Quotes of The Day

For me, the value of a climb is the sum of three inseparable elements, all equally important: aesthetics, history, and ethics. Together they form the whole basis of my concept of alpinism. Some people see no more in climbing mountains than an escape from the harsh realities of modern times. This is not only uninformed but unfair. I don’t deny that there can be an element of escapism in mountaineering, but this should never overshadow its real essence, which is not escape but victory over your own human frailty.
~ Walter Bonatti, The Mountains of My Life


Quote of The Day

Mountains are not fair or unfair - they are just dangerous.
~ Reinhold Messner


Quote of The Day

You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.
~ Rene Daumal

Europe, Slovenia, Postojna - Postojna cave

Postojna Cave is a 20,570 m long Karst cave system near Postojna, Slovenia. It is the longest cave system in the country. The caves were created by the Pivka River.

The cave was first described in the 17th century by Johann Weichard Valvasor, and a new area of the cave was discovered accidentally in 1818 by local Luka Čeč, when he was preparing the then known parts of the cave for a visit by Francis I, the first Emperor of Austria. In 1819, the caves were opened to the public, and Čeč went on to become the first official tourist guide for the caves. Electric lighting was added in 1884, preceding even Ljubljana, the capital of Carniola, the Austro-Hungarian province the cave was part of at the time, and further enhancing the cave system's popularity. In 1872 rails were laid in the cave along with first cave train for tourists. At first, these were pushed along by the guides themselves, later at the beginning of the 20th century a gas locomotive was introduced. After 1945, the gas locomotive was replaced by an electric one. 5.3 km of the caves are open to the public, the longest publicly accessible depth of any cave system in the world.

The caves are also home to the endemic olm, the largest trogloditic amphibian in the world. Part of the tour through the caves used to include a pool with some olms in it, though these have been removed recently due to the effect of flashes from visitngs tourists cameras had on the sensitive skin of the olms.

Used information, pictures and video from http://en.wikipedia.org/ and http://www.youtube.com/


Quote of The Day

The first question which you will ask and which I must try to answer is this, "What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?" and my answer must at once be, "It is no use." There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behavior of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a single foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise food. It's no use. So, if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won't see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for.
~ George Leigh Mallory, 1922


Europe, Carinthia & East Tyrol, Austria - Grossglockner

The Grossglockner (German: Großglockner; Slovene: Veliki Klek) is Austria's highest mountain at 3 798 m above sea level. The Grossglockner lies on the border between Carinthia and the East Tyrol; it is the highest peak in the Glockner group, a group of mountains along the main ridge of the Hohe Tauern. The summit itself lies on the Glockner ridge, which branches to the south off the main ridge. The Pasterze, Austria's biggest glacier, lies at the Grossglockner's foot.
The Grossglockner is used for trained ice climbers. Some of the most difficult routes are at the north face, that can stand comparison to famous ascents at 4000 m-peaks in the Western Alps.
The Pallavicinirinne is the most classical of these routes. First climbed in 1877 when crampons were still unknown it has become famous because of the hard work of leading guide J. Tribusser who hit 2500 steps into the ice with his axe.

The Grossglockner

The major routes on the Grossglockner are
The easiest and most common route is from Erzherzog-Johann-hut: PD, glacier 35°, UIAA II. A good alternative with starting point Stuedlhuette is: south west ridge "Stuedlgrat", ridge climb, III -IV

Berglerrinne, culoir ice climb, 45-50°, III. First ascent of Berglerrinne to Oberer Nordwestgrat by E. Rainier 9.9.1929 (Ridge to the top climbed

Pallavicinirinne, couloir ice climb, 55-60°, III. First ascent by A.Pallavicini, J. Tribusser, G. Baeuerle & J. Kramser 18.8.1876.

North face. Welzenbach Route, mixed, IV+, 55°. First ascent by W.Welzenbach & K.Wein 19.9.1926.

Mayerlrampe (Glocknerhorn Nordwandrampe), ice climb, 60-70. First ascent by S.Mayerl, H.Lindner & H.Messner 19.10.1967.

Ice nose ("Theo-Riml-Gedenkanstieg"), ice climb, 90°. First ascent by K. Hoi, L. Baumgartner, G. Haefele, W. Haiden, W. Laserer & M. Rust, 29.8.1984.

Direct north face, 90°/mixed. First ascent by K.Hoi, L.Baumgartner, St.Lackner, A.Prugger & H.Christoph, 30.8.1985.

Live cams in the area - Heiligenblut, Zell am See

Used information, pictures and video from http://en.wikipedia.org/, http://www.summitpost.org/ and http://www.youtube.com/


Europe, Julian Alps, Slovenia - Triglav

This year the Sliven's Alpine club "Blue stones" have an anniversary - 50 years since it was establish. We are planning to climb Mt. Triglav & Mt. Grossglockner this summer to celebrate this remarkable anniversary. The first in the list is Mt. Triglav.
Triglav (2864 m) is the highest mountain in Slovenia and the Julian Alps. The origin of Triglav name is still not completely clear. People used to be believe that it is home of Gods. Triglav means three heads. Although mountain is compact, from south it shows 3 heads. On the left is Rjavec (2568m), in the middle is main summit, Triglav (2864m) and on the right is Mali Triglav (2725m), which is actually just a shoulder, not a real peak.

First on the summit where: Luka Korosec, Matija Kos, Stefan Rozic and Lovrenc Willomitzer. It happened on August 25th 1778. They climbed from Bohinj lake, over Velo Polje (where today is Vodnikov Dom hut), then to Ledine (where today is Planika hut) and further to Mali Triglav. Behind it, then notorious, ridge awaited them. They had to ride it because it is so narrow and on both sides is few hundred meters of sheer drop. Triglav was one of first important alpine peaks that were climbed. It was great feat for that time. First ascent from Krma valley happened in 1818.

Triglav's Via ferrata

Today Triglav is by far mostly climbed high peak in Slovenia and wider. Last 108 years, on the summit proudly stands Aljazev Stolp (more in objects section). Just below the summit is Stanicevo Zavetisce refuge, carved in stone. Four secured routes lead to Triglav. Some say that Triglav was humiliated with all that steel on the mountain. It became easy for anyone in better shape to climb Triglav, so today crowds can sometimes be unbearable and you have to wait on the ropes for long lines of people to pass as so many want to climb this magical mountain. Triglav regains respect in winter when security pegs and steel ropes are covered with snow. Then it is reserved only for experienced mountaineers and climbers. There are many huts around Triglav. In summer they are often overcrowded.

North face of Triglav is most impressive in Julian Alps and Slovenia. 1200m high and around 3km wide face belongs to the alpine elite. Its name is written into the foundations of European alpinism. In the face there are numerous couloirs, towers or pillars, which divide it into few sections. In the eastern part most noticeable are Slovenian and German Steber towers. Most powerful is Centralni Steber, as name says, in the central part, which is steepest. In the western section is wild and high Jugova Grapa couloir. Above it is best known part of the face, Sfinga, almost smooth overhanging section.

Triglav and routes on its Stena
First man to climb The Face was Berginc, a hunter from Trenta valley, in 1890. He climbed where today is Slovenska Smer, famous route suitable for experienced mountaineers that have some knowledge in climbing (up to III grade). First to climb central part were German climbers König, Reinl and Domenigg in 1906. Since then many routes were climbed in the face. The most famous route is Copov Steber, climbed in 1945 by Joza Cop and Pavla Jesih. The face is much climbed and represents to climbers what Triglav is to mountaineers.

Here are some routes:
Slovenska Smer route
Nemska Smer (German route)
Zimmer - Jahn exit (variation of German route): 800m, IV+
Bavarska Smer (Bavarian route): IV
Skalaska Smer route: IV-V
Copov Steber (Chop pillar) route: 1000m, VIII+
Prusik-Szalay and Kunaver-Drasler routes: 900m, VII+
Stopnice v Nebo (Stairs to the Sky): 500m, VI+
Zlatorogove Police (Zlatorog ledges)

More information about hiking routes could be found here.

Live cams in the area - Triglav weather; Triglav, Kredarica.

Used information, pictures and video from http://en.wikipedia.org/, http://www.summitpost.org/ and http://www.youtube.com/


Quote of The Day

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar
I love not Man the less, but Nature more.

~ Lord George Gordon Byron