The Kamnik-Savinjska Alps

The Kamnik-Savinja Alps comprise the high mountain landscape in northern Slovenia. They extend across 889 km2. Their central part is comprised of the mountain range with almost 30 peaks above 2,000 metres. The highest is Mt Grintovec (2,558m), followed by its neighbour on the same ridge, Mt Kočna (2,540m). The geological composition of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps is remarkably diverse, but the majority of the area is composed of carbonate rock, particularly limestone. Almost two thirds of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps are covered in forests, which makes them one of the most wooded areas in Slovenia.

The glacier beneath Mt Skuta

The glacier beneath Mt Skuta is the most south-easterly in the Alps. It is situated in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, above a steep gable-end of the RavenskaKočna valley, at an altitude of between 2,020 and 2,120m.

For the majority of the year, the glacier is covered in snow, but by the end of the summer – sometimes as late as early autumn – its surface becomes partly or entirely exposed. The glacier has been preserved due to its shady position at the upper-end of a glacial valley. The cirque, surrounded by mountain faces on three sides, only opens towards the north east, thus the glacier remains in the shade for most of the year. It is fed by direct snowfall and by the snow falling from the mountain faces rising above it. In 1950, the glacier’s surface area was as large as 2.8 hectares. However, by 2011 it covered little more than 1.7 hectares. Its average thickness is 5–7m, while maximum thickness can be more than 10m in some places. If the glacier continues to shrink at the rate witnessed in the last two decades, it is highly likely that it may disappear in the next two decades.

Mountain huts

Kranjska koča na Ledinah hut

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The mountain hut, KranjskakočanaLedinah, is located at 1,680m above sea level, at the gable-end of the RavenskaKočna valley near the glacier beneath Mt Skuta. Immediately above the hut rise the mighty northern faces of the Dolgihrbet ridge and Mts. Štruca and Skuta, which provide a multitude of challenges even for the most skilled alpinists. The panoramic peaks of Mts. Ledinskivrh and Velika Baba, which are easy to access, are not far away. A direct but highly demanding access to the latter is also possible, but only recommended for the most experienced mountain hikers, who will also be enthralled by the very demanding tours to Mts. KranjskaRinka, KoroškaRinka and ŠtajerskaRinka. It is possible to reach the Logarskadolina valley over Jezerskosedlo saddle and past Okrešelj.

Three routes lead to the hut from Jezersko. The very demanding route through Žrelo is suitable for experienced mountain hikers and offers a convenient connection to the Češkakoča hut. Similarly demanding is the Slovene Route (Slovenska pot), while access is easiest along the Hunters’ Route (Lovska pot), which leads along carved stairs, ladders, rungs and wire ropes.

The story of KranjskakočanaLedinah goes back to 1974, when the decision to build it was adopted on the initiative of the then president of the Kranj Alpine Society, Franc Ekar. Only three years later, on 31 July 1977, the mountain hut was declared open.

Češka koča hut

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The Češkakoča hut in SpodnjeRavni is located at 1,543m above sea level, beneath the northern faces of Mt Grintovec. The hut was constructed by the Czech branch of the Slovene Alpine Association from Prague. The official opening took place on 26 July 1900. The hut has preserved it original outside appearance of a Czech rural house, while the interior has been renovated on several occasions. Since 1949, the Češkakoča hut has been managed by the Jezersko Alpine Society.

Three routes lead to the hut from the RavenskaKočna valley. One leads via Štularjevaplanina mountain pasture, another passes the cargo cable-car and joins the first route above Štularjevaplanina mountain pasture; further up, a route from the MakekovaKočna valley also joins this route. The third route leads past the cargo cable-car and through MaloŽrelo. All the routes involve short sections of wire ropes and/or rungs.

Češkakoča hut is an excellent starting point for a number of tours in the central part of the Grintovecmountains. The Kremžar Route (Kremžarjeva pot) leads to Mt JezerskaKočna and the Frischauf Route(Frischaufova pot) to the Mlinarskosedlo saddle, from where one can either ascend to Mt Grintovec, the highest peak of the Kamnik–Savinja Alps, or head towards Mt Skuta across or beneath the Dolgihrbet ridge. All the above mentioned mountain hiking routes are long and ranked as very demanding, thus requiring mountain hikers to be well equipped as well as physically and psychologically fit. The easiest and shortest of all is the route leading to Vratca, a panoramic peak directly above the Češkakoča hut.

Alpine Lodge Davo Karničar

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The Alpine Lodge DavoKarničar is located in the glacial valley of RavenskaKočna, beneath the one thousand metre faces of the Kamnik Savinja Alps, at an altitude of 1,020m above sea level. From Planšarskojezero lake, continue driving past Ancelj tourist farm until you reach a panoramic glade (3km). The Alpine Lodge DavoKarničar serves as a starting point for easy walks in the massive cirque between Mts. Koroška Baba and Kočna, which enthrals with its extremely diverse fauna and flora. It can also be used as a starting point for ascents along via ferratasand climbing routes to the surrounding two thousanders as well as for ski touring and ice climbing adventures.

The lodge can provide shepherd’s food, drinks and advice on your planned activities in the mountains. The services of the lodge are complemented by the Everest apartment, which can hold 5 people, and the Explorer campsite.

The mission of this mountaineering centre is to preserve tradition and to share experience.