On the SE part, where Kamnik & Savinja Alps already lower to their fore-hills, an interesting ridge is stretching in the SW-NE direction. Its highest summit Rogatec only a little exceeds the altitude of 1500 meters, which is not much for this region, but the mountain is bold and rocky and represents together with its neighbours a valuable goal for hikers. On this page more than only the highest summit will be described. The lower neighbours might be waiting long for their own pages, but are also interesting for hiking and skiing.
Even if the group of Kamnik & Savinja Alps is predominantly made of limestone, the geological structure of Rogatec range is much mixed. Its SW beginning above the Črnivec saddle soon culminates in the summit of Kranjska reber, 1435 m, which is made of older rocks. The low grade metamorphic rocks of Kranjska reber have been derived from volcanic rocks of spylite-keratophyre association and some sedimentary rocks. You will notice them by a characteristic green colour. More towards the NE there is the Kašni vrh, 1290 m, then the Kunšperk saddle, 1119 m, and further on the Kunšperski vrh, 1340 m, and the grassy and rounded Lepenatka, 1425 m. Till here old rocks are spreaded, mixed with limestone, but the summit of Veliki Rogatec is already made of limestone. It's rocky towers and sharp ridges can pose even a problem to a hiker, not used of some easy climbing. More towards the NE and E the ridge lowers to a broad area of rounded hills.
Whoever wants to visit the area might consider best a long ridge tour, but in that case must think of a logistic how to return. Parts of the ridge can of course also be done as separate tours. Kranjska reber is an easy ski tour, mostly through forrests (by roads). Lepenatka however, can already be considered also a classical ski tour mountain. The upper 350 meters of its SE ridge are ideal for tour skiing and the whole tour down to the valley of Mačkin kot can in good conditions offer up to 650 meters of altitude for skiing. Veliki Rogatec is only a hikers mountain. Its SW ridge is demanding, the route is only scarcely protected, while the E approach is also a very steep, marked path which in bad conditions should not be underestimated. Around the summit of Kranjska reber also a nice mountain bike tour can be done.
Kamnik & Savinja Alps
The view northwards
The finest part of the panorama from Veliki Rogatec ridge is the view on the central part of Kamnik & Savinja Alps. High mountains are beautifully seen and all details of their SE approaches can be judged. Exceeding with altitude other mountains towards the E, S and W, from Veliki Rogatec and its neighbours the views also across the rest of the hilly Slovenia are very nice. On the West the highest mountains of Julian Alps will greet you.
Veliki Rogatec and Lepenatka from the summit of Kranjska reber
The ridge of Veliki Rogatec starts on the SW on Črnivec saddle, 902 m, south of which the area of Menina planina lies. Over the saddle a good road connection goes. The first summit in the ridge is Plešivec (Mt. Baldy), 1329 m, which is nowadays more and more overgrown, then the forrested ridge goes towards the NE. Below the summit of Kranjska reber, 1435 m, alpine meadows begin and we can enjoy the last 100 meters of ascent with beautiful views around. Further to the NE there's an alpine meadow called Kašna planina, where the mountain road reaches. The summit further to the NE is Kašni vrh, 1290 m, after which the ridge lowers to an important saddle, called Kunšperk.
The ascent on Kranjska reber can be done from any side. From Črnivec saddle a marked path ascends towards the N. It goes by forrest roads and does also shortcuts. Higher it detours the summit of Plešivec by the E side, gains the main ridge and continues on top. That is also the route of an easy ski tour. From the west, Kranjska reber can be reached from the saddle of Kranjski Rak, 1029 m. A mountain road, closed for public traffic ascends up, crosses the NW and N slopes of Kranjska reber and reaches Kašna planina. From there we can reach the top by the NE ridge.
The SE ridge of Lepenatka
NE of Kunšperk saddle the summit of Kunšperski vrh rises, 1340 m. From it, the ridge continues towards the E and soon reaches the grassy summit of Lepenatka. That is a nice place, mild and panoramic. North of its summit there's a saddle, called Kal, 1285 m, where the rocks of Veliki Rogatec start rising. From the summit of Lepenatka two more grassy ridges descend - one towards the E and the other one towards the SE. By both ascends (not marked) from mountain roads are possible.
The marked path comes on Lepenatka from Kranjska reber by the main ridge and continues towards Veliki Rogatec. But ascents from all other sides are also possible. Mountain roads approach the summit from Kašna planina (meadow) and from the west, from Podvolovljek valley up. From the south a good road reaches the end of Mačkin kot, the valley of Mačkovec creek. If we leave a car at the highest farm (Vrbočnik), 900 m, we can reach the summit in 1 h 30 min. In winter that is a nice option for a ski tour.
Its SW ridge rises up sharply from the saddle of Kal. From the top, the ridge continues towards the NE and soon branches. Both the E branch and the NE branch are very steep, mostly forrested.
Two fine marked paths are reachin the summit, by using the traverse below the SW walls, they can be combined into a nice round tour:
Gaining the SW ridge
On the SW ridge
On the SW ridge
The most attractive marked path comes up from Kal saddle. Even if it's scarcely protected with a few pegs, this route can not be considered a ferrata. It requires scrambling and even some easy climbing over a very steep terrain. In many places tree roots are offering helpful holds, on other places you climb over easy rocks. The route should be done when it's dry. It's difficulty on the Swiss Hiking Scale would be T4. Not much route description is needed. From the saddle the pathe goes left above the bivouac and after a short hike up we reach the rocks. At first we scramble steeply up by the W side of the ridge, then on a very picturesque place we gain the ridge and continue by it. Till the place where it levels there's the most beautiful and exposed part. Later the route goes through some steep woods and only the last part of the ridge is open again.
On the E path, just below the summit
East of the summit a high ex mountain farm stands. Špeh, 1165 m, is another possible trailhead for Veliki Rogatec. The marked trail is at least one degree easier than the SW ridge, but still steep and requires a safe step. It's difficulty would be T3. From the farm the marked path goes westwards over the meadow and later a forrest. Then it crosses the steep slopes in a long left arc, until reaching just below the summit. There with a few steep turns it goes steeply up on the top.
Kal - Špeh Trail
From the Kal saddle one marked path also crosses the SW slopes of Rogatec and reaches the farm, otherwise the farm can be reached by mountain roads and paths from the S-SE and from the N.
The most beautiful tour on Veliki Rogatec would be the following one: Starting at St. Lovrenc church we ascend first the Kal saddle, then by the SW ridge Veliki Rogatec, then we descend to the ex Špeh farm and continue down to the church. The round tour will normally require less than 4 h of walk and can be extended also with the summit of Lepenatka.
Eastern part of the group
The hills towards the NE and E are lower, but offer nice scenes: High positioned farms, churches, beautiful meadows and many mountain roads for hiking and eventual mountain biking.
Kal saddle, below Rogatec
See the main area pages of Kamnik & Savinja Alps how to get to the area. The trailheads for Veliki Rogatec group are:
Črnivec saddle, 902 m. On the road Kamnik - Gornji grad.
Kranjski Rak saddle, 1029 m. On the road Kamnik - Podvolovljek - Luče.
The valley of Mačkovec creek (deter north from the upper Dreta valley).
The valley of Dreta with Gornji grad at its center. From Gornji grad (nice cathedral there) many mountain roads deter towards the NW, up towards the ridge of Veliki Rogatec. The best trailhead is at the church of St. Lenart, 929 m, or even some 70 m above it, where the mountain road ends.
Savinja valley at Luče. From the vicinity of Luče mountain roads go towards the S, up towards Rogatec ridge. You can eventually drive up even to the ex Zgornji Špeh farm, 1165 m.
Map: Planinska zveza Slovenije: Kamniške in Savinjske Alpe. 1:50000.
Huts below Lepenatka
There are no official mountain huts in this area (and are also not needed). However one can stop by at many farms. On the Kal saddle, just below the W ridge of Veliki Rogatec, there's a bivouac on 1309 m. It has 5 beds and is nicely maintained. All information and keys can be get at: Ivan Fale, GSM +386 031 540 871.
When to Climb?
Early July on the SW ridge
Skiing from Kranjska reber
The summits of Veliki Rogatec can be climbed any time of the year, except the highest summit - Veliki Rogatec itself. That one requires good, dry conditions, otherwise the tour can turn into a difficult winter endeavor. Lower summits are also ideal for ski tours.