IntroductionAs each mountain area, also Kamnik and Savinja Alps have many heroes, but there's no doubt that in the pioneering times Valentin Slatnar - Bôs was the most legendary son of those mountains.
Valentin was born on February 11th, 1852. Already as a 9-years boy he scrambled over all precipituous passages in the nearby Mokrica. With 14 he started to work as lumberjack and was later hiding in the mountains to avoid military service (which lasted 12 years at that time), working and wild hunting. That he was famous already then, we can see, as already in 1872, when he was only 20, landlords hired him as the official hunter. Now he became a notorious threat to all other wild hunters in the whole mountain area.
For the next almost 60 years he was serving with everything those mountains needed. He was hunter
, mountain guide
and also always the first person who was informed when mountain accidents happened. In those times mountain rescue service
was not organised - it was simply him, who then summoned the best shepherds and lumberjacks to help. Till his very last years he was leading hundreds of rescue actions, being more fit than many young men. When he was 80, king Aleksander rewarded him for life work. Valentin Slatnar - Bôs died on September 18th, 1933. The monument of this exceptional man can be seen in Kamniška Bistrica, near the mountain hut.
We'll never know the big majority of routes which Bôs climbed. Everyone who knew him, just agreed that he knew every corner and every passage of his mountains - the southern side of Kamnik and Savinja Alps. He was climbing for fun, but of course also as part of his job. Legendary is his 3-day chamois hunt, I'll describe it in the next chapter. Not only that he climbed all old passages, he also opened many new routes, some still wear his name today.
In the western face of Brana he climbed a route, which is today graded UIAA IV+
. On the other side of the mountain the ascent ravine (Bôs's Ravine) is graded only II-III. He ascended Planjava directly by the west wall, was climbing by the ridge of Zeleniške špice, by Veliki greben in Skuta, and more and more. Peple were telling that, after shooting a chamois on Planjava mountain, he downclimbed the whole gigantic north wall of that mountain (1200 m) - with the dead chamois around his neck. Next time, after delivering a similar cargo to the farm in Logarska dolina, he returned over the mountain carrying a bee-hive!
Bôs was climbing in home-made wooden clogs
, only for harder climbing details he took them off and climbed barefooted
. He never used a rope
, only for rescuing and helping others.
And a legend has it, that his mastery of rocks was attributed to the fact that he was drinking chamois blood.
A 3-days hunt
With a group of hunters Bôs was chasing an old, strong chamois. The hunt had lasted already 3 days, the animal always escaped them - over Brana, Kamniško sedlo, finally on Planjava and through the Vilice notch into the northern wall. There Bôs followed the animal into the wall and in difficult slabs managed to turn it around. The animal had only one chance to escape - back up on the Vilice notch where other hunters were waiting. On the edge the animal stopped for a moment. One of hunters, Tomaž, aimed carefully - but never pulled the trigger, allowing the animal to escape.
When Bôs came to the group, he was bitching, throwing his hat, then finally saying to Tomaž: "We were chasing him for three days, we got him, why the hell you let him go?" And Tomaž answered calmly: "Well, Bôs, I could shoot him down and we would have him. But now, we can hunt him again."
That's a brilliant example of the spirit of those times: The joy is in the hunt, not in what you catch...
No comments posted yet.