Two climbers on the way to Triglav, Slovenia.

Triglav anyone?

I’ve written about climbing our highest peak over and over and over again. It’s strikingly beautiful and climbing it fills you with indescribable emotions way beyond exhilarated. But then again, Triglav is surprisingly demanding and even in perfect conditions a serious ascent. Experienced climbers describe winter ascents to Slovenia’s highest peak as a true challenge. You want to do it safely? Climb it with a mountain guide. Seriously.

A climber on the way to Triglav, Slovenia.
All photos are from a guided tour to Triglav this weekend.

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Debela peč awaited right in front of us.

Mountains in December are just awesome: Debela peč

I happen to have the best friends in the whole world. Remember Barbara from Triglav? She has been a good friend since high school and as it happens with friends, we’ve evolved in quite the same direction. If we started off sharing a glass of wine on Friday nights in our teen years, we now share a much greater passion for mountains (honestly, it was a bottle rather than a single glass). To that extent, she offered to share her last week’s trip to the Triglav National Park conquering a beautiful mountain called Debela peč. Here it is folks, Barbara’s very first blog post and shall I say, hopefully, there will be many more of those in the future.

On the way to Debela peč.
All photos by Barbara Kandus.

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A green whip snake curled around a helpless mouse giving it a final look. At the top of Punta La Marmora, the highest summit of Sardinia, Italy.

Hiking Punta La Marmora or the time a snake caught a mouse

Being an active family with a special thing for the mountains, it was no longer than the third day on Sardinia that we set off towards the mountainous region Gennargentu and the highest peak of the island, Punta La Marmora. After a 3-hour drive on curvy roads with unnerved kids on the verge of throwing up, we arrived at the trailhead all wearing the “it better be worth it!” attitude. As it turned out, hiking Punta La Marmora has a lot to offer and easily qualifies as the best trip we made in Sardinia. Yes, it was well worth it to say the least.

Hiking Punta La Marmora, the highest summit of Sardinia

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Family hiking: Triglav Lakes and Mala Tičarica

Our kids have finally reached the age when we can all pack the minimum of things, head towards the mountains and have a hell of a good time. Yay! Since it’s still warm (but not hot) and backpacks much lighter than in the colder months ahead, September is probably the best time to take a weekend trip to the mountains. And so we did.

A reflection of the mountains in a lake; the Double Lake

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Šmarna Gora for sunrise

Sunrise hunting on Šmarna gora

It’s nice to have a favorite mountain. Cozy, even. Having outgrown a mere physical activity, its visits resemble more to active social events since you meet the same people every day, while also the trail seems like an old friend with its same familiar challenges on every single step. The half-an-hour standard timing makes Mt. Šmarna gora a favorite daily excerise not only for me, but also for others living in Ljubljana or somewhere nearby. If I usually prefer late afternoon hikes, I decided today to trade those for an early sunrise ascent. It was worth it.

Early sunrise on Šmarna gora

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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.

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Sledding down Šmarna gora, Ljubljana’s popular hiking destination

I don’t know about you, but this is the most wonderful time of the year for me and my family. When the first snowflakes begin to fall, we all crowd by the window and watch how the snow slowly turns our little world into a white wonderland. Then, we all dress up like snowmen and hurry outside to do just another crazy thing. This time, it was sledding right from the top of Ljubljana’s favorite hiking destination, Šmarna gora. Let’s take a look.

At 2,195 ft (669 m) and a little less than a 1,000 ft (303 m) elevation gain, it is a popular hiking destination for the locals and tourists visiting Slovenia’s capital.

Šmarna gora (Smarna gora) seen from Stanezice.
Šmarna gora (Smarna gora) seen from Stanezice.

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