Skiing behind Debeli vrh

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Julian Alps, Slovenia, Europe
Route Type:
Time Required:
A long day

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Skiing behind Debeli vrh
Created On: Nov 10, 2003
Last Edited On: Jun 18, 2017


The ski tour from the summit of Kanjavec (the highest tour ski summit in Julian Alps, extreme tours excluded) down into Bohinj valley is one of the greatest in Julian Alps. It can offer you more than 2000 altitude meters of continuous skiing, with some flat sections on the upper meadows. The scenery is great, the views from Kanjavec almost endless.

The tour "Behind Debeli vrh" is described here as an ascent. You ski down in the reverse description. The tour can be combined with any of other ski descents which end on the Blato alpine meadow. It represents the shortest ski ascent from Bohinj on Kanjavec.

General Information

Difficulty: It's a medium difficult ski tour. Technically, there are no really steep sections, but the tour is very long and if weather conditions deteriorate, orientation can get problematic.

Ascent time: From Bohinj count with good 6 hours, if you start on Blato meadow, count with good 4 hours. Those are net times of walking up, as the tour is long, allow also some time for rests!

Orientation: The tour is popular, so it's likely that we'll have a track, at least to Laz meadow. If not, orientation can be difficult. The woods above Blato meadow offer only little orientation points, and the section from Lazovški preval to Hribarice plateau can be in poor visibility very dangerous (no marks)!

Exposition: There's no serious danger of fall or more exposed slopes. The last meters below the summit of Kanjavec are steeper, but not exposed.

Slopes orientation: The slopes are mostly south oriented, but in various sections all other orientations occur. Till the edge of Debeli vrh the slopes are east oriented, the crossing behing Debeli vrh is north oriented.

Objective dangers: In deep fresh snow better don't undertake the tour. Many sections are exposed to avalanches, not only in higher areas. In Slovenian mountains avalanche risk report (on the international 5-points scale) is issued every day.

Best months: The tour can be done throughout the whole winter and spring, but usually it's safe to undertake it between March and start of May. Depending on how rich with snow was winter and what are the conditions. It's ideal to catch the time, wjen the road to Blato is already cleaned. That saves you 2 h of ascent time (600 m of altitude).

Gear: Only usual gear for tour skiing. A good map and GPS are almost mandatory.

Mountain huts support: None.

Lowest altitude: Bohinj, 551 m or Blato meadow, 1147 m.

Highest altitude: Kanjavec, 2568 m.

Approach To Blato Meadow

Blato meadow approach
The tour starts in Bohinj valley, by the lake, 525 m, or in the village of Stara Fužina, 551 m (1). At the end of the village ther's the summer parking place. During the tourist season there the road is closed (you need to pay toll). In winter conditions it may be opened, depending if it's cleaned.

From there follow the road towards the north, in Voje valley. After 1500 meters the road branches (2). Take the left forrest road, which will take you into the Suha valley (the right one continues into Voje).

Already in the lower part of Suha valley the road crosses the creek and proceeds over slopes on the northern side. Approaching the end of Suha valley the road gains with a few curves much of altitude and above the valley branches again (3).

Blato alpine meadow
Blato alpine meadow
The left branch goes to Vogar, while we take the right branch and proceed by it till Planina Blato (alpine meadow), 1147 m (4). In winter this road is not cleaned, so you can expect to drive up by car only if snow conditions are poor, or in spring, when snow stays only on higher parts of mountains. From Stara Fužina to Planina Blato you need 2 hours of walk up.

Route Description

From Blato To Laz

Skiing behind Debeli vrh 2
Some 200 meters before Blato, 1147 m, (1) marked path leaves the road and goes towards the west.

Planina Laz
Laz meadow
After some 15 minutes of light ascent the path branches (2). The left branch (westwards) would bring you on Planina pri Jezeru (likely, you will ski down there). We shall take the right branch, which turns north.

It climbs over a steep passage and above it follows natural passages through the woods. If you miss the route here (if in winter you don't find marks) you soon find yourself in wilderness, where it is very difficult to orient and also proceeding is very difficult. Anyway, the direction is north, only later it turns slightly towards the north-west. So you reach Planina v Lazu, 1560 m (3), a beautiful, big alpine meadow among Kreda, Ogradi and Debeli vrh. From Planina Blato 1 h 30 min if snow is good for walking.

From Laz Below Debeli Vrh

Skiing behind Debeli vrh 3
Debeli vrh from Prevalski Stog
The eastern slope of Debeli vrh
North of Planina v Lazu, 1560 m (1), the broad Debeli vrh, 2390 m rises. It is itself a tour skiing goal, but skiing from it's fore-summit is quite hard and good conditions are needed to do it. Our route turns slightly right, then again we have the northern direction. The immediate goal is Lazovški preval, 1966 m, the saddle between Debeli vrh (on the NW) and Ogradi (on the SE). From Planina v Lazu the terrain is almost open. We leave last larches, on the saddle (2) there are only dwarf pines.

Near the edge below Debeli...
Near the edge below Debeli vrh
On Lazovški preval (or just before it) we must leave the marked path which continues towards the north on Velo polje (and one branch right down on Jezerce meadow). In the NW direction we climb a steady slope, rising east of Debeli vrh, the slope, which will be ideal for skiing when we return. Be careful about deep, dangerous sinkholes in the karst terrain there! So we gain about 200 meters, reaching the edge (3), beyond which a great cauldron lies. From Planina v Lazu 1 h 30 min.

From Below Debeli Vrh On Kanjavec

Skiing behind Debeli vrh 4
The passage below Debeli vrh....
Crossing the slopes below Debeli vrh
From the edge below Debeli vrh (1), ca. 2100 m, we need to descend into a distinct cauldron north of this mountain. We have two options, which depend on snow conditions. Perhaps it's best to descend on the righ side directly down, losing some good 50 m of altitude. If snow conditions are safe of avalanches, we can also cross the slopes on the left, just below Debeli vrh, losing only some heigth.

Heading towards Kanjavec over...
On Hribarice - Vršaki
On the other side of cauldron (2), shallow carst valleys continue in the northern direction, towards Hribarice plateau. This part of the route is easy, we just follow the valley bottom. In poor visibility, don't experiment! Rely on GPS and keep the northern direction. Technically, the terrain there is in winter and spring ideal for skiing. We are gently gaining altitude, just enjoying high mountain scenery. So we reach Hribarice plateau (3), ca 2350 m, betwen the summit of Vršaki (on the left, 2448 m) and Mišeljski konec (rocky summit on the right, 2464 m).

As we are approaching Hribarice, the summit of Kanjavec rises more and more on the horizon ahead of us. It has two almost equally high peaks. Crossing Hribarice is fast and we continue by a shallow valley between both peaks of Kanjavec. In good conditions we still keep skis on feet, but the slope gets steeper and steeper. Careful turns, choosing best inclination and we reach the summit ridge. Higher is the right (eastern) summit of Kanjavec, but do visit both! From the edge below Debeli vrh 2 h.

Skiing Down

Summit slopes of Kanjavec. On...
From the very summit of Kanjavec
Skiing from the summit of Kanjavec
The shallow summit ravine to Hribarice
You best ski down by the ascent route. The last map above shows how the ski descents are branching.

Reaching Hribarice, you can continue westwards into the Valley of Triglav Lakes, or eastwards, into the Velska dolina (valley). These two routes will NOT bring you down on Blato meadow!

The next option is skiing south of Mišeljski konec and then very steeply eastwards down into Mišeljska dolina. If you leave that valley in the middle, you can get over the Mišeljski preval on Jezerce meadow and from there further down on Krstenica and Blato.

Next option deters from our route a bit later, when we are paralelly to the summit of Vrh Hribaric. We can deter eastwards, cross it and continue skiing below the southern side of Škednjovec. That brings us down on Jezerce as well.

Finally, we can on the same place keep more towards right (westwards). Keeping a bit west of the ridge, which goes on Debeli vrh, we can ski on Laz meadow by the route, called "In front of Debeli vrh". A bit more difficult orientation, though.

But our normal route goes from Hribarice by a shallow valley down towards Debeli vrh. Make sure that the distinct, rounded ridge which ends with the steep northern ridge of Debeli vrh, stays on your right. When in the cauldron below Debeli vrh, chose the best option to ascend the edge above (2100 m), then continue joyful skiing on Lazovški preval and right down On Laz meadow.

From Laz, it is recommended to continue skiing southwards, by the marked route to planina Pri jezeru. Nice passages and a slight ascent will bring you around the hill of Huda rupa, 1622 m. From Pri jezeru meadow you continue eastwards, by a cart road and clearings down on Blato meadow.

Skiing behind Debeli vrh

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