The center of Slovenian climbing
Osp,Misja pec, Crni Kal.
These three names represent a cluster of climbing spots in Slovenia, right near the border with Trieste. Name any of them in Slovenia or just across the border, and every climber will know what you are talking about.
Name them around Europe, and most strong climbers will know about them.
They are three separate climbing areas on the edge of the Karst, where the plateau drops and the ground turns into the more gentle hills of the Istrian inland.
Osp and Misja Pec, it is evident to the naked eye, are two huge collapsed caves, while Crni Kal represents a long and exposed step of limestone on the edge of the Karst.
They are not more than a mile away from each other, and all together, they offer over 600 climbing routes, from the easiest to some of the hardest in Europe, from sport climbing single pitch routes to multipitch, to trad to aid.
These areas are the undisputed center of Slovenian climbing, and if added to the nearby Val Rosandra
and the crags above Trieste, climbing routes in the area number in the thousands.
From Trieste drive towards Muggia and the border of Rabuiese. At a roundabout just under the highway, turn left, following directions for Osp and Montedoro. At the end of a road crossing the industrial area, turn left, and just before the shopping mall “Montedoro”, take a narrow road on the right. Follow it until you reach Osp, or continue to Misja Pec, or to Crni Kal.
You can also cross the border at Pesek and continue toward Koper, then turn following indications to Crni Kal.
From Slovenia, coming from the north, take the road from Ljubliana to Koper (not the highway), and follow it until you pass Kozina, then follow directions to Crni Kal.
From the south, from Koper, take the road to Ljubliana, until you are under the big Viadukt (the bridge where the highway passes).
A map of the area: 1-Osp 2-Misja Pec 3-Crni Kal
It is the true climbing hub. The town of Osp lies just under the massive (more than 150mt) overhanging (about 40mt) wall, and the first climbing routes actually start just meters away from the houses.
The main sector, with most of the single pitch routes and some of the multipitch ones starts behind the houses. You must enter the town, to rech it. Following the rocky face, the trail climbs upwards, offering very diverse climbing and a great view on the town and valley.
But don't forget to visit the cave. To reach it you must head right into the forest at the base of the wall, right near a small bridge on the road that crosses the town. Follow the trail until you reach the huge hole in the stone from which the Osp creek is born. Ancient walls still stand, protecting the entrance to the cave and the access to the precious water. Inside the cave, with a soft sandy floor, some extremely hard, overhanging and horizontal routes criss-cross the roof.
On the outside of the cave are other single pitch routes, mostly hard, and most of the multipitch ones. Some of them takling directly the huge overhang.
the karst edge
Just a walk away from Osp, Misja pec looks like a perfect horseshoe. It is not as high as Osp, but here is where the tough climbers come.
There is a parking space just meters away from the road, and from there a trail cuts through the bush, going up toward the walls.
There are very few easy routes here, literally a handfull that are around 5.9 or 5.10, and they are all on the two sides of the horseshoe, furthest from the center. Then the difficulty goes up quickly (up to 5.15a), as does the amount of overhang on the routes.
View at sunset
Not more than a mile away from the other two areas, it consists of a long lip of limestone, running along the karst edge. Here climbing is more relaxed. Single pitches for all levels and tastes. Chimneys, slabs, overhangs... you name it, and you got it. Belayers are protected by the shadow of the trees, and you just might find the group of climbers that take folding tables, hammoks and a few bottles of wine to aid their rest after the workout.
The first sector to the left is also really peculiar, as you get to climb on a 20/30 mt high rock, which holds on it's top an ancient fort for protection against the turks.
[img:665502:aligncenter:medium:The turk tower]
[img:88897:alignleft:medium:the karst edge][img:773178:alignright:medium:View at sunset]
Where to stay
There is a climber-friendly camp ground in Osp, and i hear it also has a small indoor wall. From there it is possible to reach all three sectors in just minutes.
An alternative is to stay in Trieste, about 15 minutes away, and close to other climbing areas as well.
Or if you prefer being near the beach and the climbing, you can stay at Koper.
When to climb
It is possible to climb here all year long, though in summer it might be a good idea to avoid the hottest hours.
If you are strong enough, the overhanging walls of Osp and Misja Pec make it possible to climb on try rock even when it is raining.
What to do
Isn't climbing enough???
Just in case it isn't, or if you want to relax after the climb, there are a few retaurants in the Osp valley, and a panoramic bar called Viki Burger, right under the town of Crni Kal.
The roads running up and down the surrounding hills are perfect for bike rides, and you should absolutely take the time to hike up to Socerb castle and admire the view.
If you still haven't had enough, you can enjoy the sea, sight-seeing in Trieste, and the wonderful Val Rosandra
links and videos
The best guide for climbing in the area is "Climbing without frontiers by editor Sidarta".
Here are some external links:
Multipitch route (Medo) report - Italian
And a few videos to show the walls:
climbing in Osp
Adam Ondra in Osp
Climbing in Misja Pec
8b in Osp