North-West wall Dedec and Vezica from the N Vezica from the N
General remark: When reading Slovenian words on maps or in books, you will find special characters for ch, sh, and zh. They are written with c, s and z with a caron - little v above them. So, Vezica is pronounced Vezhitsa.
South of Ojstrica, the easternmost high summit (2350m) in the main Kamnik Alps crest, many mountains are rising out of a high plateau, called Veza
. But a few side ridges, going in a southern direction can be distinguished too.
In the ridge, or better a small plateau
, which starts south of Korosica meadow with the summit of Lucki Dedec
, there are two more summits worth to mention. The first one is Vrsici
, 1980m, higher of the two, but less important and the other one is Vezica
, which with her impressive north-west wall plays an important role in technical and free climbing. This small plateau has nice, almost vertical walls on its north-western side, while the eastern side is less steep, the karst slopes are falling down in steps in the valley of Lucka Bela
. Looking strictly, this crest branches after Vezica summit. One short, steep and rocky side ridge falls further down towards the SW into Kamniska Bela
valley, while towards the south and later towards the south-west the crest continues first on Presedljaj saddle
after which already the crest of Konj
So, Vezica has a big, almost vertical north-west wall
, gentle, easy passable northern and eastern slopes and a steep, rocky with pine bush and lower with steep forrest overgrown southern slopes. The view from the top is similar than from Dedec, the most impressive is Planjava on the NW, fine is the view across Kamniska Bistrica valley, on Rzenik and Velika planina behind, while many other summits of the massif are not seen in their full size.
(The name is pronounced like: Vrshitchi). Even if this summit is a bit higher than Vezica and the western side of its plateau also falls down on Sraj peski with a rocky wall, its importance is only secondary. A grassy bump rises only some 50 meters above the plateau and is easilly reachable. Due to dense pine bushes on other sides, the most recommendable ascent is from the saddle between it and Vezica.
|Vrsici summit |
|Kamnik/Steiner Alps map
For a broader overview see the Kamnik Alps GROUP
A self-made map of the area1. From the south-west.
The trailhead is on the road into Kamniska Bistrica (valley), 1km before the hut and the end parking place, 571m, from where we reach either Korosica hut through the valley of Kamniska Bela and Presedljaj (saddle, 1613m), or go more directly over Sraj peski. From the road around to the hut 4,5h, directly some 4h.
2. From the east and south-east.
By car we can reach Dleskovska planota (plateau). In Podvolovljek valley we take a decent macadam road, which brings us to Planina Ravne and the altitude of 1500m. From the end parking place Korosica hut can be reached in 2h 30min. The second starting point can be the end of road below Planina Podvezak, 1400m, some 500m before reaching a hunters hut. The third trailhead goes from Lucka Bela valley, where we can drive up to some 1050m and continue by the marked path towards Stare stale and Prag.
These are the options for a one-day ascent. Otherwise Korosica hut can be reached also from other directions, from Robanov kot, for example, or from Kamnisko sedlo, when traversing the main crest of Kamnik Alps.
Hikes1. From Korosica hut.
From the hut, 1808m, we go in a SW direction by a climbers path, which brings us below the NW wall od Dedec. We continue ascending over the slopes towards the right, until the steep wall is over and a grassy passage named Durce opens. There we turn left up, reach the saddle in the ridge and continue on top of the western walls of the plateau towards the south. From agrassy saddle between Vrsici on the left and Vezica on the right we can easilly ascend each of the two summits. 1h 30min, easy, not marked.
2. Over Presedljaj.
From the road in Kamniska Bistrica we go by the marked path into the valley of Kamniska Bela (towards the NE). After some 20 minutes the marked path starts ascending more decisively, now we gain altitude in many switchbacks. Gaining half of the elevation to the saddle we reach a nice bank with the open view on the surroundings. We are close to the northern wall of Rzenik, which can be later from a few places very beautifully seen. The path gets even steeper, but being well beaten and marked we have no problems with the ascent. In less than 3h we reach the saddle, where from the right the steep, protected path comes down from Konj summit. On the saddle we turn northwards, towards Korosica meadow (Kocbekova koca). The path goes through dense pine bushes by an undistinctive ridge and then across steep eastern slopes of the massif. After some 30 minutes we reach the flat part of the path on the eastern side of the mountain. There we leave the marked path and turn by a shephards path towards the west (left). Over the meadows of Cohavnica pasture and through pine bushes we ascend on top. 4h, steep marked path and finally easy but with pine bushes overgrown pathless terrain.
Over Sraj peski Climbers in Vezica3. Over Sraj peski and Durce.
From the road in Kamniska Bistrica we go by the marked path into the valley of Kamniska Bela (towards the NE). By Orglice waterfall we continue by a non-marked path into the valley towards the north. A steep and hard hike-up has in the middle also a rocky step, where a short, but exposed easy climb is needed. Above we reach Sraj peski, a steep and tiresome scree slope. We ascend it along the walls of Vezica and Vrsici, until above Petkove njive meadow we start ascending towards Durce pass. After reaching the plateau we turn left and go on top of Vrsici and Vezica as described in #1 above. Hard walk-up, difficult orientation, easy climbing passage. 4h 30min from the road.
4. From Lucka Bela.
From the end of the road we go northwards by the marked path on the beautiful Stare Stale meadow. There we leave the marked path and try to find an old shepherds path which ascend in the western direction towards Cohavnica meadow. So we reach the higher marked path, going from Presedljaj saddle on Prag and further Korosica. Below Cohavnica we just cross this markeg path and continue by shepherds path towards the west. As described above in #2 we ascend over Cohavnica on top.
Even if four 'normal' ascents were described above, almost nobody uses them (except perhaps a few rare shepherds). Practically all visiters of vezica are climbers. They descend from the nearby Korosica (Kocbek hut) along the western walls, do the climb and return over the wall as well. If you decide to hike on Vezica, the following two combinations are recommendable:
> Ascend over Sraj peski and Durce (#3 above) on Dedec, then turn soutwards and go on Vrsici and Vezica. Then descend by #2 in the valley.
> If going from Kocbek hut in the valley, go over Durce and take the three summits as described above.
Pine Bush SwimmingIt happens so often to me! Finding myself in the middle of dense pine bush terrain, not willing to go back up again and correct the hike course. I knew that from Vezica it would be better to keep more towards the east. I even saw cows there on the meadow. But I still soon started to tend towards the right in the SE direction and came by nice meadows in a grassy valley. There was still no marked path, so I crossed it, tried to descend down the ridge on the other side, but the terrain was too rough. So, I came back in the valley and consulted my map. Here the ski tour should go down and indeed I saw two big iron poles showing in the direction of Presedljaj saddle. So I continued down the valley, following several cattle traces. But after a narrow, 2 meters high rocky step there were no more cattle traces. Well, the grass was still stepped down, I thought people must still descend there. No way. Some 50 more meters lower the pine bushes closed all around me. I searceh for a passage, but found nothing. The saddle was some 150 meters below me. So, the well proven technique must be used again - walking on pine bush branches, while holding the upper branches. It's so tedious, the sun is so hot, you fall of the branch so many times, climbing up again to reach at least on a certain level. And it's easier to cross the slopes than to descend. I was afraid also to find myself abov some rocky abyss in that jungle. Fought with those bushes at least an hour, in short pants, of course. It's easy for Tarzan, he at least has some space to swing. Below in pine bushes there were even some thorn plants, but it was obvious to be too late for a retreat. I struggled all the time towards the left, and only moderately down, which finally paid off. I reached on the marked path some 30 meters above the saddle. Better 30 meters than nothing! So, the lesson again is: Don't go directly down.
Climbers in Vezica Climbers in Vezica
[img:324959:alignright:small:Climbers in Vezica]
The wall of Vezica was already in 80's the place, where the more and more popular free climbing style moved climbing achievements foreward. At that time first free climbs of routes: Akademska (VII-), Lahova (VII) and Percicev steber (VIII-) were top achievemnets. In 1986 Sreco Rehberger made the free climb of Crna macka (VIII+), Miha Praprotnik and Igor Jamnikar climbed Zaumak Nervo (VIII, A0) and also equipped it. This route was later in 1993 climbed free by Marko Lukic (IX+) and stayed several years the hardest free climb in Slovenia. (An adapted text, originally written by Tomaz Jakofcic, 2003.)
The routes below are listed without any order.
> Gersak - Grcar. 390m, V+, 5 hours.
> Petek, 13. (Friday, 13th). 200m, 6c+. Silvo Karo & Klemen Mali, 13.06.2003. Topo.
> Sportni dan (Sport Day). 250m, VII-/VI. Urban Golob & Marjan Kovac, 31.05.03. Topo.
> Tik pred dvanajsto (Just Before Noon). 200m, VII. Urban Golob & Miha Peternel. Topo.
> Nespodobno povabilo (Indecent Proposal).
> Akademska (Academic). 250m, VII-.
> Tantalova direktna (Tantal Direct). 300m, V+.
> Skrivnost cloveskega uma (The Secret of Human Mind). 300m, VI+.
> Lahova. VII.
> Percicev steber. VIII-.
> Zaumak Nervo. VIII, A0 or free IX+. First free climb: Marko Lukic, 1993.
> Kramar - Mocnik. 190m, VII-/ V, A0.
> Last Minute. 270m, X- or 8a+. First free climb: Marko Lukic, 2003.
> Pasja (Dog Route). VIII.
> Crna macka (Black Cat). VIII+.
North of the summit of Vezica the steep western walls are cut by a ravine, where passage requires an easier climb. Predominantly this ravine requires only UIAA I climbing, but in one rock step difficulties arise on UIAA II and polished slabs can become tricky, especially if wet. A peg there may be of help. Besides for a descent this might be an option for shortening the ascent over Sraj peski, if we don't want to go around over Durce pass. But, as said, this is considerably harder. (Not knowing all these details, and being alone, I turned even before the climb started.)
Grintovci. Planinska zveza Slovenije, 1:25000.
There are no limitations. The mountain is in the middle of a parc area.
The only real mountain hut, which supports ascents on Dedec is Kocbekov dom on Korosica meadow. The other one is the hut in Kamniska Bistrica.
, 1808m, (03) 4924850, (050)615625 and (031)749811, Milan Kozelj.
Dom v Kamniski Bistrici, 600m, (01) 8325544. reachable by car.
When To Climb?
Summer and autumn (best months are usually July - October).
Spring for tour skiing (Usually February - May).