There should be no rest for the wicked. We continue our training by exposing ourselves to beautiful Slovenian nature. Also, Storžič is 2132 metres high and gives a good taste what could await you while trying to get along with Triglav. We chose the path „through Žrelo“ (slovenian for throat) – something like grabbing the stone beast by it’s throat.

The starting point near Dom pod Storžičem - the signposts say 3 hours to the top

The fellowship was regular: Marta, Vida, Ana, Marko, Boris and me. We are still banded together, determined to achieve our goal this August. Vida and Boris arrived from Rogaška Slatina and the rest of us from Zagreb. We wanted to practice „climbing“ while fully equipped with ferrata sets which means: belt, Y cable, gloves and a helmet. Of course, some more space had to be reserved in and on our backpacks. The weather was changing and there were some rain drops on the forecast but we decided to make the ascend anyway.

You don't have to go far on this track to start getting rewarded with the views

A most welcome shade and refuge from the sun - Žrelo is wide open and awaits its prey

The path begins really steep and there is no time to warm-up. The sun was already doing its regular burning as we started the climb around 10am. The temperature will get lower as we ascend but for now it was hot. There are around 15-20 minutes until first of many ferratas begin so it was time to equip our safety sets.

Already in full combat loadout, the ferrata adventure begins

As it was our first time in action, it was kinda clumsy and we chose weird, steep places to put on the sets. Nevermind that, at the time we didn’t even know what beautiful horror awaits us behind the corner. The Slovenian superior genes activated and Boris left us behind pretty early on the track. It is good to push your own boundaries, but I think it was not a good time to separate from the main group. It is never, actually.

Thanks to Boris, this photos were made. The rest of us didn't think about having a phone in our hands...

There were parts of the ferrata where I felt fear, I admit it. In one moment, when I wasn’t looking ahead, I was pretty busy just figuring out where to put my leg or what to grab with my hand, I strayed from the marked path. The idea of just slipping down, petrified me for a moment.

Up, up we go

I need to buy new mountaineering shoes, I mustn’t forget that! I was also amazed how Marko handled ferratas because he is, in fact, afraid of heights. Maybe he will soon realize that his fear was an illusion. Marta and Marko got the most out of the safety sets. Everyone else was gambling – Slovenian the most and then brave (and stupid) Croats. I haven’t used the Y cable, I thought I don’t need it and it seems we were right… this time.

A narrow passage and some old and dirty snow leftovers

It is easy to get a headache while looking at the glorious rock that is Storžič. We are small but step by step...

Marko fighting his fears and making his way up

After some time drifting in the sun, fighting against the verticality of Storžič, we finished the ferrata part of the ascend. The feeling was good and as long as you don’t look back, especially if you’re afraid of heights, everything will be fine. The views were amazing but only at the end of the ferrata part were we able to really enjoy them. Except Boris, of course, to whom we are grateful for the few pictures from the ferrata because no one else was really in the mood to peddle with their phone while climbing.

A victory toast after the hardest part of the ferrata

Embracing the mountain bliss

The views are amazing. Somewhere there to the left, cannot be seen in this pictures, only some distant whiteness - that is our goal. Concentrate and keep on going. T day is close

I would say that the rest of the way to Storžič peak was a happy stroll with only few parts where you had to use your arms. Storžič was nevertheless playing with our head (something similar to Tuhobić, but more mild, while we were in GK last time) and the peak seemed closer than it was. At the end, there is this graveyard of sheep turds, a vast minefield that assaults your nose more than it does your shoes. And as the shithole tries to drag you down, you finally enter Storžič. Many people leave while we arrive. Maybe it is shit, maybe it is sweat. Don’t fret! There is enough space for everyone on the top.

Middle-earth hiking club

Like sheep, meeeeeeee, we slowly make the final push

The cross on the top, no wind was present

Never closer to Grintovec

We asked some woman at the top to take a picture of all of us but she had this weird cross fixation and whatever we said, she was trying to make the cross a part of the photo... some people do like their crosses

After enjoying ourselves a little bit (eating sandwiches and trying out new flavours and versions of soon to be famous Marta’s protein bars), we decided it is time to return. We were still not in the open because the clouds were still threatening and the Norwegian (yr.no) prophecy could still come true! I think we were going towards the Škarjev grave and the descend started with a ferrata. Marta and Marko equipped their safety sets again and the rest of us just used helmets and gloves. It seems that the descend is worse for people with fear of heights because this time you HAVE TO look down.

It is a long and rocky way down

But once again, the landscape and the views are exceptional

Everything was fine anyway and we all managed to climb down. At the end of the track, there si only descending through the forest and it takes some time but soon, which depends on how tired and how hungry and thirsty you are, we have arrived to the starting point. Gonna take off the sweaty clothes and sit down in front of the mountaineering hut Dom pod Storžičem, our final destination for the day and for the night.

Take a moment and look back at the path you have walked on. Fire in the eyes says loud and clear I AM ALIVE

The hungry and thirsty vegetarian dragon’s book of praises and grudges

Now we are in the Slovenian (beer) domain. Laško is in order! Boris ordered Union, two more Laško beers and two lemonades. You cannot waste so much kilocalories and not be hungry as a wolf. Everybody except for the Slovenian ordered vegetarian food. The options are not plentiful but there are options and they were good. Vegetarian ričet – which is actually a Slovenian, Austrian, Bavarian and also a Croatian traditional meal. It is categorized as a rich soup, or better to say stew. It is a strong meal, full of barley, beans and other vegetables (of choice). The traditional variant contains sometimes huge amounts of dried pork.

Vegetarian ričet is a strong meal, perfect after an exhausting hike

There were also štruklji (zagorski štrukli are, for example, very famous and known in Croatia; Slovenians and Zagorians have a lot of common, I have found out) with a shroom sauce. We also ate mushroom soup – what can I tell you, we really love the shrooms! The bread was fine and I can conclude that I would eat again in this fine establishment!

Štruklji with shroom sauce - this is almost an Instagram photo, Vida took the photo of course

The 5 star Prancing Pony for the mountaineers

Sure I know a Baggins. He’s over there, Frodo Baggins. He’s my second cousin, once removed on his mother’s side and my third cousin twice removed on his father’s side, if you follow me.“ – Peregrin Took at the Prancing Pony

Beautiful Dom pod Storžičem

Slovenia is well known for its beautiful nature and the mountaineering community, as is the mountain tourism, is thriving. There will always be people who like to get sunburned while laying down on a heavily overcrowded beach, but more and more people find it more pleasing to spend their vacation in the mountains. Of course, it can get crowded even here (will we soon discover this to be true on Triglav in August – the most popular month to make the ascend?!?), but the mountains are vast and there are many peaks on which you can enjoy and not meet a lot of people.

Sauron (Marta) and Saruman (Marko) plot their assault to take the One Ring from Frodo (Boris) and Aragorn (Vida). Oh man, I love Lord of the Rings and infecting people with board games - card games

Dom pod Storžičem has a new bathroom and toilets and it was almost unnatural to shower like that in a mountaineering hut. The rooms are also quite cosy and we soon felt at home. After the shower and changing into more comfortable, casual clothes, it was time to have some fun. We ate desserts, drank beer and chocolate liqueur, and played The War of the Ring – the card game. We didn’t want to stay up too late because the staff in the hut also wanted to go to sleep (that is a common problem in the huts where you spend the night – nobody parties like they party in the valleys and cities). Of course, I am talking about the geek type of a party where there are some shouts when Saruman and Sauron attack Lothlorien, and now and then some spilling of beer over the cards (they are double-sleeved, don’t worry), nothing special and extreme really.

Dovžan’s gorge and tunneling to happiness

That was about it regarding Storžič. Even the next day, during breakfast, we were talking about how we liked the climb and how we feel fulfilled because we did it. The fear and doubts about Triglav started to fade. I think the Fellowship needed this. Breakfast was a classic – scrambled eggs, cheese, some vegetable and hummus spread – well, all the good stuff actually.

We decided to go first through the tunnel and it was the right choice - because of the direction of the vertical ferrata - ladder

The second day was reserved for something a little bit easier, something so that our muscles and knees could relax. I am sure we could have done something more demanding, our last adventure in GK proved it, but Storžič was enough.

Girls in the gorge

Riding the Dovžan's gorge ferrata

Boris took us for a small walk in the Dovžan’s gorge and it was a nice place to be. We, power and kilometres hungry, cannot stay long at one place so we walked through the gorge, found out there is an almost vertical ferrata (ladder) in the gorge and went back to the cars.

Interesting arch in the gorge

I don't have to say it anymore but Marko crushed this ferrata for breakfast

Title of the photo - Green Boris

Scout fights by the Planšarsko lake

Next stop was Zgornje Jezersko which is a 40 minutes drive from Tržič, underneath the Storžič. It takes so long because you have to drive around the mountain and there are also a lot of cyclist on the road which is narrow so you have to drive carefully and curse them all while doing it.

Hobbit proud feet

When we finally got there, it was time to visit the lake. You would say it is nothing special and it is full of algae this time of the year (Boris said they would clean it at some point). We were not able to dive in but we could dip our hobbit legs in it! The water is icy cold and our legs hurt just by standing in the lake. They said it was good for the bloodstream but all I felt was pain and constant question: „Why the hell am I doing this?!?“. Well, that is a regular question in my life. The restaurant/coffee place was crowded so we decided not to sit down. What was special, though, was the view of the Grintovec. It is absolutely amazing and it is probably the reason Boris led us here. Grintovec calls to us, I can hear it when I’m really still and quiet.

Grintovec direction view from Zgornje Jezersko

Nearby is a mineral water spring so we decided to go there. It is just a 5 minute walk and you can try and drink some natural mineral water. Yeah, if the locals wouldn’t jam the place completely. A line formed and the first were, of course, the natives with their gazillion litre bottles. They were kind enough to let us through but only for a second, then they were back at it – filling their canisters with precious, magical water which they will probably sell to tourists. Enter capitalism, Zgornje Jezersko style. It was a weird feeling to drink natural, mineral water. We always thought they have to add carbon oxide so we can enjoy our gemišts and what not. There was some weird old guy, wearing a „siledžica“ (tank top) which said: „Good girls like bad boys“. He started following Boris so we concluded that he was, in fact, a good girl because we know who is our bad boy :D I’m joking, of course, good people like Boris are rare, especially these days – strong willed, rational and protective. I don’t worry too much really, when grandma asks, I can be honest and say that my cousins are both in good hands (or the guys are in the good hands).

Well, it was time to return home. We made a short stop in Ljubljana to eat some food at a shopping mall. Vida wanted to take us in a vegan restaurant but it was Sunday and it was closed. Next time! We ate some vegetable and fruit bowls and vegetarian ramen. Personally, it looked better than it tasted. I took a vegan Buddha Bowl and something was off with the spices or the way the sauce was prepared – it just didn’t go with my taste buds. The rest of the bunch was pretty content, the mixing of flavors was interesting enough for them.

Storžič nostalgia is already kicking in

What about the conclusion? You know it already. Go and visit Storžič, you will not regret it! As I said countless times and I will repeat it again:

Slovenia never dissapoints.

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.
2 Comments
  1. Peter June 22, 2023 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Fantastic Fellowship of the ring journey, thank you Borna. However – still not sure about ferrata’s….

  2. Borna June 22, 2023 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    Dear Peter, here is one for you:

    “All we have to decide is which ferratas to climb during the time that is given to us.” – Gandalf

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