Walking in the Julian Alps to Mount Triglav

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What an adventure climbing the highest peak in Slovenia, Mount Triglav was..

My brother text me one day, saying ‘Shall we climb Mount Triglav when we’re in Slovenia?’. My first thought was, not a chance! I can not climb a hill, never mind a mountain. But, I told him I’d think a about it. The closer it got to our trip to Lake Bled, I was actually warming to the idea. More to the fact of thinking of the amazing pictures I will get with my newly bought camera. So, I said to my brother ‘Can we climb the mountain?’. My brother is an ultra-fit guy who does triathlons for fun (strange boy). He’d find it a doddle, but I was determined to conquer a challenge I thought I could never do.

We set off on our journey to the Krma Valley at 5:45am, this was where took our first steps on what is going to be a very long day. There had to be a group of 4 walking, so Steven and I were grouped with a Belgian couple called Pierre and Emily. They were both in the military and Pierre had trekked through the Amazon Rainforest for a mission. So, I thought oh great, here’s unfit me, my ultra-fit brother and now an ultra-fit couple climbing a mountain. What could go wrong?!

As we were walking, the sun was starting to rise. This made the mountains shine and the trees glisten. Such a beautifully inspiring view ahead and behind us. Even though my legs were already shaking at approx. 500m above sea level, I could not wait to keep hiking through the tall trees and the valley. Mainly because I had no choice as I couldn’t stop, and the views in front were so intriguing.

We reached around 1200m at around 7:30am for our breakfast stop at a Shepherd’s hut. We were surrounded by cattle with bells around their neck. The moment was just surreal. The sun bursting through the tall pine trees onto us. We looked up to where we had to go and we saw the shepherd moving the cattle down from the hill. I do not envy his job, but I did envy the views from his house.

So, we kept going. Our brilliant guide Ziga, at Life Adventures Bled, knew the way like the back of his hand. He climbs Triglav around 3 times a week. Hats off to the man. After what seemed to be an age of climbing up steep scree slopes, we finally reached the Mountain Hut. I could not wait to eat and go to the toilet! We demolished some well-earned beef goulash. It was the best thing I have ever tasted. We bumped into some Scots, who had been up to the summit for sunrise. The pictures they had took were stunning.

After our dinner and a toilet break, we put on our harnesses and helmets to get on our way to the summit. To reach the summit of Mount Triglav, you have to go ‘via ferrata’. This means ‘iron path’ in Italian so we had to attach ourselves to the iron wire to start our 1950m vertical climb. This was the scariest and most challenging part of the hike. Vertigo and adrenaline kicked in. I ended up being attached to Ziga by a long rope as my hands and legs were shaking so bad!

We were passing gravestones as were going up, this was really inspiring (not!) There were sheer drops either side of the path. There was only enough room for one person on the arete at a time, so you had to communicate with the person coming down if you were going to stop or they were. There was a slight traffic jam on the via ferrata, this allowed time for me to calm down and actually take in the scenes around me. It was breath taking. All of a sudden, I forgot the pain in my legs and realise how far we’d come. This inspired me and I was even more determined to get to the top. It was so close.

Our legs kept climbing for around an hour and a half. We finally could see the summit. The relief of reaching the summit was incredible. I was so proud of everyone and super proud of myself. I am not someone who is proud of myself often, but this was a huge achievement. I’d actually climbed a mountain of 2894m. You could see for miles and miles looking over the Julian Alps. It was an absolute beauty of a mountain. We finally got to touch the summit hut after people had finished the Slovenian tradition. The locals say ‘you are not a true Slovenian if you have not had your bum smacked 5 times at the top of Triglav.’ I did wonder what was going on until Ziga informed us of the tradition😂. There was excitement, happiness and relief at the summit, aswell as a few sore bums.

Finally, it was time to head back down the mountain and the valley. This was tiring and demanding on the knees, but it was the best few hours of hiking as it reminded me of how far we’d come and what we had achieved! The sun was setting, golden hour had never been so beautiful. I did surf the scree a few times which sped things a little bit (but it hurt!). The beavers and deer had come out at the bottom of the valley. We finally reached the car and headed back to Bled for a well-deserved bath, pizza and Bled Cake!

Such a brilliant day walking in the Julian Alps and I won’t forget Mount Triglav in a while! The tour guide Ziga was amazing, his English and knowledge of the mountain was incredible.


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