Grintovec from the W - from Špremova pot
The west ridge ascent on Grintovec is short to describe. It is rarely done as an independent ascent on Grintovec only, usually people come there over from Kočna. If you come from the north, from Češka koča (hut) by Kremžar route, you can continue towards the east on Grintovec, or do before also the ascent on Kočna.
The ridge from Kočna to Grintovec
has low walls on the southern side and high ones on the northern side. The valley Dolci comes from the south almost to the top of the ridge, there goes also a possible approach. The lowest point of the ridge is Zdolška škrbina
(notch), named after Suhadolnik (in the local dialect 'Zdounk') farmer on the southern side. The normal passage over the notch itself is not possible (there are climbing routes), but a little higher, towards Kočna, from the northern side Kremžar route (ferrata) comes up, and the approach from the south is also marked. This will be the starting point where our description of the route towards Grintovec begins.
The western ascent route on Grintovec is named also Špremova pot
(route). On a few parts it is secured
and the passage below Grintovec summit is exposed
, so the route is not suitable for people suffering from vertigo. Scrambling
also requires some care on sections which are not secured
For the trailheads in the valleys, see the main page of Kočna. That is either Jezersko
on the north or Suhadolnik
farm on the south. In any case you have some 3-4 hours to reach the Hočna-Grintovec ridge.
Below the entry into Grintovec's W face
The towers below Zdolška škrbina (notch)
From the place on the ridge where Kremžar route exits
, you continue by the main ridge
towards the east. The route is marked and secured where necessary. It goes first by the ridge down, then again a bit up and by the southern side around. Approaching the lowest part of the ridge Zdolška škrbina
, 2270m, there are rocky towers, preventing us to follow it, so the path descends
almost completely down on the scree slope above Zgornji Dolci valley. In early summer you can find a snow field there, but it isn't steep so no special equipment needed. On the lowest point we are some 2200m
high, to the summit of Grintovec we have at least 350m of ascent. This point can also be reached from the Dolci valley.
Entering the W face of Grintovec
, the path is winding up in the vicinity of a distinct scree slope
, which above ends in a steep, rugged ravine. The ravine itself does not offer a good passage in summer, but in winter, if somebody decides to ski down from the summit of Grintovec into Dolci valley (alpinistic ski tour), finding a passage into that ravine is the only possibility. Our path goes by the left side of the scree slope, avoiding it wherever possible in the nearby rocks. The path is weak, quite steep and not very pleasant, but we get altitude quickly. Above we approach the ravine again, but close to its upper part the route switches towards the left. In a few turns it gets up over the rocks (cables for protection) and then goes left, just above the big abysses of Grintovec's north wall. A narrow ledge
is well secured (cable), but exposed. Now we understand clearly why in winter skiing by this route is not possible.
After some 30 meters the ledge exits on the northern screes of Grintovec
. That is the small 'roof'-like slope, which is so nicely seen from Jezersko. The path is going up and across the screes, unpleasant and tiresome in a few places. In the middle of the scree slope thete is the crossroads
. Continuing (and descending later) is the path from Grintovec on Mlinarsko sedlo (saddle). To ascend the summit of Grintovec we must turn right
and start ascending the scree slope more steeply. Some good 100 meters more to go. Just below the summit the scree slope ends and we must climb over a few rocks
. That part is protected
again. It's funny how in 2009 one peg only was missing and suddenly the passage required some additional skill and power to come over.
The passage Kočna - Grintovec requires altogether 1h 45min
. The ascent from the point where Kremžar route exits on the ridge would require good 1h 15min
. The whole ascent from Jezersko (lower station of material cable way) would require good 5h
and from Suhadolnik farm 5h 30min
Good boots and hiking poles.