overview:

    From Dolga Njiva, 1402 m over SE ridge. Steep, medium hard path (T2/T3). 2 h. From Dolga Njiva meadow you continue eastwards to the upper meadows. The shepherds path goes all the time by a (mostly dry) creek bed. When we reach just below the main ridge, we turn left, on the slopes of Tolsta Košuta. Soon we reach the place, where the marked path goes across the east ridge, into the eroded eastern slope (called "Meli"). But we continue up by the east ridge, or just left below it. It is forth going right on the very edge to have a look on interesting towers of the eastern slope. Some 150 m below the summit the path (it is not marked) gets steeper. On a few places a safe step and some care is needed (difficulty perhaps T3). Then we get out on the summit grasses and soon reach the top.

  • From Gasthaus Terkl, 849 m over Na potoku saddle (Patoksattel), 1411 m and Meli to SE ridge and to the top. Hard, demanding orientation! 4h.

    Kališnikovo poldne

    The map of Kalisnikovo poldne
    Kosuta from below Kalisnikovo poldne
    Košuta from below Kališnikovo poldne
    The common feeling is, that with Tolsta Košuta this long ridge ends on the east. But a closer look shows you, that the main crest indeed lowers much, but continues in the same direction. The mountains which follow are not much important in a mountaineering sense, but to those who strive to explore more remote corners they can still be a nice goal. And the hike from Šajda saddle, where Košuta really ends on the east, over this ridge is a nice half day tour - depending how far you go.

    The ridge from Tolsta Košuta towards the E-NE is forrested, but the summits are rocky towers, still offering some nice views around. I came there from Šajda saddle one late afternoon. Reaching below the highest summit, Kališnikovo poldne, I could not find a route on top of those rocks. The marked path is steep and narrow, occasionally exposed, but overall not difficult. But I saw nowhere a sign of an ascent route towards the right. I tried on one place, following a tiny beaten path, but that one ended soon. Having not enough time to explore, I returned very disappointed. So, I hope will be able to describe these summits more in detail some time in the future.

    Otherwise the marked path starts gently on Šajda saddle, after some 20 minutes it reaches another saddle, Maležnikovo sedlo, where a nice small church stands. Then it continues by the ridge until below Režovnikovo poldne ('poldne' means 'noon' - these mountains are a sun clock for farms on the north), where the marked path branches and goes by the NW slopes of this hill. Red dots however also lead by its N ridge on top. When the marked path reaches the main ridge again (W of Režovnikovo poldne), there is a crossroads. From the left a marked path arrives up from Francl inn in Korte valley.

    The continuation goes towards the west. At first by the ridge, but then soon on its steep southern slopes. Below Kališnikovo poldne these are rocky, very picturesque, and because we are now moving already above the valley of Korte, we enjoy nice views towards the south, on Kamnik and Savinja Alps. In several small ups and downs the narrow path crosses the slopes, finally reaching the western ridge of Kališnikovo poldne. There it turns down towards Potok saddle, from which we can either continue towards the west or descend northwards in the valley.
    The small church on Maleznik saddle
    Kalisnikovo poldne route
    Below Kalisnikovo poldne
    The view from below Kalisnikovo poldne

    Getting There

    Zell / Sela
    Mossy footpath
    Petr Drápalík - A mossy path

    One of main connections between Austria and Slovenia over Karavanke mountains is a road over Ljubelj pass (Loiblpass). This road is the fastest connection between Ljubljana and Klagenfurt. On the southern side of Ljubelj pass a small town Trzic lies. Here from the main road a side road branches into the valley of Trziska Bistrica creek. Along this small river a road goes along the whole southern side of Koschuta. On some places from this road side forrest roads go up the high alpine meadows. Many of them can be done by car and they are of course very appropriate for mountain biking. Thus we can reach the altitude up to 1300m. All these roads are free of charge.

    On the northern side the towns of Ferlach (Borovlje) and Eisenkappel (Zelezna Kapla) are also connected with a road, which approaches Koschuta. From this road towards south many side roads go up along deep creeks, thus reaching high lying farm houses.

    Because of many side valleys and roads in them, here is an overview map, showing roughly the situation.

    You can see a detailed map on:

    That's in German, but as of classical maps, you can refer to:

    Karavanke, Central part and Grintovci, 1:50000. Planinska zveza Slovenije.

    For ski tours refer to:
    1. Manfred Korbaj: 1. Kaerntner Schitourenfuehrer. H. Weishaupt Verlag. Graz. 1992. (In German language)
    2. M. Chrnivec, C. Prachek: Turni smuki. Planinska zveza Slovenije, 1984. (In Slovenian language)

    Traversing the Whole Kosuta Range

    If you come with bus or car on Ljubelj pass, you will need someone to pick you up nexd day in the valley of Trziska Bistrica (below Dolga njiva, preferably). You climb first Kosutica and descend to Hajnz saddle, ascend by ferratta Veliki vrh and hike comfortably to Kladivo. The descent to Skrbina is a bit harder. Below, you can sleep on huts of Pungart alpine meadow. The second day you ascend Skrbina saddle again and continue by the main ridge over Tegoska gora and Macesje towards east. This part of ridge is harder and requires some carefulness and easy climbing. After you climb the highest point, Kosutnikov turn, you may descend down, but if you wish to continue towards east, a narrow ridge without a path is awaiting for you. This part is a real climbing route, with some places of II. degree, predominantly I. degree. From Tolsta Kosuta you descend down to Dolga njiva. The traversing can best be done with the support of two cars (one waiting below Dolga njiva, the other one on Ljubelj pass). The route is equally attractive in the opposite direction.

    Harder Climbs in Kosuta

    In Kladivo (Hajnzturm) north face there are nice routes up to degree V.

    In Tegoska gora there are two regions, Mittelwand and Breitwand, with routes up to degree VI.

    In Cjajnik there are many popular routes up do degree VI.

    In Ostrv (close west of Kosutnikov turn) there are some routes up to degree Vi-.

    In Kosutnikov turn there are many popular routes up to degree V.

    Ski tours list

    1. From Hanjz saddle on both directions (towards NE or SW). Medium hard.
    2. From Veliki vrh to Kofce hut and further down to main valley. Medium hard, classical tour, highly recommendable!
    3. From Kofce gora and Kladivo towards south. Medium hard, steep ski tour.
    4. From Skrbina towards south. Easy tour.
    5. From Tolsta Kosuta to Dolda njiva. Hard, on the top part steep ski tour.

    Ski tour from the highest summit, Kosutnikov turn, is considered as an alpinictic descent. Upper slopes are very steep, also the east ravine is steep and dangerous.

    Red Tape

    No limitations. The route from Sela (Zell) towards Koschutahaus must be paid.

    When To Climb

    JFS - Winter on Veli vrh
    Above Kofce
    haubi - winter ascent

    Koschuta can be climbed in all seasons. For hiking and climbing best months are July to October. For tour skiing best months are January to May (depending on snow).

    Weather: see here.


    Dom na Kofcah, 1505m. Opened from April to October, 28 beds. Tel.: 050/ 625 653.
    Koschutahaus, 1279m. Opened from June 1st to October 31st, 60+10 beds.