Updated: Jun 8

To say that 2020 has been an unusual year might be a bit of an understatement. Following a relatively mild Winter here in the Bohinj valley it looked like we might get a bit of late season skiing at Vogel, however this idea was short lived and by early March the mountain was closed as Europe and the rest of the world found itself in the grips of a global pandemic. In the months that have followed it's all been a bit of a blur and terms like "social distancing" and "self isolation" are now a part of daily conversation..... that is, if you can find anyone to converse with.

Now if you do have to self isolate there are worse places to do it than Bohinj and fortunately throughout this period I have not witnessed anyone fighting over toilet paper at our local Mercator, which can't be said for my country of birth (Australia). However, with the restrictions on movement I have missed being able to get up into the national park. So, with life slowly starting to return to normal and the snow starting to clear on the higher peaks it felt great to get out of the valley recently for a day in the mountains.

My plan was to climb Veliki Draški vrh (2243m) which is quite a distinctive pyramid shaped peak situated to the north of Stara Fužina with Tosc (aka."Fatty") to its west and the finely pointed Ablanca (2004m) to its south east. Ali and I had attempted a Winter ascent of Draški vrh back in February, but were forced to turn around just above 2000m on the final ridge as we were running out of daylight and our legs were weary from the deep snow we had encountered on the approach.

This time I set off just after 6am to ensure daylight would not be a factor and opted for a more direct approach climbing up to Uskovnica and then on to the beautiful alpine pastures of of Konjščica covering the 9km (+900m) in just over 2hrs 15mins. It was shaping up to be a perfect day to be out in the mountains with blue skies and not a cloud in sight. About 30mins above Konjščica I arrived at Jezerce where the path leads to the left and climbs towards the saddle between Ablanca and Draški vrh. Here I finally encountered some snow and thought it was going to be a bit of a slog but fortunately the morning sun hadn't hit the slope yet so conditions were firm and favorable allowing me to make my way to the foot of the climb without too much effort using micro-spikes.

I had a short break on the saddle to take on some water and snacks and looking at the approach above I was pleased to see that it was clear of snow. Setting off through the dwarf pine it wasn't long before I had scrambled up the lower slopes and made my way on to the main ridge line where we had been forced to turn back in February. Today I had time to burn and with the ridge largely free of snow I continued on towards the summit arriving approximately 4hrs 30mins (12.3km) after leaving the house. There was a cool wind blowing on top so I put on my down jacket and took some time to take in the surrounding scenery which was nothing short of spectacular with Triglav and the peaks to the north still covered in snow.

After spending close to an hour on top eating lunch and enjoying the incredible views it was time to head down, so I descended the ridge to the saddle below and then opted for a different route back, traversing under Tosc and then down into the valley below where I picked up a scenic single track trail that hugs the ridge high above the valley eventually bringing you out near the Chapel in Uskovnica. The one tip I would offer with this return route in the Winter is not to leave the traverse under Tosc too late in the day because the afternoon sun can melt snow and ice on the upper slopes and this can be a hazard for those traversing the path below.

As always the final kilometers descending from Uskovnica into the valley were tiring and my early season fitness or lack there of was starting to show. Usually, I would stop on the way down for a cold beer however with restrictions still in place most of the mountain huts were closed so this wasn't an option. I finally arrived back in the village around 4.30pm having covered the 26km (+1700m) in just under 9.5hrs. All in all it was a great day out and this early outing has made me eager to get out and explore some new routes over the Summer once I get my walking legs back. Here's hoping we have rounded the corner on this strange period and that we can make a return to the mountains and a return to normal life.

Updated: Mar 31

It is not all about summiting mountains and traversing stunning ridgelines as I have had some of the most enjoyable days exploring what you can do in the valley. There is no need to have to go too far or too high to enjoy the wonderful surroundings. This is a beautiful walk which is easy to moderate and takes about 2hrs 30 minutes to reach the Mostnica waterfall at the far end of the Voje valley.

All you have to do is lace up your shoes or boots and turn left as you leave Sublime Escapes, a right hand turn over the 1st bridge and veer left. The road takes you up past Zois Mansion and you can take a few moments to draw breath as you peer over the edges of Devils Bridge. There is a lovely folk tale about how the bridge was created, but it actually made the transport of iron ore and charcoal from the surrounding areas to foundries along the Mostnice much easier. Stara Fužina means old iron foundry and this area made iron between the 8th and 16th century. The view down into the limestone gorge to the Mostnica can make your head spin but it is worth a little bit of vertigo to see it. Crystal clear water on a limestone river base makes for the most amazing pools.

You have a short climb up to the path that splits to your right-hand side running along the edge of the gorge. This path takes you up to the entry point and from April – October there is a small entry fee of €3 each for adults. This helps with preservation work and maintenance of the area. You can also pick up a leaflet here or just take one from the apartment with you.

Along the gorge path you continue seeing some amazing pools and rock formations. Keep a look out for the Elephants Head! You have another ascent up from the gorge turning right onto the single track road and within a few meters you come across the Voje Mountain Hut. Here you can stop for refreshments before you head up through the Voje valley. As the Chief Sublime Escapes treat researcher, I have done my homework and can recommend the blueberry pie or the apple pie.

The walk up through the valley is beautiful and having done it in all seasons, I can’t quite decide which is my favourite. All of them. In the springtime cattle graze on the pastures before being moved up to higher ground for the summer and back down in the late Autumn. In the summertime the pasture is cut for hay and is dotted with the most amazing number of wildflowers. Between the sound of bees and the cow bells in the summer you will enjoy a very relaxing background soundtrack. In the winter it can be peaceful, snowy and pristine. This week, in mid January, there is no snow, but the sun is shining so walking up to the waterfall was uplifting.

Once you make it to Slap Voje snack bar, you are nearly at the waterfall. In the summer months the snack bar is open and offers another refreshment stop on your walk. Looking back down the valley from the terrace lets you appreciate the grandeur of the scenery and a window into rural life in this amazing Alpine setting. One last push up to the waterfall for a rewarding view. Depending on the weather this can be a full flowing torrent or a gentler fall with another crystal pool below.

Now it is time to retrace your steps back down the valley but this time, when you arrive back at the Voje Mountain Hut you can carry on down the road and enter into Stara Fužina from a different direction. Head right down to the car park and pass through taking a left turn at the water trough and follow the road to the end. There is a path on the left hand side that leads to steps back down to the edge of the Mostnice river where you turn right and only have a few meters more to get back to Sublime Escapes.

You can also come back down the same way after the Voje Mountain Hut and once you cross back over Devils Bridge there is a path on the right hand side which is a slight deviation and leads you along the watercourse popping out again downstream. A right hand turn takes you back to 1st bridge and bear left back to Sublime Escapes. A very satisfying way to enjoy the beauty of nature right from the doorstep of the apartments, while getting a dose of fresh air, exercise and most importantly some local cake treats!

Updated: Jan 8

Despite an early dump of snow prior to Christmas which had us all thinking Winter had finally arrived in the valley, the weather has been unseasonably mild of late and my ski pass continues to gather dust on the kitchen counter awaiting its first outing of the season. The absence of snow however, has provided great conditions for Winter hiking so after a long stretch of grey, wet weather in November we have been rewarded with a steady supply of crisp clear Winter days with blue skies and relatively mild temps.

In recent weeks this "weather window" has allowed us to get out and explore a variety of areas and while movement is certainly slower than it is in Summer and the days noticeably shorter, we have been rewarded with some sweeping views and near perfect conditions. I started this series of walks with a solo hike on Christmas day, which took me up Komarča, a steep route at the western end of the lake then around Črno Jezero (Black Lake) and up towards Dom na Komni before heading out to Bogatin (1977m) which is clearly visible high about the lake to the west of the valley. Unfortunately, fresh snow on the Komna plateau made the going slower than expected and with just a few hours of daylight left I opted to turn around at the foot of the saddle below Bogatin. On my return trip I made a short stop at Dom na Komni for a Xmas beer and the mandatory Nutela crepes then descended to the car park arriving at the truck just on last light.

A few days later I joined my neighbors Danny and Izzy for an early morning assault on Viševnik (2050m) with the idea of taking in the sunrise from atop Bohinj's nearest two-thousander. The day started in the dark as we left the village around 4.45am enroute to Rudno polje. Leaving the truck at 5.30am we walked along the icy road through the forest in complete darkness and commenced the steep climb up the ski hill to the ridge above. Once on the ridge we were treated to a marvelous view to the south as the dawn light started to reveal itself on the horizon. The final push to the summit was a little blustery but our efforts were rewarded with spectacular views of Triglav and the surrounding mountains, bathed in morning sunlight.

Possibly the most impressive sight on this particular morning was the skiers who arrived on the summit just after us, enjoying a quick shot of slivo from a hip flask before disappearing off the backside of the mountain and into the steep abyss below... it was an impressive sight to watch. Our own descent was a little more orderly and did not involve intoxicants, however we did manage to descend the lower slopes at speed thanks to Danny's inclusion of three small plastic sledges.

By 30 December my favorite hiking/adventure partner in crime had arrived back from Christmas in Scotland and with the good weather holding we set off on two epic days in the mountains. The first saw us climb out of the valley via Vogar and then ascend to Planini Viševnik via Planini pri Jezeru and finally up to Pršivec where we were treated to the some incredible views of the valley. The second had us depart from just below Uskovnica with the plan to climb Tošc, however arriving in the meadow below the mountain after a fairly arduous ascent out of the valley below using ice axe and crampons we decided the icy face looked a little inhospitable so we opted to take the snowy traverse over to the foot of Veliki Draški vrh where we could see several groups moving along the ridge line above.

Once again limited daylight was our enemy with the narrow traverse taking a little longer than anticipated and while we managed to make a start on the climb we opted to turn back a few hundred meters below the summit as the afternoon light was beginning to fade. We descended to the saddle and then down into the valley below, eventually making it back to the Koca in Uskovnica just on last light where we enjoyed a cold beer and strudl while taking in a spectacular "pink sky" sunset. So as you can see the lack of snow hasn't stopped us from getting out and making the most of everything the valley has to offer. That said we are both definitely looking forward to getting out for a few turns when the snow finally arrives.

Our Address
"Sublime Escapes"
  106 Stara Fuzina
  Bohinjsko Jezero,
  Slovenia. 4265
Contact Us

Tel: +386 70 622 975   

Email: info@sublimeescapes.co


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