Updated: Mar 31, 2020
I had the best of intentions to make this Blog a useful resource for guests by documenting our hiking and biking adventures however, I must admit in recent months I have embraced the exploration part while my efforts at recording our adventures has been a bit lacklustre. By early June, Summer had finally arrived in the valley and with the last of the snow melting in the high peaks we had a long list of routes we were keen to check out. While we manage to fit in a range of activities during the week including swimming in the lake, trail running and biking, our weekend hikes have turned into a bit of a ritual where we rise early on either Saturday or Sunday and head out the door for a long day in the mountains.
These adventures can last anywhere from 7-12hrs and usually include; a stop at a mountain hut (Koča), lots of vertical ascent and descent, a bit of deviation from the planned route.... sometimes by choice and other times by accident, and they often (if not always) end with beer and pizza because cooking at the end of a long day in the mountains is normally out of the question.
On a recent outing we decided to explore the Komna Plateau at the western end of the valley high above Ukanc, so we departed the house around 6am and headed off along the northern edge of the lake towards Slap Savica. The approach to the foot of the climb is about 8km from Stara Fužina and took around 90mins with the cool morning air making the conditions quite pleasant for walking.
From Kôca Pri Savici (650m) we followed an old WW1 supply route ascending via a series of hairpins in the shade of a lovely beech forest. After 60mins of steady climbing the valley opens up to the west and we continued our ascent on a fairly gentle gradient for a further 30mins before arriving at the turn-off for Dom na Komna (1520m), around 9am. Instead of taking the short detour to Komna we opted to push on for another 15mins to Kôca pod Bogatinom where we stopped for the mandatory strudel and enjoyed a bit of friendly banter with the hut staff.
After leaving the hut we continued westward following a beautiful scenic path above the Gracija Valley which eventually delivered us to the foot of Bogatin. At the head of the valley the route becomes slightly steeper as you make the final ascent onto the saddle of Bogantinska vracta (1803m). Here the trail turns left and climbs a fairly steep ridge towards the summit of Bogatin (1977m). There is a little bit of scrambling just below the summit but the route is well marked and the view from the top is well worth the effort. The summit is narrow and exposed but provides sweeping views in every direction.
At this point it was just after 11am and the weather was perfect so we decided to descend the south ridge and climb the neighboring peak of Mahavšček (2008m) as it seemed enticingly close. The descent down the other side of Bogatin was steep and loose under foot but within 30mins we managed to descend and had climbed the opposite ridge to Mahavšček, which provided equally spectacular view but this time to the south towards Tolmin and the upper Soča valley.
From the top we decided to descend via a different route and explore a bit of uncharted territory on our way back to Dom na Komna so we followed the SE ridge down off the peak before descending via a series of switchbacks into the valley below. By this time the temps in the valley below were starting to climb but the scenery was lovely with wild flowers in bloom and WW1 military ruins scattered along our path. Arriving at Dom na Komna around 2pm, some 8hrs after leaving the house we were both hot and hungry so we ordered a cold beer and some hearty Koča fare to give us a bit of a lift for the final push.
With energy stores topped up it was time to bring this adventure to a close, so we descended via our original route to the valley below. I won't lie it felt pretty good to finish the descent to Savica and after buying a couple of icecreams we set off at a leisurely pace along the path towards the lake. Our final stop of the day was for a swim at Ukanc and after more than 10hrs on our feet the cool refreshing waters of Lake Bohinj had never felt so good. Feeling refreshed we changed back into our sweaty clothing and walked the final few kilometers back along the lakes edge to the house.
To summarize the day in numbers; we walked approximately 40 odd kilometers with 1790m of ascent. Total time for this adventure was around 11hrs 30mins with about 10hrs of that in motion. If you're looking for a fantastic hike to do I cannot recommend this one enough as the views are amazing, the route out of the valley is relatively gentle compared to some of the other options available (Suha) and if you wanted to shorten it you can easily start from Savica, which will make it a more manageable 20+km.