“For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

My dear readers, I’m so sorry for neglecting you for far too long! Life is biting and badminton is trying to take my soul but here we are. After almost one month since our hiking trip to the Austrian-Slovenian border and after everything has become blurry in my head, I present you Stol or Hochstuhl with it’s 2236 metres, the highest peak in Slovenian Caravans (Karavanke).

I will skip the boring and exhausting part where I’m driving all across Slovenia because we need to pick up safety sets for the ferrata. Let’s just say I have been driving for around nine hours in total that day, it was crazy but stamina in all senses is becoming my middle name!

But first - the queen cows

Nice almost warm-up stroll at the beginning of our path

Why am I doing this to myself - the title of the picture

You need to walk for about 30-40 minutes until you get to the wasteland under the big rocks where the ferrata is located. The trail is steep almost from the beginning so you will not have the necessary time to warm-up. We are already used to it so no biggie. There are other, easier ways to get to Stol but we wanted to do it the hard way, the true Slovenian way (we kinda owed it to Boris because he agreed to climb to Triglav the „easier“ way).

The wasteland under ferrata beginning

First obstacle sighted

The ferrata entrance

The Hochstuhl Klettersteig difficulty is marked as B/C, according to Bergsteigen website. We knew only that we would need around two, two and a half hours to finish the ferrata. I refuse to look at the photos online because it only scares and cripples people.

We didn't know there are still active volcanos in Austria

The ferrata perspective

The wasteland behind us but with the rocks at our chests

The wedges and cables are well placed and there are only few places where you would just stop and wonder where should you put your arm or leg next? If you are scared of heights and don’t feel comfortable with having the chasms and pits at your back, maybe this isn’t a good option for you. The ferrata over Mali Triglav to Veliki Triglav is much easier than this – not maybe in a physical sense but in a psychological sense. Just don’t start wondering what would happen if you would fall down because nothing good waits for you in that store.

Step by step, grip by grip - here we go

The ferrata happiness

Up, up we need to go

Our ferrata leader Boris

It is important to rest frequently and drink a lot of liquids

We are a happy bunch so we laugh a lot even if we sometimes despair and ask ourselves if this was really a good idea. Boris was brave and on the front as always, our ferrata leader. The girls were actually fine. I needed some time to get the grip and accept the fact that I’m risking my life again – with a heavy backpack in which I carry the drone so I can make some pictures and videos (which I still don’t know how to edit properly). And then it happened again: the fresh mountain air hit my brain hard and I started to give the motivational speeches. Nobody needed them really but I was having fun so who cares?

Our goal, in the distance and high, high

Even the ink for the mountaineering stamps could be considered as drugs

The light of Hochstuhl shines upon us

Some serious advances on the ferrata were made

The ferrata ended and we were still alive. Just a little bit to the top and this time it was the truth! The day was perfect as you can see on the pictures. I don’t want to jinx us but we are very lucky with the weather lately. Let it stay that way. At the top we rest a little bit, eat sandwiches and I tried to deploy the drone – I say „try“ because at first I thought I took and carried the wrong set of propellers for the drone all the way to the top of Hochstuhl. What a disgrace that would be! It seems I took the right proppelers and we flew around a little bit and made some photos and videos.

The views are rewarding us to the maximum. Triglav in the distance, we have been there!

Some of us still wear the helmets - to protect ourselves from not melting from the views

The crest of Triglav is just other-worldly

Boris scanning Austria, searching for new hiking ideas

A part of the wasteland from the beginning can be seen on this picture. We have come a long way

The other Hochstuhl ridge

Deploy the drone

Dronie

Ridge again, of course

The Hochstuhl crew at the top <3

The next stop is to visit Prešern’s mountain hut on the Stol. There was a trail running competition that day so we saw some runners, crazy guys. We had a drink at the hut and Ana bought socks with the Stol motifs. It is time to descend and now we face the cursed sipars (loose soil created by the crushing of the rocks and stones). The way down to the Celovska hut/Klagenfurter Hutte is hellish. Just when you think it is over, there is another patch of loose soil and there are some ferratas that need to be fixed! We are trying to speed things up because we are hungry and we want to eat something at Celovska hut but the path is a real pain in the ass (if you don’t believe me, ask Vida).

The mountain hut of mr. Prešern

It says - take your trash with you

Stol in front of us - it is a big boy

We are little too high but this is some real Rohan scenery

Way back down is a long one

The kingdom of Sipar

We have gotten ourselves into a real Balkanian situation at Klagenfurter Hutte. That place is run by the Bosnians I think. They barely know the language – I think they are better at German than „our“ languages. The manager woman didn’t know the ingredients of the vegetarian meals and, yes, they were making jokes about vegetarians (only Boris ate „real“ food). Not eating meat my whole life, I can tell you this jokes get really old and they are telling people something about your intelligence – especially when you are a host and your job is to make people feel comfortable.

Is it good to sit down after such a descend

Vegetable musaka served in an interesting way

I say a Balkanian situation because they were acting all polite to us and saying that we are their kin and then the prices were probably higher for us than for the foreigners! Once they leave the shitholes in which they were born, they become noblemen. The irony is they are still worth shit to their masters, being only maybe rich for the standard of their home country. The portions were small, the beer was average but the views are amazing for sure. Your choice!

The view - we were there

The day was at it’s end when we arrived at our car. It was a long way home for all of us but under the cloak of the night, we escaped the embrace of Hochstuhl and Austria. I don’t remember when exactly we arrived back in Zagreb but it was late (or almost early?!?) and I was happy I can lay down in my bed. Another adventure was successfully brought to an end. Thanks to our dear friends, our family members, Vida and Boris for this nice trip deep into the Slovenia. Our eyes are wide open, looking for the next hiking adventure!

About the Author: Borna

Borna is a student of philosophy. He loves mountains, books, and video games and is in possession of a pretty awesome LEGO collection. Listens to music almost all the time but also likes the silence. You will probably find him reading a book, roaming the mountains of RL, or trying to bring home bounty in the vast swamps of Bayou.
One Comment
  1. Adrian October 5, 2023 at 11:13 am - Reply

    Looking great! Congratulations to the whole crew!

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