Krn Group

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Julian Alps, Slovenia, Europe
Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Via Ferrata, Skiing
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7362 ft / 2244 m
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Krn Group
Created On: Jan 18, 2005
Last Edited On: Jun 29, 2009

What's New On This Page?

January 18th, 2005 - Initial set up of the page.

Geographical Structure

Krn, 2244mBatognica, 2164mVrh nad Peski, 2176mMaselnik, 1903mVeliki and Mali Smohor, 1931m and 1944mKrncica, 2142mVrsic, 1897mKal, 1698mVeliki Lemez, 2043mDebeljak, 1869mJavorscek, 1557mLipnik, 1867mKrasji vrh, 1773mVeliki vrh, 1767mVeliki Stador, 1903mRdeci Rob, 1913mSkofic, 2013m
Veliki Kuntar, 1712mMrzli vrh, 1359mHudi vrh, 1808mVrsici, 1704mSkutnik, 2074mGriva, 1999m Krn Subgroup interactive map: Hover over summit marks to see mountain names, click on them to get SummitPost pages!

The Purpose of This Page

On this page I would like to give an overview information of Bohinj Subgroup (Julian Alps), in order not to be repeated on all distinct summit pages. The map above links you to distinct summit pages on SummitPost! Regarding pictures and routes, this page is the place only for overall information.


Krn group from east, from Bohinjska vratca (saddle).

KrncicaSummit panorama
View to ..Krn group from the east

Like a giant wedge Krn group is "pushing" the river Soca towards west. Running towards west, passing Bovec it reaches Zaga village, where it turns sharply and continues flowing towards south-east, through Kobarid to Tolmin and further on. Eastern borders of the group can also be easily set. On north it is the Lepena valley, then the high valley east of Krn lake and towards south the Tolminka valley.

The character of this group is interesting. Its mountains are not very high, but relative altitude differences are very considerable. Southern slopes of Krn, for example, are falling steadily down towards Soca river for more than 2000 meters. Some mountains in the group are steep and hard to reach. Especially on the north the 'Trenta' character of mountains is already visible. In the southern part, summits are almost the same, but some are surrounded with more modest forehills. And the undisputable king of the group is Krn itself. Very dominant, with its typical nose shape, it can be seen almost from any point in Julian Alps and from Slovenian forehills, down to the Adriatic coast.


On south-east Krn group starts raising with some moderate hills, until above the broad ex glacial amphitheatre all the main summits are arranged. Eastern slopes of this subgroup, raising above the Tolminka river valley, are even steeper. Towards north these mountains are falling with bare karst-like slopes down to the high valley of Krn lake. The main mountains are the following:

Krn, 2244m. The king of the group, easy to ascend, also a ferrata and some hard climbs, great ski tours, unsurpassable panorama.
Batognica, 2164m. Table-top mountain, known by heavy fights during the World War I.
Vrh nad Peski, 2176m. Funny sharp peak with a lot of gravel. Nice ski tour.
Maselnik, 1903m, Rdeci rob, 1913m, ... less important summits of the SE corner.
Veliki and Mali Smohor, 1931m and 1944m. Lonesome summits, standing south of Krn lake.

From Krn summit towards north-west a long crest goes. Its summits are steep, but vary only a little in altitude. Due to this fact and due to still preserved paths from the World War I, crossing the whole crest is a great tour. In the middle of the crest the Velika Vrata pass, 1938m, allows easy passing from western to eastern side or vice versa. Summits:

Krncica, 2142m. Steep crest, consisting of several peaks. Nice crossing, some hard ski tours possible.
Vrsic, 1897m. Sharp peak with many rests from the World War I.
Kal, 1698m. NW end point of the crest, where during the World War I the most severe fightings were.

Close to Velika Vrata from Krncica ridge a strong side ridge goes towards east. It soon lowers to Cez Potoce pass, 1845m, after which it continues to the important summit of:

Veliki Lemez, 2043m. A stand alone mountain, nice panorama. Eastern foresummit is Debeljak, 1869m.

On the northern part of the group, above Soca and Lepenica rivers, the most remote mountains stand. Also visiting these summits will take you back in times of the World War I. Especially on Lipnik, you will find the whole settlement of houses - a kind of Slovenian Macchu Picchu! From Krncica ridge these summits are divided by the beautiful high valley, called Dolic. Summits:

Javorscek, 1557m. Broad, not very high, but stand-alone and nicely visible mountain.
Lipnik, 1867m. Remote, rarely visited. Interesting rests from the World War I.

And finally the wedge. West of Krncica ridge there are some nice alpine meadows, actually a long, high mountain pass. West of it the long ridge, named Polovnik, rises. Crossing it is very rewarding, but not easy. Some peaks are steep, paths are disappearing and hard to find, there you will be most certainly alone. The highest two summits are:

Krasji vrh, 1773m. Good path, nice panorama.
Veliki vrh, 1767m. Remote, challenging summit.

Mountaineering Highlights

There are too many mountaineering goals to mention them all. Here are just some ideas:

Krn from Dreznica village. Ascend over the W face ferrata and descend by the southern, normal path.
Krncica ridge. Take two days. Park on Zaplec meadow (above Dreznica and Drezniske Ravne), ascend Vrata pass on Krncica ridge. Leave there sleeping bag (tent?) and other equipment. Continue over the whole Krncica ridge, but before reaching Krn, go on the northern side around it to Krnska skrbina and to the top. Return to Krnska skrbina and visit Batognica summit. Return below Krncica ridge and find the WW1 supply path, going on its eastern side. Go to Griva summit, 1999m, Skutnik, 2074m and back to Vrata pass. Sleep there. The second day continue over the whole ridge towards NW. Descend from Kal either towards south (to your car) or find the passage towards NE into Dolic valley. Continue towards Javorscek or Lipnik and then return back to yor car around the western side of Kal.
Krn from Krn lake. Reach Dom pri Krnskih jezerih (hut) either from Lepena valley or from Komna and ascend from there the summit of Krn.
Lipnik. Reach the Golobar alpine meadow, either from Zaprikraj alpine meadow (above Dreznica and Drezniske Ravne) or from Bovec valley (Kal-Koritnica or Cezsoca). Continue towards E by a good path (not marked) to the saddle north of Lipnik and to the summit.
Krn south slopes ski tour. Drive to Krn village and ascend the summit of Krn over south slopes. Ski down there.
Komna - Krn ski tour. From Komna ascend Bogatinsko sedlo (pass), ski down to Krn lake, ascend the summit of Krn and return back. Very long!

Other Natural and Cultural Pearls of Krn Group

Krn summit. Sharp, dominant peak with an unsurpassable panorama.
Krn lake. A glacial lake with crystal clear water. Protected as a national monument of nature.
Soca river. Have a walk by the river or take a rafting or kayacking adventure.
Waterfalls. Krn group is rich with beautiful waterfalls. Some of them are easy to reach, others very hard and require quiding of local experts and canyoning equipment. Here's a valuable link for waterfall enthusiasts. Some of the most nice waterfalls are:
Kozjak waterfallKozjak waterfall
Descent over Gregorcic waterfall ?Gregorčič waterfall

- Kozjak. North of Kobarid, easy to reach. You'll feel like in a church - very nice, 15m.
- Brinta. Hard to reach, beautiful, 104m.
- Gregorcicev slap. Hard to reach, very nice, 88m.
Tolminka gorges. On Tolminka and its tributary Zadlascica there are nice gorges, arranged also for public visit. There's a saying that Dante Alighieri got inspiration for his Hell just here (but I heard that also for other places).
Javorca. This is a small church, erected on a beautiful place in Tolminka valley. It is devoted to Austro-Hungarian soldiers, who were killed in the WW1. Their names are listed on plates along the church walls.
Lipnik. On this summit there's a World War I settlement of Austro-Hungarian army. Very picturesque.

World War I In Krn Group

The small church of Javorca,...Javorca - In memoriam to WW1 soldiers

In these mountains during WW1 some of the most fierce clashes occured. The picture below shows how the frontlines were running after stabilizing in the first year of war. Early in the war Italian army succeeded to take the summit of Krn, but that was more or less all which the two oponents gained, before of the great offensive breakthrough of Austro-German army in 1917, of course. But the fact of steady frontlines didn't mean that there were no casualties. On the contrary. In addition to the fact that many died in hostile activities, shocking is also the fact that even more people died as victims of avalanches. Winters in these mountains were certainly not a joy!

Trenches, that were needed in Soca valley (near Bovec), were less close in the valley of Slatenik creek. They came as close as possible on the small summit of Kal, the northwesternmost in the long Krncica ridge. Italians were holding the summit (as the whole Krncica ridge), but Austro-Hungarians were just a few meters below, attempting to take the strategic position (also with the mine war). So, Austro-Hungarians were holding the crest of Javorscek, Lipnik and Lemez, while Italians were holding the crest of Polovnik, Krncica and the summit of Krn. On all these places fortifications can still be seen.

South-east of Krn, Italian army reached also the summit plateau of Batognica. There the two armies were entrenched in the distance of only some 15 meters. But none of them could advance. So also here the mine war developed. Attempting to dig under opponents positions soldiers of the both armies even met underground (in tunnels) and finally in some explosions the summit blew up. You can see the crater even today. Further on, Austro-Hungarians were holding the ridge above Tolminka valley, so the frontline descended into Soca valley again and crossed the river.

You will see remnants from the WW1 wherever you go in Krn group. Although now prohibited, people were for decades gathering grenades, equipment and other items, some of them arranged true home museums. So now the artefacts, that could be taken with you, are rare, but can still be found. Treating explosives requires attention, of course. But there is no danger of mines, as this is the case in territories of ex Yugoslavia after the 90's war. Hiking in Krn group is completely safe. In Soca valley you could also take a guided tour. In Kobarid it you can visit the World War I museum.

There are many internet pages on these events, unfortunately not so many in English. The most beautiful page in Slovenian language is this, and from it here are many links to English pages. But they are not mountaineering oriented.

Getting There

For the broader orientation (highways, railways, airports, ...) see the Eastern Alps GROUP page, and, because this is only a subgroup page, the Julian Alps page. On these two pages you will see, how to reach Soca valley, either from south (from Gorizia), from west (from Udine), north (from Tarvisio over Predel pass) or north-west (over Vrsic pass). Tolmin can also be reached over one of passes from east, from the central Slovenia (Ljubljana).

Once being in Soca valley, you can reach by mountain roads (all are toll free) the following points:
- end of Lepena valley,
- villages: Dreznica, Drezniske Ravne and meadows above it,
- Krn village,
- end of Tolminka valley.

- Krnsko pogorje in Kobarid. Planinska zveza Slovenije. 1:25000
- Julijske Alpe, zahodni del (western part). Planinska zveza Slovenije. 1:50000

Red Tape

Krn group is part of the Triglav national park. So, please do everything to preserve nature!

Here are some links to web pages where information is also in English:

The official page of Triglav National Parc.
A kind of bi-lingual page with panoramic pictures of the area.
A page for waterfall enthusiasts.

When To Climb

First snow on red KrnFirst snow on Krn group

Months with the most stable weather are usually from July to October. For tour skiing the best months are from March to May.

For weather see here.

Even better site is wunderground - here's the direct link to Kredarica station, 2515m (below Triglav summit).


In Krn group three huts are supporting outdoor activities:

Dom dr. Klementa Juga, 700m. Tel.: (05) 3023030, (050) 622719. This hut carries the name of Klement Jug, one of Slovenian pioneers among climbers, who fell in Triglav north wall, in a route, now also named after him. The hut is standing at the end of Lepena valley and can be reached by car. It is the starting point of tours in neighbouring mountains, not only in Krn group.

Dom pri Krnskih jezerih, 1385m. Tel.: (05) 3023030. The high valley, where Krn lake lies, is a place, where several paths meet. At the end of Lepena valley slopes raise some 650 meters and we reach the upper plateau, where several high karst valleys meet. The hut can be reached:

1. From Lepena in 1h 30min (easy, marked path).

2. From south, from Tolminka valley. You can reach with a car Polog meadows, 458m. From there you proceed northwards to the sources of Tolminka river, 675m. Planina pod Osojnico is the alpine meadow, where you can choose between two options. The right one is marked and leads NE, reaches in many turns Planina Dobrenjscica and there turns left over karst landscape on Prehodci pass, 1639m. The other option continues towards NW and is not marked. This is the supply path from the World War I and is comfortable and easy to follow. In the deep ravine below Kuntar it turns right and ascends in many turns the Prehodci pass, 1639m. From Prehodci you go best in the NW direction (path, but not marked) until you reach the broad path from Bogatinsko sedlo (pass) and soon the area of Krn lakes. From Tolminka valley 5h.

3. From Komna plateau. If you are traversing Julian Alps, you can reach Krn lake also from Komna (huts), 1520m. In 1h 15min you reach from Komna the important pass Bogatinsko sedlo, 1804m, continue towards west into the valley Za Lepocami, 1608m and by the valley further down to Krn lake. Broad, good marked (No. 1) path, from Komna 2h 30min.

4. From Gomisckovo zavetisce on the summit of Krn. See also the Krn page! From the summit of Krn you descend to Krnska skrbina (notch), 2058m, turn left (N) and by the good marked (No. 1) path descend to Krn lake. 2h.

Gomisckogo zavetisce just below the summit of Krn, 2182m. Tel.: (05) 3023030, (050) 611363. The ascents to the hut are identical to ascents on the summit of Krn.

Bivouac na Crniku stands on the altitude of 1160m just below the W face of Krn. It is allways opened and has 10 places.