Triglav, with an elevation of 2,863.65 metres, is the highest mountain in Slovenia and the highest peak of the Julian Alps. The mountain is the pre-eminent symbol of the Slovene Nation.
I have a history with Triglav. In 2017, I tried to reach the peak but didn’t do proper research and ended up taking wrong route and was stuck on a peak the whole night as I saw the storm moving towards me. I was later rescued by mountain rescuers.
Naturally, I had to go back and finish what I started. So I bought tickets for July 2018 from Amsterdam to Ljubljana and back and embarked on the journey. In this guide, I will cover my favorite route and some alternatives to climb Triglav.
I strongly advise to rent a car from Ljubljana airport as bus timings are very weird. Alternatively you can also take bus from airport but that means you’ll spend 3 hours just to get to starting point of hike.
So you drive from Ljubljana and reach Mojstrana. Mojstrana is a village in the Municipality of Kranjska Gora in the Upper Carniola region of Slovenia and perfect place to start the hike. I recommend that you spend a day there, enjoy the beauty of this small town and buy the water (a lot of it) and items like dried food, chocolate to eat during hike from the super market.
In my experience, end of July to end of August is the best time of the year to climb. I suggest staying at this place through airbnb. It’s cheaper, nice and very clean. I also recommend eating dinner / lunch at Kmetija odprtih vrat Pr’ Železn’K Danica Mrvič s.p. It’s a nice restaurant with decent prices.
So there are three options to reach Triglav from Mojstrana.
Kot / Vrbanove Spice / Triglav / Vrata Route
We will be taking Kot Valley through Vrbanove Spice to Triglav and then returning via Vrata valley. In order to follow this route, we will be walking more than we would if we take predefined route but that gives us flexibility to hike through to two different valleys and scale two more mountains on the way to Triglav.
This is my favorite route, I can’t say much about other routes because I haven’t tried others but I can assure you, this route is the most adventurous one. It passes through one of the loneliest valley and then some thin mountain ridges.
Before we get into specifics, there are a couple of things you need to know.
- You’re experienced hiker. You have good stamina and you can walk on scree for hours
- You will need a Via Ferrata set and you know how to use it. You’ll be hiking on some very exposed parts of mountain.
- You will also need a helmet and a headlamp.
- You will need a lot of water as trail is very long. I’ve seen people with water in a small plastic bottle. I’ve done it myself and it’s very stupid. Don’t do that!
- You should call and reserve a spot at Triglavski dom na Kredarici to stay there at night. You should book at least a few weeks in advance.
So having spend the day in town of Mojstrana. I suggest you start the hike early in the morning around 7:00. You grab a nice and healthy breakfast with coffee in town and head out to hike.
The first 4 kilometers or so, you will be hiking on the road with nice views. Your first stop would be a car parking Zgornja Radovna, from there, take the right and you’ll be headed to the route of Kot valley. This is one of the most loneliest route and that’s what make it special, at least for me.
Lower half of the valley is gradually ascending and is surrounded by forested slopes from west and east. Upper half of the valley is steep slope, covered with scree.
By this time you should already be above the forest, so nothing can prevent the magnificent view on the Rjavina north wall. On the other side of the valley, Spodnja Vrbanova špica catches our views. Below it, in the middle of the valley we spot Debeli kamen (Fat Stone, a distinct boulder), which we must reach over the more or less steep slopes. It stands on the edge, behind which a karst basin, named Pekel (Hell) lies.
Here you have two choice, take the the main path to Staničev dom (hut) that continues to left, or turn sharp right. The path takes you to steep rocks, and after crossing those rocks, the ridge of Vrbanove špice starts. Here I recommend putting on your Via Ferrata gear. From there you will continue on grassy slopes and rocks, in many turns to the summit of Spodnja Vrbanova špica. Sometimes, you’ll be passing through very narrow ridges. Once you reach the peak of Spodnja Vrbanova špica, spend sometime there, and then continue to next peak Visoka Vrbanova špica.
You will first have to descend a little bit over huge rocks, then the ridge becomes sharper, full of gendarmes and notches. Again, you will be climbing up and down through many rocks. From the peak, you descend towards Staničev dom (hut). Grab a late lunch / early dinner and then set out to Triglavski dom na Kredarici. Spend the night there.
Try to get early sleep because you will have a long day tomorrow. Get up early around 3AM and start the journey towards the peak of Triglav. Make sure that you look into route the night before. It starts behind the hut.
You should put on your helmet, Via ferrata and headlamp and head out on the trail in pitch dark. It’s like 2.5 hours of hike depending on what speed you go. Try to reach the peal around sunrise and witness the beautiful sunrise from there.
After enjoying the view, head back to Triglavski dom na Kredarici and grab breakfast there. Now on the way back, take Vrata valley. It’s extensive 8-9 hours of hike down Mojstrana and this route also have some exposed parts with scree. You can try to cut the hike short by trying to hitch hike from Aljažev dom v Vratih.
Although the route here I suggested is not the most straight forward and easiest one, but it gives you opportunity to explore two different valleys and scale 3 mountain peaks just in course of 2 days :). Last but not the least, here is a video of my climb on Vrbanove Spice.