A Scenic Spring Adventure: Climbing Mount Triglav in Slovenia

Short Summary :

As a mountain guide, I’d like to provide some helpful tips for climbing Mount Triglav in the springtime. For a safe and enjoyable hike, hire an IFMGA-certified guide, stay updated on weather conditions, and obtain information about parking at Kovinarska hut. Familiarize yourself with the hiking route through the scenic Krma Valley, plan for an overnight stay in a hut, use appropriate equipment, and allocate two days for the climb.



IFMGA guide

Key points for Mount Triglav spring climbing tips

  • Hire an IFMGA-certified mountain guide for safety and expertise
  • Stay updated on weather conditions and be prepared for rapid changes
  • Parking at Kovinarska hut, accessible for 2WD vehicles from April 1st
  • Hike through Krma Valley, Triglav National Park, and enjoy stunning views
  • Mountain huts: Kredarica or Planika are recommended for overnight stays; reservations needed only in summertime.
  • To climb Triglav, use appropriate mountaineering equipment like crampons, ice axe, via ferrata, helmet, and harness.
  • The deep snow and extended approach may necessitate a two-day climb.

Current Conditions on Mount Triglav

Please be aware that if you lack winter mountaineering experience, it is strongly advised to hire a qualified expert, such as an IFMGA-certified mountain guide. For those with experience who prefer to embark on Mount Triglav without a guide, it’s crucial to ensure you have the appropriate mountaineering gear. You can also rent mountaineering gear here, stay up-to-date with the latest weather forecasts, and maintain a strong level of physical fitness.

Spring time can still surprise with a lot of snow on Mount Triglav

Remember that although our recent mt Triglav climb was deemed a winter ascent in favorable conditions, the situation can change rapidly over the next few days due to fresh snowfall. So, stay vigilant and informed to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on Mount Triglav in winter conditions.

Private tour with IFMGA mountain guide, on 22.-23.03.2023. 

The Advantages of Choosing an IFMGA-Certified Mountain Guide for climbing mount Triglav

1. Extensive Training: IFMGA guides have undergone rigorous training and assessments, ensuring they possess the necessary skills and knowledge to lead expeditions in various mountain environments safely.

2. International Recognition: IFMGA certification is recognized worldwide, meaning these guides have met the highest international standards for guiding in the mountaineering industry.

3. Safety: The primary concern of IFMGA guides is the safety of their clients. They are trained to assess risks, manage hazards, and make informed decisions to keep everyone secure during the trip.

4. Local Knowledge: IFMGA guides often know the local terrain, weather conditions, and culture. This expertise can enhance the overall experience and help avoid potential issues during the expedition.

5. Customized Experience: IFMGA guides are skilled at tailoring trips to suit the individual needs and abilities of their clients, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

7. Skills Development: IFMGA guides can teach clients essential mountaineering techniques, helping them improve their skills and become more confident mountaineers.

If you want to climb Triglav, then choosing an IFMGA-certified guide ensures that your ascent will be guided by a skilled professional who places safety as their top priority. You can have peace of mind knowing that you’re in capable hands and can focus on having an unforgettable Mount Triglav experience.

Parking at Kovinarska hut and preparing for the Mount Triglav hike

We set out for Kovinarska hut in our reliable four-wheel-drive VW transporter to begin our journey. Because of the vehicle’s capabilities, we avoided traveling for at least an hour. It would have been very difficult to get to Krma valley, one of the three main Triglav Valleys in Triglav National Park.

Note this: Starting April 1st, 2023, the road will most likely be accessible not only to four-wheel-drive vehicles but also to two-wheel-drive vehicles.

We had an additional kilometer of walking from the Kovinarska hut to the main summer parking spot.

Krma Valey from Kovinarska hut point of view in Triglav National Park

As the temperature rises at the end of April(most likely), you can drive extra few kilometers to get to the closest parking spot possible.

Hiking towards Triglav through forest and snowy slopes

While going through the forest in Krma valley, it was lovely to hear all the birds singing, typical for Triglav National Park.

Forest under mount Triglav

Walking through upper Krma Valley

After leaving the forest behind, we soon arrived at an area usually abundant with mountain pine trees in the summer, now concealed beneath a blanket of snow.

Vernar Mountain is on the way towards Triglav Mountain

In the background, you can see the mountain called Vernar; the left section of the Vernar is called Bohinjska vratca. If you do the Triglav ski touring traverse, you will pass this saddle.

After one hour and a half, we reached the upper plateau called Polje. In summer, you can see many cows in this area. The first time from the parking spot, you can see the Small Mount Triglav in the background.

Triglav hiking routes are still covered with snow

The snow in the morning was still stiff, so it was not tiering as later in the afternoon. This is the part before the Prgarca hut.

Hiking Triglav in winter time, mountain Kurica on the background

We enjoyed an extensive lunch at Prgarca hut, at an elevation of 1,763 meters. This hut is exclusively for shepherds and doesn’t offer food, drinks, or accommodations for booking. However, it does provide a winter bivouac room for shelter.

Hike from shepherds hut Prgarca

From this point onward, we sank deeper into the snow, climbing Triglav while the temperature gradually increased. The hike took us approximately two hours.

Prgarca hut on the way of on of Triglav routes

From the shepherd’s hut, there are various Triglav routes leading to Triglavski dom (which means hut or Kredarica hut). The shortest path takes you passing Arhova glava on the right side.

Triglav route through Arhova Glava

As we journeyed to the hut, we were treated to stunning vistas. In the backdrop, one could observe Mali Draški Vrh, Velik Draški Vrh, and Tošc. Those are all part of the Julian Alps.

Hiking Triglav under Kalvaria

Kalvaria section under Kredarica hut

Below the Kalvaria, at an elevation of approximately 2,100 meters, we followed the winter trail that passes by Vrh Snežne Konte, which stands at 2,342 meters on its right side. The steepest section of our Triglav hike through Žleb leads toward the Kredarica hut. A blue line on the map and in the accompanying photograph indicates our route, while an orange line in the image denotes the summer path.

Hiking mount Triglav through Kalvaria

The picture below was taken last winter.

Summer and winter Triglav hiking paths under Kalvaria

The orange line represents the summer path, the blue line indicates the winter path, and the pink line marks the location of the Kredarica hut or also known as Triglav hut.

The view at Kalvaria and different paths to Triglav Hut

Climb Triglav with the use of the map

Despite the availability of numerous modern applications such as Outdoor Active, Garmin, and others, I would still advocate for acquiring a traditional map from Sidarta at a scale of 1:25,000. This map from the Triglav area offers the most comprehensive details, including paths and names of lesser-known peaks that may not be displayed on digital platforms.

Map of Triglav National Park including Triglav climbing routes (Sidarta at scale 1:25,000)

Which mountain huts to choose from?

I would recommend to chose the Kredarica hut or Planika hut, but at the Planika hut, you need to bring your food and drink.

Once we reached the Kredarica hut, we decided to go to the top early in the morning the next day; snow conditions weren’t the best to ascend to the top of the Triglav mountain.

Kredarica hut with Triglav in the background, the left one is mali Triglav, and the right one is the big one.

Kredarica and Slovenia's Tallest Peak: A Glimpse of Triglav Mountain

At the hut, only two of us and the meteorologists lodged; this is one of the advantages of venturing into the Triglav Huts during the off-season.

Inside of Kredarica hut

The following morning, we awoke early at 5:30 and enjoyed some coffee. Although the hut was officially closed, the meteorologist kindly accommodated us, providing dinner, breakfast, and sleeping arrangements.

We slept in unheated winter rooms, standard for Triglav huts during this time of year. Fortunately, extra blankets were provided, ensuring a warm and comfortable stay. Make sure you make a reservation for hut before hiking. Most of huts can still be closed this time of the year.

As always, the stunning sunrise was a sight to behold in the morning, with Mount Triglav eagerly awaiting our arrival. Currently, the sun rises at approximately 7:00 AM.

Sunrise view from Triglav hut

Mountaineering equipment for Triglav Ascent from Kredarica hut

Equipped with harnesses, helmets, crampons, and an ice axe, we were prepared to begin our ascent. The crampons and ice axe were necessary only for the final stretch from Kredarica to the Triglav summit.

Good equipment is essential for climbing Triglav

If you want to know what other items are essential to climb Triglav or other mountains, we have a Checklist: essential gear for Mountaineering.

5 reasons to climb Triglav

1. National Symbol: Slovenia’s highest hill, and they say once you climb Triglav, you become a true Slovenian.
2. At the peak, you can see stunning panoramas of the surrounding Julian Alps and valleys of Triglav National Park.
3. The via ferrata, or “iron path,” is a type of secured climbing route made of human-made stairs and steel wires, and it can be experienced while ascending Triglav.
4. The peak is located in the heart of Triglav National Park, Slovenia’s only national park.
5. Accomplishment on a Personal Level: To Climb Mount Triglav requires fitness, mental fortitude, and mountaineering expertise.

Ascend Triglav from mountain hut to summit

From the Kredarica hut to the summit of Triglav Mountain, conditions were ideal, with hard-packed snow and partially exposed wires. The red line indicates the first set of exposed wires, which can be used for rappelling during descent if you have at least 30 meters of extra rope. Although the mountain on the left appears taller, it is Small Triglav; the primary Triglav peak is the one on the right.

The protected climbing route is indicated by a red line marking

Since the snow was hard-packed in the final section, exercise caution while walking with crampons and an ice axe. I recommend undergoing training if you plan to climb Triglav Mountain without the assistance of an IFMGA guide.

Morning light on Summit Triglav

The primary traverse lies close to Triglav North Face, extending from right to left. Moreover, the second-highest peak, Škrlatica, can be observed beyond Rupert.

Traverse in the middle of via ferrata with beautiful views on Julian Alps

The path is typically traversed with via ferrata, transforming into an authentic winter mountaineering experience as one grips an ice axe and listens to the snow’s gentle squeak beneath their feet.

Rule #1: Ascend Triglav early in the morning to capture the golden light and take advantage of good weather.

We just can’t get rid of the beautiful views while climbing Triglav, which stands at an impressive height of 2,864 meters.

Last part under Mali Triglav, also known as Little Triglav

Standing on mali Triglav, looking towards the Triglav Summit. Before the last climb, we had a ridge just for ourselves.

Climbing Triglav on the ridge

Not far away to summit Triglav. We then see the Vrata valley on the left, where Triglav North Face is located. It is a massive limestone wall that spans nearly 2 miles (3 km) wide, making it an impressive sight. Climbers can access the North Face through the Vrata Valley and approach the wall before tackling mostly easy climbing sections, with two or three more difficult sections. For routes like Slovenian, German, or even Čops pillar, we recommend choosing summertime because conditions are more favorable. You can even reserve a guided tour to climb multi-pitch on the north wall.

Mt Triglav climb with IFMGA guide

We made it. It only took us about an hour and a half to reach the peak. Both were happy to reach the summit on a beautiful day. At the summit, we can see Aljaž’s Tower, which is a cultural and historical monument.

Happy climber on summit Triglav and surrounding mountains

After climbing Triglav we paused briefly for a rest and to take some photographs, and after 15 minutes, we began our descent from the top. Maintaining focus was crucial due to the steep and exposed sections, and extra care was required during the descent.

Climb Triglav with IFMGA certified guide on the short rope

Wires on the east side of mount Triglav were more or less looking outside. When crossing the via ferrata in the spring or winter, you must be careful because snow can hide some parts of the path sometimes.

Via ferrata after Triglav summit

Rappelling the last part going down towards Kredarica hut.

Rappeling down the last section, on the background the highest mountain hut in Slovenia

From the top of the mountain and back to Kredarica hut took us only 1 hour. Before continuing our journey on the same route towards Krma Valley, we had a warm breakfast (scrambled eggs and tea).

The snow from the mountain hut back to the valley was getting softer for descending; sometimes, we went pretty deep, over the knees.

Descent from Kredarica mountain hut through Žleb (gully)

We can admire the snow-covered Julian Alps as we descend the Krma Valley route.

Towards Triglav Valley called Krma

To complete our tour , we returned to the car parked in Krma Valley, one of the most accessible valleys in Triglav National Park, thus completing our journey.

Along the way, we picked up two skiers who had just finished Triglav Ski Touring Traverse, providing them a ride back home to Lake Bled.

Kovinarska Hut at Krma Valley

Climbing Triglav in springtime or winter can take longer than in the summer due to potentially harsh weather conditions and the need for appropriate mountaineering equipment. I suggest undertaking a two-day climb due to the deep snow, concealed trails, and the extended length of the Triglav path in Krma Valley, which results in a longer approach.

The Krma Valley route is the most accessible, while the Vrata Valley route is the most challenging. I recommend opting for the Krma Valley.

Snow, ice, and freezing temps make winter climbing Triglav difficult. Winter ascents demand crampons, ice axes, and experience. Avalanches, bad visibility, and slippery conditions are also higher. Climbers should use a mountain guide or have winter climbing expertise before attempting Triglav in winter.