From the SE From the E-NE Bohinca - N outpost
The name of the mountain is pronounced something like 'Chernelska shpitsa'. Because there are more peaks you could also hear the name Crnelski vrsici.
The core part of Kanin / Monte Canin massif is a high limestone crest, going in a west-east direction and steeply falling towards the north and south on high karst plateaus. A typical, so many times seen and photographed view! The whole Kanin group is of course broader and continues on one side from the highest point (Kanin / M. Canin) towards the south and towards the north-west, and on the other side it branches towards Rombon (SE direction) and Jerebica (E-NE direction). And here our mountain stands - the last high, easternmost peak in the core part of Kanin massif.
This part of the high Kanin ridge finishes actually with more peaks, but on this page I shall describe only Velika (Big) Cernelska spica / Cima Confine, 2332m, and its immediate NE neighbour Mala (Small) Cernelska spica, 2273m. The small one has another Slovenian name: Spicek ('Shpychec'). West of Velika Crnelska spica rises in the main crest a distinct and higher Hudi vrsic / MonteCergnala, 2344. Its Italian name can lead to some misunderstanding as the root of the word is clearly the same as with our mountain. But as it is only a transcription of the Slovenian word, the original, local names should be respected.
Visoka Crnelska spica looks like a fine pyramid from both sides, while Mala Crnelska spica is more a side rocky bump, with which the high Kanin crest finishes. Towards the north both peaks are steep and rocky, so no normal ascent goes there (If you have any information about the possible direct ascent over there, please post it!). Southern slopes are less steep and grassy, there the non-climbing ascents go.
Mountains in the eastern part of the high Kanin crest are remote and lonesome. On both sides (northern and southern) marked paths go below the whole crest, but approaches from valleys to the summits are quite long. This is especially true for the southern side, while from the north, from Sella Nevea / Nevejski preval, 1190m, the altitude difference is not so big, but there are no easy ascents on these summits from that side. From the south the marked path reaches the top of Velika Crnelska spica and also the peak of Mala Crnelska spica is easilly reached.
In World War I over the nearby Rombon a frontline went. If interested, you can read some more information on the page of Rombon
Kanin group from the north
A Heaven For Speleologists
Erosion and tectonic moves created in Kanin massif many very deep and long caves. The depth potential of the massif is over 1800m, which creates some possibilities to get even deeper as explorers came today. Each year, mostly in dry seasons, in these caves expeditions of the best speleologists of the world arrive.
The deepest cave on the Kanin-Rombon plateau is Cehi 2. Its depth is 1502m, the entrance was discovered in 1991 by Czech, Italians came till 1993 1370m deep and almost 4000m into the massif. In 1999 Ucrainian speleologists in a 14-days expedition discovered a new perplexus of tunnels, which lead them down on 1380m of depth. Finally on December 29th, 2003 Slovenian speleologists reached the lowest point on the depth of 1502m.
Here's the list of some famous caves in Kanin-Rombon massif (source
1. Cehi-2, 5291m long, 1502m deep.
2. Crnelsko brezno, 11450m long, 1241m deep.
3. Vandima, 2500m long, 1182m deep.
4. Brezno Hudi Vrsic, 737m long, 620m deep.
It is unnecessary to stress that views from the top of Velika Crnelska spica are wonderful. Eastern Julian Alps are as clearly distinguished as from the nearby Rombon or Jerebica, The same is true for the Vis and Montaz group and Krn group, while towards the west all the higher peaks of Kanin group are aligned on the high crest.
Velika Crnelska spica and its routes
Hikes and Scrambles
1. From Kanin cable car station.
By the upper station we have the altitude of 2200m. But the way to the top is still long. First we ascend to Skrbina pod Prestreljenikom, 2292m, then descend to Prevala / Sella Prevala, 2067m. 45 minutes till here. From Prevala we continue by the marked path on the southern side of the main crest. This part is very interesting, we can admire one of the biggest 'karst deserts' in Eastern Alps with all its phaenomena. So we pass the summit of Lopa and reach in some ups and downs the southern slope of Visoka Crnelska spica. Here we carefully look for the marked path, which deters left up around the mountain, towards the notch between Velika and Mala Crnelska spica. This path is only weakly marked, while marks on the horizontal path are quite good. We ascend to the notch between the two peaks, where still ruins from the World War I stand. From there we continue towards the left and carefully seek passages over a steep grassy slope. The path has almost completely disappeared, but if we choose good, we don't need to climb at all. From the notch also Mala Crnelska spica can be reached by the rests of old military paths. 3 hours altogether.
If we don't want to go directly, we can continue by the marked horizontal path to the notch between Mala Crnelska spica and Vrh Ribeznov, 2024m (already in Rombon ridge). There a speleologic bivouac is arranged. From this notch we can cross the slopes of Mala Crnelska spica towards the notch between it and Velika Crnelska spica and from there continue to the top.
2. From Bovec over Goricica meadow.
We ascend by a good marked path from the center of Bovec, 483m, towards the north on Goricica meadow, 1333m. 2 hours 30 minutes till here. By the hut our path deters left, while the normal approach on Rombon goes right. From now on we will be 2 hours more ascending by a karst valley, which will bring us in many steps on the saddle between Mala Crnelska spica and Vrh Ribeznov, where the bivouac is arranged. From there as described in #1 to the top. A long and in summer hot ascent, lasting some 6-7 hours. No water along the route!
3. From Sella Nevea / Nevejski preval.
From the parking place by cable-car station, 1122m, we ascend by path No. 636 directly on Prevala / Sella Prevala, 2067m. Some 2 hours 30 minutes till here. The other option is to take the cable-car to Rif. Gilberti, and ascend Prevala from there in only 30 minutes. From Prevala we continue towards the east as described in #1. Altogether 4 hours 30 minutes from the road or 2 hours 30 minutes from Rif. Gilberti.
4. Over Vrh Laskih brezicev / Sella Robon.
This pass, 1865m, goes over the ridge, which falls down from Mala Crnelska spica towards the north. The western slopes of this ridge are falling on the northern high Kanin plateau, while the eastern slopes are falling down into the end of Moznica valley (there called Korita). The pass can be reached either from Sella Nevea / Nevejsko sedlo (path No. 637 brings you up in some 2 hours) or from Moznica valley, where you can find no path (a demanding scramble - some 3 hours 30 minutes!). From the pass we ascend left upwards, keep on weak trails low and over an exposed passage scramble around Mala Crnelska spica, until we reach on its southern side the route, described in #1. From the saddle 2 hours, altogether 4 hours from Sella Nevea. Demanding scramble, in the upper part no path or marks!
1. The Main Crest From Prevala / Sella Prevala.
For climbers, who master UIAA III degree comfortably, a nice experience might be the whole part of the Kanin high crest from Prevala to Mala Crnelska spica. You would in some 5 hours climb ascend the following summits: Vrsici pod Lopo, 2285m, Lopa, 2402m, Konjske police, 2318m, Grdi vrsic, 2328m, Hudi vrsic, 2344m, Velika Crnelska spica, 2332m, Mala Crnelska spica, 2273m. To these 5 hours you should add some 5 more hours for the ascent and descent on Sella Nevea.
From the N
Alpinistic Ski Tours
1. To Krnica Valley.
A ski tour from Sella Nevea would not add much value in the part from Prevala saddle towards the east. Such trip is possible of course, and is the same as the above summer route #3. But coming on Kanin ski resort from Bovec, we can do with skis the tour, described above as #1. From the saddle between Velika and Mala Crnelska spica to the summit of Velika the slope is very steep and exposed for skiing, so the tour is no more treated as a normal ski tour. Then we return half way back towards Prevala and from below the western ridge of Lopa (or from the ridge itself) ski down towards the south into Krnica valley. There, we can reach the middle station of Kanin cable car and go up on the ski resort again, or complete the tour by going down to Bovec.
2. To Moznica Valley.
This is an exposed and very hard alpinistic ski tour, where also good orientation skills are needed. The ascent from the end parking place goes to the end of Moznica valley (Korita), from there steeply up towards Mala Crnelska spica, exposedly around it on the southern slopes, and as described above on the summit of Velika Crnelska spica. Perhaps only for those most experienced enthusiasts, who did already 'all the other tours' in this region.
The majority of visitors of Visoka Crnelska spica comes from the upper station of Kanin cable car. So this tour starts in Bovec. The second trailhead could be the end of the mountain road in Moznica valley, 785m, and the third one, also popular, Sella Nevea / Nevejski preval, 1190m.
See the Julian Alps
overview page and the Kanin Group
By car/bus Soca valley and Bovec
can be reached over Vrsic pass (from Sava valley) or from south, from Gorica/Gorizia.
Reklanica/Raccolana Valley and Nevejski preval/Sella Nevea (Pass) can be reached from Val Canale (Tagliamento river) by deterring from the highway Udine-Tarvisio. Nevejski preval/Sella Nevea (Pass) can also be reached from NE, from Trbiz/Tarvisio.
Two cable-cars can help you reach the high plateau of Kanin mountains:
> Cable car Kanin: In summer 2004: Up - from 7:00 to 15:00 (each full hour). Down - from 8:00 to 16:00 (each full hour). pictures
> Cable car Sella Nevea.
> Alpi Giulie Occidentali Tarvisiano. Tabacco, No. 019. 1:25000.
> Julijske Alpe - Zahodni del (Western part). Planinska zveza Slovenije. 1:50000.
Huts And Camping
South-west of Sella Nevea /Nevejski preval the Rifugio Gilberti
stands, 1850m. It can be reached by cable-car from the saddle or by a marked path No. 635 in less than 2 hours.
In the notch between Mala Crnelska spica and Vrh Ribeznov a speleologic bivouac is arranged in an ex military hut.
North of Mala Crnelska spica, in the vicinity of Vrh Laskih brezicev / Sella Robon, a speleological bivouac Modonutti-Savoia stands, 1908m. It can be reached in some 2 hours from Sella Nevea / Nevejski preval.
When To Climb?
From the NW
Velika Crnelska spica can be best ascended in summer and autumn. The ascents, described above in #1 and #3 can also be done in winter
and spring, when these mountains are usually heavilly covered with snow. Prevala pass is anyway a popular ski tour destination. Crossing the plateau south of the main crest with skis would be medium hard, the same is true for skiing from the notch between Velika and Mala Crnelska spica. For the final part of the ascent on Velika Crnelska spica crampons and ice pick would be a prerequisite in winter conditions. Very good skiers could even ski down from its very summit (alpinistic ski descent).