We had to earn our soft pillows, though, with a hike up from the Savica Waterfall on the west end of Lake Bohinj. It was about 1000 meters of elevation gain from the word go, and several hours later we were still toiling up the steep trail. Luckily the scenery was pleasantly distracting near the top, with thick forests, cliffs, green lakes, and towering summits to keep our minds off our lack of lungpower.
|Arriving at the hut|
|Triglav Lakes Valley|
We didn't have the best of weather for our 2 days out, as the clouds were hanging on the peaks and rain was threatening. Once above the Triglav Lakes Valley, I was into bare rock and into the clouds. I kept my trail only by following the frequent circular trail markers painted on the rock. When I stopped to rest, there was NO SOUND in the still air, not of bugs or grass or wind or people or the screaming calls of marmots. In fact the fog was the same color as the rock, and it was almost total sensory deprivation, except for the sharp rocks, and at times I had no idea which direction I was going. Yes, I did have map, compass and altimeter in case of emergency!
The shortest route to Triglav required a short scree descent to the next hut, Koca ni Dolicu. From then on the clouds lifted a little and I could see the trail more easily, and the thousands of feet down into the valley below. Triglav summit remained shrouded in clouds except for about 20 seconds, appearing to loom above me as I started the final climb to the top. A few pegs and cables were there to aid in the climb, as the rocks were so steep I couldn't have done it otherwise. At 4:30 p.m. I was standing on top of Slovenia, oddly enough not in clouds, but they surrounded the mountains and I had no views from where I stood. There were a few people still on the summit, although I had only seen a few hikers on the trail.
It was amazingly warm on the summit and I stayed in the same clothes I had warn all day, just shorts, t-shirt and arm warmers. Darkess was looming, though, so I didn't rest long. The descent was welcome, although I had a few moments of fright halfway down the cable section, which suddenly started to look unfamilar!?! I realized that I had missed a trail interection and was no going down the wrong face. Uh-oh. Getting back to the correct path meant climbing back up the cables, with loose rock bouncing down the mountain below me.
From there it was just a race to get home before dark, retracing my steps to the hut and up to the high valley, and back to the lakes. The trail didn't always look terribly familiar in reverse, and I had a few moments where I had to stop and scan the area around me for a trail marker, any trail marker. A red circle usually appeared in time but it wasn't a fast trail by any means, the rocks were sharp and jagged and waiting to shift under my feet.
The rain held off as I got closer to the hut, thankfully, as the rocks were treacherous enough without being wet, too! At 8:30 pm I finished my 12 hour hike and walked into the hut. The rain started less than an hour later, whew, close call there! I put on the hut's slippers to walk up to my bunk room, where I found 8 new souls already snoring in the bunks (at 830!) and Sarah happily reading by flashlight. In the dining room, a few guys attempted to play the guitar and last drink orders were taken quickly. Having missed the dinner hour, I contented myself with snacks from my pack and a quick wash in the sink before turning in myself.
|Triglav Lakes Valley|
|Triglav (as seen from Lake Bohinj)|