Krnica Valley

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 46.43000°N / 13.82000°E
Additional Information Route Type: Combined Hike and Ferratta
Additional Information Time Required: One to two days
Additional Information Difficulty: Ferrata sections, tough
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About Route

This is longest and toughest Skrlatica approach. It contains two ferratta sections: Kriska Stena face and Skrlatica summit climb. Once you climbed Kriska Stena you have to go down, up and again down to reach Skrlatica summit climb. Altitude difference is enormous: almost 2000 vertical meters up and 300 meters down, only to the summit! If you descent to Vrata valley, on the same day, you have done of the toughest and most beautiful combinations in Slovenia. This is only for experienced mountaineers in good shape. Also not for dizzy people.

Starting point of the route is Koca v Krnici hut (1113m), which lies in Krnica valley. The valley is beautiful, with stunning scenery. All around are some of the highest peaks of Julian Alps that fall into the valley with huge walls: Skrlatica (2740m), Rakova Spica (2545m), Razor (2601m) and Prisojnik (2547m). Krnica ends with probably most beautiful amphitheater in Julian Alps – Kriska Stena.

Reaching Starting Point: Koca v Krnici hut

Hut is accessible from Kranjska Gora to Vrsic pass road. Junction towards the hut is some 2 kilometers behind Kranjska Gora, just at the bridge where main road crosses over Pisnica river to the right. From the bridge is 3 kilometers to V Klinu pasture where you have to park. From here is 20 more minutes to the hut. If you are on foot from Kranjska Gora you will need 1.30-2h.

Krnica valley - Skrlatica (2734m): 6-6.30h

From the hut path gradually ascends up the valley till it reaches the foothills of Razor’s impressive north wall. From here it becomes steeper. Path passes by a source. Valley is becoming narrower all the time till its completely closed by impressive Kriska Stena, rounded, 400 meters high wall. It feels like at the bottom of a well as you stand at the V Kotu, scree and rocky plateau at the end of a valley, which is strewn by huge boulders.

Path turns left, ascending over scree slopes, which are usually under snow, till it reaches the cliffs. Face is climbed in many zigzags because path if following natural week passes. It is very exposed and not especially well secured so you have to be careful. Not for dizzy ones. After an hour of climbing you reach the edge of the face and step onto the ridge. Altitude is 2290 meters and views are wide. 3h from the hut.

From the right Pogacnikov Dom hut or Trenta route approaches, we continue straight, descending gradually towards the nearby junction. Straight down is towards Bivak IV bivouac and Vrata valley, while we turn left. Path is now mostly traversing large rocky slopes, going to the left, around huge and deep basin at the foothills of Dolkova Spica (2591m), which is strewn with huge boulders. Once around it, a tough ascent awaits. In front of us is 300 meters high scree slope that will end at the Rdeca Skrbina pass (2500m), a narrow door between Rogljica (2547m) and Dolkova Spica (2591m). From the pass Skrlatica (2740m) gets into view. It is massive and occupies half of the viewing field. Even more frightening is that you just found out how you must first descent 200 meters into Zadnji Dolek basin, to reach the summit climb.

If you have any strength and will left don’t miss to climb Dolkova Spica (2591m), which is just dozen minutes away from here.

Behind the pass path descends steeply over red and slippery scree couloir. Once out of it, it turns right, going more gradually down. At the bottom of Zadnji Dolek you reach Vrata valley route. 2.30h from the top of Kriska Stena.

Enormously tough section is ahead, summit climb. You are already tired so over hundred meters high soft scree slope will surely damage your nerves. One step forward and two steps back is the way it goes here J. Ever moving path will take you up, to the right, where you enter the ferratta and Skrlatica summit climb. 1h to go.

Numerous pegs and fixed steel ropes take you to the right climbing all the time. Cliffs are not too exposed and the ascent is amusing and attractive with few very interesting sections. Once you reach the south ridge path turns sharply left and you are out of the cliffs. Ridge to the summit is long, steep and quite exposed with fantastic panoramas. In 30 minutes you are standing bellow the cross on the summit of Skrlatica. Starting point of the route is straight bellow, so deep that you will hardly spot Krnica hut.

Essential Gear

In autumn, winter and spring ice axe, crampons, rope, helmet. In summer normal hiking gear + maybe a helmet


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