Feb 18, 2011

Mangrt - my most favorite summit

It was our first encounter with Julian Alps, in Slovenia. We drove from Villach (Austria), through Kranjska Gora towards Trenta and Bovec - centers of local hiking frenzy. On the way to camping we stopped at Mangrt Saddle, the highest asphalt point in whole Slovenia, and we took up 5 hours hike.

At the saddle you will meet numerous motorbike riders who adore his winding, steep, picturesque road. From the parking there is splendid view on the rocky massive of Mangrt, 2679 m. You have three routes to choose from... and we tried all of them :)

Mind, that at the end of June, when we've been there, there were still big capes of snow making hiking difficult and sometimes impossible (we didn't reach Jalovec peak). Trail to Mangrt was also icy in many places but safely passable with some additional caution.

We started on the Italian route, shorter and crossing the border with Italy. From here you can step off the route and try climbing ferrata (almost vertical wall) what my more adventurous half did or just continue the hike, ca. 1,5 - 2 hours long. I did the latter, completely alone on the trail, and apart from one tough snow slope I had to crawl through on all four, it was alright - moderately demanding, with nice views on Italian side of the mountain range.

Approximately half an hour before the summit ferrata route and hiking trail meet so we made it to the top together. Panorama was completely stunning!

On the way down we took alternative Slovenian route which is slightly longer, but much more picturesque, especially if you are descending at the sunset :) In many places there are steel ropes to help but it is not anything requiring above-average fitness or skills. In fact, taking both ways make the whole experience rich and truly satisfying.

Tired we gave up looking for camp and slept right at the saddle, at touristic hut "Koca". It was still close for business but the owner was so nice to let us sleep for half price in completely empty room for 15 people. Fresh mountain air whole night included :)

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