Mangart On a Sunny Day
After more than 20 years of inactivity in mountaineering in July 2006 we decided that it’s high time to see again, how the valleys look alike from high above. Our first target was Mangart, one of most beautiful mountains in Slovenia. Together with a group of hikers from PD (mountaineering club) Trbovlje we set out to “conquer” Mangart on one and Spik Hude police (Cima di Terrarossa) in Italy on the next day.
The road up to Mangart saddle is an interesting experience for people, not used to narrow, winding mountain roads. Not so for us, though.
After reaching the highest point that can be reached by car in Slovenia, we started our ascent to the summit. Like the majority of visitors, we decided for ascent via Slovenian and descent via Italian route. After short ascent from the road we reached the foot of the west wall and our trail bent upwards sharply.
Steel ropes and pegs, beginning right at the foot of the wall were our faithful companions almost up till the summit itself. There are some (although quite few) mountaineers, descending this route and passing is in some places quite interesting – someone (usually the one descending) has to find a small spot and make themselves quite thin and small to let the others, going up pass. After my pants ripped, giving me additional ventilation, we had to find a place where I could take off my backpack, find another pants and change, while the others “enjoyed” the show. Not exactly the easiest of all tasks, considering the nature of the trail – steep, narrow, exposed.
I count Mangart to one of most beautiful and also challenging mountains and there are many more, sharing this belief. At least the crowd at the top proved this statement correct. If you can get there and count less than 20-30 people being there at any given time, you can count yourself lonely. Well, to be honest, it was summer, it was Saturday and the visitors were mainly Italians and Austrians.
We spent about half an hour there, resting and enjoying the magnificent view and flight skills of jackdaws, circling overhead. Descending the easier Italian route proved to be interesting with perfect views over Managart lakes and nearby mountain ridges.
This time our path lead us right down to the Mangart Saddle hut, where we were to sleep over before leaving for Montassio group tomorrow. The hut itself is in no way special, but there are lots of mountain flowers in the nearest vicinity. However, you can get a perfect stew – one of the best I’ve ever eaten.
After finishing the day’s trip, we realized how much we’ve missed the mountains, without being really aware of it. Mangart may be a mountain, not exactly suitable for beginners, but it was a great re-start of our mountaineering. We weren’t exactly tired, being on the trail for about 4 hours, but hey… every beginning is difficult!
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