What's new on this page?
> December 28th, 2015 - Pečovnik chapter updated.
> April 22nd, 2015 - Bela peč chapter added.
> March 20th, 2005 - Initial set up of the page.
The area gets presented
South east of the impressive Košuta, the 120 km long Karavanke range forms a side crest, where a group of smaller hills stand. The highest Karavanke range goes towards the east more on the northern side, here, between Tržič and Jezersko, the range hits on Kamnik Alps, and beyond Kokra nad Jezersko valley the nature of mountains drastically changes. In this group we shall describe mountains, standing in two crests: the first one is stretching from Košuta to Jezerski vrh / Seeberg Sattle (saddle), the other crest deters from this one towards the south, where on Javorniško sedlo (sadle) it hits the Storžič group, belonging again to Kamnik Alps.
Here we are dealing with a small group of mountains. So why this page is named after Stegovnik, the mountain, which is nor the highest, nor the most known among them? The group does not have a common name. Its mountains are remote and the majority of them seldomly visited. The highest mountain in the group, Plešivec, stands so close to Košuta that only few people visit it. So, I have chosen as a representative the Stegovnik, which is a nice mountain and is standing in the middle of the group.
Mountains around Stegovnik are primarilly hiking goals. Even if remote, they can be approached by many forrest roads, where you can use also a mountain bike. The whole region offers a few really nice biking tours. Some summits are also nice ski tours goals, especially in winter, when higher mountains are too dangerous because of avalanches. Although some summits have short rocky faces they are not appropriate for technical climbing. Only a few passages of ordinary paths are secured by steel ropes and pegs. And finally, besides solitude, mountaineers will enjoy in these mountains great panoramas - on Kamnik Alps, Karavanke and also more distant ranges of Alps.
Some of the mountains west of Jezersko
A winter scene from Plešivec
Košuta from Plešivec
The first mountain SE of Košuta is almost to the top covered with forrest and pine-bush. Its name means 'baldy', so in the past probably it was more grassy on the top, but even in nowadays warm times from its summit the view is opened. The most attractive is the whole range of Košuta, stretching just in front of us. When having enough snow, it offers also a nice ski tour.
People almost exclusively reach Plešivec from Dolga njiva alpine meadow (from the west) - 30 minutes from the highest part of the meadow. Where the marked path reaches the saddle on the main crest between Košuta and Plešivec, you turn right and ascend the summit by the clearing, which remained from the times when the state border was still hardly guarded. This is also the normal ski tour. Especially Dolga njiva is in winter a paradise for skiing. South around the mountain a marked path goes towards Fevča alpine meadow and Pečovnik. From this path to the summit you need to overcome a great obstacle - very dense 'plantages' of pine-bush, where you can only hardly proceed.
A MemoryI missed the direct path by a frontier clearing and proceeded by the marked path south around. When realised the mistake I said to myself: 'Ok, at least I gained some heigth'. And started to ascend directly up. An early summer day was hot, I soon began fighting with pine-bushes. 'How can these monsters be so dense'! Crawled below, pushed them away, floated over their branches - and came nowhere. Exhausted the whole vocabulary of dirty words and started to repeat them. Nothing helped me. Finally I started crossing, tending to crawl a bit downwards until reached the clearing. Then, reaching the summit was only a matter of minutes.
At hunters hut above Komatevra
The view on Kamnik Alps
This mountain is more important in a geographical sense than in a mountaineering sense. Here the side ridge deters towards the south. The panorama from the summit is nice.
Pečovnik can be reached by trails which start on forrest roads, ascending quite high on the mountain. From Brsnina meadow it can be reached in one hour, from Belščica meadow (on the Austrian side) also in one hour, from Komatevra (Jezersko side) even in a shorter time. In Komatevra, the road is closed between July 20th and October 20th, but outside that period, you can reach by car as high as 1500 m - till the ex Yugoslav frontiers house. From there you continue northwards, reach the state border and go along it a bit towards the left.
Košuta range from the meadow just below Pečovnik
Virnikov Grintavec / Kaerntner Grintoutz, 1654m
Virnikov Grintavec from the south
On the summit of Virnikov Grintavec
The summit panorama
This is a nice mountain, which looks fine especially from Jezersko side (from the SE). Its most attractive feature is a great panorama over Jezersko to the north walls of Kamnik Alps.
The mountain can be reached from Jezersko by marked paths (2 hours), if we use forrest roads, we can start walking higher, so shortening the hike considerably. One road goes from Spodnje (Lower) Jezersko into Komatevra valley and from there further up, the other road approaches the mountain from Zgornje (Upper) Jezersko, yet the third one from below Jezersko sedlo / Seeberg Sattel. Roads go up towards the summit also from Troegern/Korte.
Either by the road or by a marked path we reach from Jezersko the forrested ridge Olipov rob, above Muri farm. by this ridge the marked path goes nortwards, avoids left the rocky Žarkove peči and then soon reaches the main ridge. There it turns left and goes partly by the eastern ridge of Virnikov Grintovec, partly south of it towards the summit. In this part the path is steep and requires some care if wet, snowy or even icy (crampons in this case). Then it approaches the southern summit ridge and in a few steps we are on top.
A MemoryLate autumn, a very clear, windy day. We are sitting alone, just below the summit, enjoying the fantastic view towards Kočna and Grintovec. Suddenly high above us a big bird shows up. It gains altitude, does a few circles, we can still clearly distinguish the characteristic wings - it's an eagle! Then the big bird decides to take the direction over Jezersko valley towards the east. With a help of the west wind the bird gains an incredible speed. You can't say how fast, but it goes like a jet fighter. In a few seconds it disappers and we remain sitting there, asking ourselves if that was true or just a beautiful dream!
And a Second MemoryIf it's such a beautiful day, you can shorten the working Friday. But it's 5:30 p.m. when I reach Jezersko. I'm hiking around, shooting pictures, then I'm driving down and into the Kokra valley. I have no map so I miss the forrest road right upwards. My road soon ends and I take by foot a cart-road approximately in my direction. Then I go directly upwards over a steep forrest slope, hit another path and leave it again, until below what seem to be the summit rocks I'm totally doomed. A hunters passage climbs up a sharp ridge, then crosses steep western slopes to avoid rocks. It's already snow up here, so I must be careful. On a steep scree slope I can track hunters passages no more. So, directly upwards! In a ravine it gets so steep that I must pull up with hands, steep grass, rocks, some pine-bushes and the outcome of my passage is uncertain. Dude, Vid! Perhaps nobody ever went here. Finally I exit - just on the summit. And it's time, because Kamnik Alps on the other side of Jezersko valley are receiving the last sunrays. Still, I long enjoy the beautiful panorama. I don't care if I'll have to run down.
Pristovski Storzic / Kaerntner Storschitz, 1759m
As the second highest mountain in this group is standing just above Jezersko sedlo / Seeberg Sattel, the saddle where the main road crosses these mountains, it is often visited. Perhaps from its summit one has the best view on Kamnik Alps from north. The east face of the mountain is rocky, all other sides are covered with woods and higher with pine-bush. In the east face one clibming route is recorded - V. Wolf v. Glanvell, September 19th, 1901.
The shortest approach comes to the summit from the saddle. On the Austrian side we first follow a good forrest road (some 300m), then the marked path goes over an alpine meadow and through the forrest, until it becomes steep and exposed. Here the route is secured with pegs and steel ropes. Through a short ravine we climb to the notch in the south ridge and on the other side proceed by western slopes. Through pine bushes the path reaches the open summit ridge and the summit itself. 1h 45min. Much longer are approaches from the north and west (Troegern/Korte).
Veliki vrh, 1634m
A completely unimportant forrested summit south of Pečovnik. It can be reached by the same paths and forrest roads.
On the summit of Ruš
A scene below the summit of Ruš - Storžič
From Komatevra valley or from Mali Javornik this summit looks quite sharp, but its importance is quite a minor one. It has steep slopes, down to Komatevra valley also rocky ones, but covered with woods almost to the top. It is rarely visited, but the view from its summit is almost equally beautiful as from the nearby Stegovnik.
Reaching Fevča meadow
(either from the south or from the north), we have just one small jump on the summit of Ruš: A good, unmarked path leads us towards the east and in a short ascent soon reaches the SW ridge. Already from that point we have a nice view, but it's worth continuing a bit more towards the left on the very summit of Ruš. That one is decorated (2011) by a bench and an interesting root in a form of a "skater", but resembling also a usual summit cross.
Stegovnik western view
Stegovnik from the SW
Stegovnik is not the highest mountain of this area, but in a way it is privileged, being broad, rocky, for this altitude nice looking from all sides. As some easy rock climbing is needed for the ascent from any side, we should consider it visiting in times when paths can be covered with snow or even ice. Its long summit ridge offers besides a nice view all around also a decent rocky scenery. On the lower parts it seems that the rocky structure is not so hard. On the south-western part, one of the marked routes leads us through a nice, quite big window in stone, on the eastern part the mountain is hiding also a cave.
Stegovnik can be best ascended from the south-western side. We use the forrest road (bike?), which ascends on the mountain from Medvodje, the road, coming below the summit from Lom, or the road to Javornik alpine meadow. Using any of these, we must reach the saddle between Mali Javornik and Stegovnik. From there the marked path takes us through the window in rocks of the SW face, later it climbs on the main ridge and follows it to the summit ridge. It still takes us some 15 minutes to get to the highest point on the other side of the summit ridge. The other option to ascend Stegovnik is from Jezersko side. A steep forrest road and a cart road takes us high below the saddle on the NE side of the mountain, from there an airy path takes us to the top.
Evening on Stegovnik
A MemoryIt's been a few years since I hardly reached the summit in winter conditions. It's autumn now and we shall certainly be able to make it up there with small children. Well, now we are on the top of summit rocks. Both kids are enjoying the summit feeling, but with Jasmina we are a bit scared - we shall again struggle down with small children in a complete darkness.
Mali Javornik, 1684m
"Patricians and plebeians"
The characterThis is a quite fine summit south of Stegovnik, less appropriate for an independent tour, but nice in a combination with its bigger brother Zeniklovec. It is covered with a forrest almost to the top, only its last meters are grassy. So the summit has the same nice panorama as its neighbours. In winter a ski tour can be done from the summit, but the best descent through one of its ravines towards west is still an unknown to me.
RoutesThe finest ascent comes from Javornik alpine meadow, either over the summit of Zeniklovec or by the marked path which crosses western slopes of this crest. From the saddle between Zeniklovec and Mali Javornik in 30 minutes to the top. From Javornik meadow 2h 30min. The other option is the road which ascends below Stegovnik from Medvodje. We ascend first the saddle between Stegovnik and Mali Javornik and from there to the top. Some 2 hours. From Jezersko side we can ascend the summit from Dol valley in some 2 hours.
A MemoryIt's April, snow is fastly melting and I'm hiking along the crest from Ženiklovec to Mali Javornik. While above the grassy ridge is still covered with snow, some 100 meters lower I can enjoy in abundance of spring flowers. This is the best way how the nature convinces me of life power. Around a strong tree there's still some 50 cm of snow. But, must be only in the last few days, the circle around the tree has melted and now it is already densely covered with flowers.
Zeniklovec or Veliki Javornik, 1716m
Skiing from Veliki Javornik (Ženiklovec)
The characterThis summit is so different from the rest that it would perhaps deserve even its own page. Nice grassy slopes, an alpine meadow below the summit with quite some huts, frequently visited. This summit was a great surprise when we first time visited it. How is it possible, that, so hidden behind Storzic, it offers such a nice panorama? And the skiing down was like a beautiful dream. That video is still the best I have ever made. So, Ženiklovec is used as the mountain of the first snow criteria. When a fresh snow falls, you drive as long as you can into Lom valley and then continue to the top. Skiing down can be done over many meadows, not only on the top part of the mountain. Perhaps a few pictures on this page can also convince you.
RoutesFrom the alpine meadow below the Javornik meadow (and hut) can be reached in good 30 minutes, the summit in an hour. Nice is also the marked path, coming to Javornik meadow from the summit of Storzic.
A MemoryHalf meter of a fresh powder snow. I'm just sinking down towards the hut. Without stopping, the whole slope in one dreamy ride. Then I'll go up again...
Bela pec, 1583 m
The magnificent view on Storžič from Bela peč
The characterThe rocky promontory of Bela peč, peeking only a little out of the forrested area north of Lom valley, would be completely unimportant, if it did not have two excellent features:
> The view from its top on Storžič north face is unsurpassable.
> In the 150 m high crags there are some 40+ climbing routes in good rock.
On-line guide - Milan Meglič: Bela peč, 2004.
So, the narrow summit is a nice hiking destination and the whole area is also a paradise for mountain biking. Otherwise the plateau-like world NW of the summit host also a few nice alpine meadows, worth of a visit.
The best approach to Bela peč area is from Lom valley. In the last village, Grahovše we drive up till the last farm, where the road is blocked by a ramp. It opens with a coin of 1 EUR (Have also one for the return!). For both approaches, described below, you can use also a mountain bike (and even combine everything in a longer round tour).
RoutesMountain roads encircle the summit of Bela peč. To reach its top, there are two general variants:
1. East approach. From Grahovše you hike (ride or drive) by the road right, eastwards, towards the Javornik meadow. Above Gabrčev rovt (meadow), after the road ascends towards Bela peč, there is a big right turn on the road. From it we continue some 500 m more by the road towards Javornik meadow, then 2 marked paths deter to the left:
The arrival in Bela peč> The first path crosses the slopes back (just above the road), and then westwards till below the vertical south wall of Bela peč. Here climbers go to reach their trailheads. Below the crag there is a memorial plate to Jože Rozman, a local climber who died on Kanchenjunga. From below the wall a narrow, not marked path continues westwards along the crag, and then northwards up on the top. This tiny path requires some care and is more demanding (T3) than the approach path. Altogether some more than 30 min from the road.
The south crags of Bela peč> The second path deters left from the road a bit later (also inscription), on the place where the road starts slightly descending. The marked path goes westwards directly towards the summit. It is easy, only one short section crosses very steep slopes (Carefully, if icy!). Some 20 min to the top, T2.
Lom valley from Bela peč2. West approach. This approach is easy (T2), but much longer than the one from the east. It goes over nice meadows. From the ramp we go a few minutes by the road towards the east and then on the first crossroads take the left road - to Konjščica meadow. We first walk towards the NW, then towards the N. On some 1280 m a marked path deters right. That's the shortcut which reaches higher on the road again, on some 1400 m. Then we continue right (eastwards) and soon reach the beautiful Lower Konjščica (meadow), 1451 m. From it a cart road continues eastwards, on Zgornja Konjščica, 1571 m, and a bit more towards the SE, where we reach a broad, forrested main ridge. To the summit of Bela peč we have only a few more minutes.
Jezersko resort and Kamnik Alps above itFor the broader overview see the Karavanke/Karawanken page!
The first option to reach trailheads is the valley of Tržiška Bistrica (drive through Tržič town). For the summits of Javornik, Bela peč and Stegovnik you can start on the parking place at the end of Lom valley, or drive a bit higher towards Javorniška planina (meadow). Other summits can be approached from mountain roads which branch in Medvodje. From that crossroads you can drive quite high up towards the east below Stegovnik, Ruš, Veliki vrh and Pečovnik. The last option is to drive from medvodje towards the north and park below Dolga njiva (alpine meadow). From there you can ascend Plešivec.
Late autumn in DolThe second valley to start the tours in this area is Jezersko and its side valleys. The first side valley (from below) is Reka valley into which from the north Zabukovski potok flows. There you can park just above Dol, on some 800 m. The second valley is Komatevra, through which Kokra river flows. Through this valley you can drive up almost to the main ridge (below Ruš and Pečovnik, or you can soon deter right to the trailhead below Virnikov Grintavec. From Zgornje (Upper) Jezersko many short side valleys go towards the north and west. And finally you can start the tour on Jezersko sedlo (saddle), the main pass from this valley over the border to Austria. There the tour on Pristovški Storžič starts.
From the Austrian side these mountains can be reached by the main road which runs through the valley of Bela. Eisenkappel / Zelezna Kapla is the town in the lower part of the valley. From Eisenkappel / Zelezna Kapla a good road goes towards the west, following the valley of Obirski potok. This valley divides the massif of Obir from Košuta and our mountain massif. From this road towards the south a road goes to Troegern / Korte. Hamlets and farms in this valley and roads leading to and through them, enable ascents on our summits from north.
Red TapeThere are no limitations.
When To ClimbThese summits can be climbed throughout the whole season. Though, in deep snow some ascents can become very tedious if not impossible. Also take care that some harder routes may not be passable in winter or in hard conditions.
Huts and CampingTo ascend any of the summits huts are not really needed. These are all one-day hikes. So, there are no mountain huts. A few private huts offer food in summer, for example on Javornik meadow, Dolga Njiva meadow (under Koschuta), Medvodje, in Troegern/Korte.
Jezersko is a well developed tourist resort. There you can find any type of accomodation. Eisenkappel / Zelezna Kapla is a spa, for tourism also farms north of our massif are developed.