Hiking Mt. Begunjščica, the most popular mountain in the Karawanks

There are days when I need a challenge and days when I just need to take it easy, relax, even meditate in a way. That’s how I pick mountains. I usually turn in for the night with a ready backpack, but no real plan where to go the next day, only to make one during my morning ritual. If it seems impossible to decide in the evening, it all clears up in the morning. My Wednesday pick two weeks ago was no different.

I woke up early when others were still sound asleep, an hour before my actual alarm. I set out in complete darkness and drove towards the mountains. Since the snow was still fresh from the day before, the greater risk of avalanches outweighed my wish for a true adventure. My safest bet, thus, was Mt. Begunjščica, a 2,060-m or 6,760-ft mountain in the Karawanks range, also called a mountain of a hundred ravines. I figured it would make a great winter escapade; nothing technical, just pure pleasure.

It’s a 20-minute drive from Bled to the start of the Begunjščica trail.
It’s a 20-minute drive from Bled to the start of the Begunjščica trail.

Even though fourteen more or less demanding marked trails lead to the summit, two of which call for some serious alpinist skills, I took a standard trail, starting a little further up Begunje in the Draga Valley. It’s the trail I know best and was sure there would already be footprints in the fresh snow. Not that those would be crucial to the ascent, but knowing someone had already walked there does add a certain mental comfort to the hike.

It was still night when I hit the road. Truthfully speaking, there are things that work great in theory, but don’t quite add up in practice, and hiking alone in total darkness is one of them. The headlamp improved the situation a bit, however finding the right path in the forest was another issue. Luckily, I soon caught up with another hiker and followed his light.

The eagerly anticipated first sunrays finally turned night into day.
The eagerly anticipated first sunrays finally turned night into day.
As soon as I was out of the forest, the incredible colors of the landscape just below the Roblek hut mesmerized me.
As soon as I was out of the forest, the incredible colors of the landscape just below the Roblek hut mesmerized me.
Ljubljana’s popular hiking destination, Šmarna gora, was peeping out from a dense fog under which Slovenia’s capital was hiding.
Ljubljana’s popular hiking destination, Šmarna gora, was peeping out from a dense fog under which Slovenia’s capital was hiding.

Although I met a few fellow hikers on the way to Roblek, a hut at 1,657 meters or 5,436 feet about an hour from the mountain peak, they all seemed to be returning back down instead of continuing further up. I, on the other hand, adamantly continued. Mildly put, it was rewarding.

Beautiful view over Lake Bled. Mental note: need to go for a yummy cream cake afterwards!
Beautiful view over Lake Bled. Mental note: need to go for a yummy cream cake afterwards! 😛
Stol (2,236 m / 7,336 ft), the highest mountain of the Karawanks, came into full view.
Stol (2,236 m / 7,336 ft), the highest mountain of the Karawanks, came into full view.
Just like Viševnik is the most popular mountain in the Julian Alps, Begunjščica ranks as the highest in the Karawanks group.
Just like Viševnik is the most popular mountain in the Julian Alps, Begunjščica ranks as the highest in the Karawanks group.
The great peak at its 2,060 meters or 6,760 feet.
The great peak at its 2,060 meters or 6,760 feet.
The last part was a bit tricky, so to be on the safe side, I replaced the hiking poles with an ice axe.
The last part was a bit tricky, so to be on the safe side, I replaced the hiking poles with an ice axe.
After a three-hour hike and 1,371 meters (4,498 feet) of elevation gain, I was proud to be standing again at the top of Mt. Begunjščica.
After a three-hour hike and 1,371 meters (4,498 feet) of elevation gain, I was proud to be standing again at the top of Mt. Begunjščica.
At the top of Mt. Begunjščica
Now, this is what happens when you fool around with the camera and completely forget which mountain you were shooting. If you have the slightest idea which mountain it is in the picture, I’d really appreciate it if you wrote down its name in the comments. My wild guess is Mt. Vrtača, what about yours?

All in all, the hike was perfect and definitely calls for a repeat. Until next time!

In the meantime, you are welcome to watch a two-minute video of the hike:

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2 thoughts on “Hiking Mt. Begunjščica, the most popular mountain in the Karawanks

  1. Terrylea Reynolds

    Hi there. I’m looking to bring a group of 10 hikers from Australia to the Karavanke Alps area next October. We want to do 6 day hikes and hopefully stay in a village somewhere as our base for each of these hikes. Our preference is to stay in the one village for the whole week, if possible, then to maybe catch public transport to the start of each hike and then catch public transport back at the end of each day. We won’t have a car. We are all active, 60 and 70 year old hikers who are happy to tackle moderate hikes of 15 kms per day with ascents of up to 800m per day. We’re trying to get details of 6 or 7 hikes which we could do from our hotel each day. Are you able to recommend any? Many thanks. Slovenia looks amazing by the way.

    Like

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