Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

July 4, 2012

Hiking Slovenia: Krn Summit

Krn dominates over our hotel in Dreznica
 It's a rare day in Slovenia when the wind blows too hard to go paragliding (or so I am told).   But the start of our weeklong flying tour began with two such days, which gave our group the opportunity to visit the coast, and me to bag a big hike up to Krn Peak. 

It was at breakfast that the wind report came down with the bad news, no flying today.  After evaluating the options my mind had settled on standing atop the big peak overlooking the town...nothing else would do.  The hotel owner advised me on a route, but also said that I should have set off 3 hours ago if I wanted to get back before dark.  I told him that I run really fast, and his concerned look only faded slightly.  So I quickly packed up a bag with a lot of water and essentials and set off from our hotel in Dreznica, pretty much straight up the mountain side.  The trail climbed steeply from 500 meters to the summit at 2240 meters, pretty much without a break.  I didn't take one either, except to put on long pants and a fleece in the cool wind. 

3 hours later, and a vertical mile higher, I was standing atop the peak.  So, unfortunately, were the low clouds.  I took a quick glance at the bunkers and caves scattered about the area, then headed down into the next valley.  Evidence of the hard fighting from WWI was still everywhere, in the form of rusty barbed wire, shells laying around (yes I picked a few of them up for inspection!), and monuments to fallen heroes.  The museum in Kobarid is a good place to visit if you are fascinated with such historical things. 

The fun part of the path started just after Krn summit, when I could see down into the valley to the north.  It was no longer the green of pasture and trees, just the stark grey of granite boulders.  And the blue of the lake at the bottom.  Without sunshine, it was all a bit washed out, but I have high hopes for more sunny days to explore this great rock when I return later this summer. 

Small bits of snow were still hanging on, requiring a small detour from the trail and the obligatory snowball throwing.  Mainly it was just a nice path, level for a while then heading down through scree, past some sheep (where are the goats?), and then down some more.  Although it was a Saturday, I barely saw a soul all day, and spent a nice afternoon picking my way down the valley.  A small blue-green lake was a nice diversion, although the mortar shell still aimed over the water was a bit weird!  

My original plan was to run all the way down to the Soca valley to the south for a pickup from my tour guide.  However they were at the coast and I love finding ways to go full circle without motorized transport.  So I did some map studying and found a trail that would bring me back to the correct valley.  It didn't include much extra climbing and I wondered why I hadn't seen it immediately.  Off I went through the woods, for a final descent that went on and on and on.  It had sharp switchbacks but was fairly moderately graded, I remember thinking at the time that a mountain bike would have made it more fun. 

Less than 8 hours later I was back at the hotel.  The route was about 15 miles, most of it NOT flat at all.  Lots of great scenery, though!

Some leftover snow

Finishing at the church in Dreznica

Luckily I didn't see this snake until the very end of the loop!
Looking down on Dreznica


  1. A great hike in an admirable time. Obviously you are in great shape! I wonder what the hotel owner said upon your arrival. :)

    You don't need to worry about that snake - it is not a poisonous one. Probably it is a Aesculapian Snake (now Zamenis longissimus, previously Elaphe longissima in Latin).

    I also have to say you took great photos. Especially considering the fact you did not take much time to stop and admire the surroundings.

    I hope you have a great time in Slovenia. Keep it up!

    1. Marko,
      Slovenia is absolutely beautiful, what a great place for you to grow up in! I look forward to returning and spending more time there later this summer.

      Sorry, but I look at all snakes as poisonous...guess I'm just not a snake lover!