The Juliana Skitour is a four-day ski touring expedition in the Julian Alps and is not a long-distance, continuous link like the Juliana Bike and Juliana Trail, but a combination of four different ski tours.
The sum of these, together with the transfers, allows us to go on a tour-skiing adventure across the whole area of the Julian Alps, from Kranjska Gora in the north to Tolmin in the south. It can also be done in the opposite direction.
Each of the four stages is offered in two versions to make it easier to adapt to the actual winter conditions at the time of departure.
The basic idea of the tour is a touring ski trip, where we don’t have to sleep in cold bivouacs in the mountains, but return to the valley every day for a warm shower, a normal bed and a decent dinner. This makes an extraordinary winter adventure more accessible to a wider range of winter mountain visitors, including less experienced touring skiers, if they set out with a qualified guide.
RESPONSIBLE TOURISM IS OUR CHOICE.
You can ski in the snow-covered mountains without ski lifts and man-made ski runs, which too often have an irreversible impact on the environment. The Julian Alps Community believes that it is the Green Route that will help us to protect and preserve the outstanding natural and cultural values of this fragile environment and to show them to our visitors in the right way.
A large part of the Julian Alps is also a protected area of the Triglav National Park. The park’s aim is to preserve a treasure trove of natural riches and cultural heritage for posterity, and there are rules of behaviour that we are obliged to respect. The majority of the Juliana SkiTour also takes place in the park.
The routes described avoid as much as possible the quiet zones that the animals in the park need to survive the winter. We do not enter the quiet zones so as not to disturb the animals unnecessarily. We have a duty to stick to the corridors described and do our best to preserve the wonderful creatures that grace our planet.
JULIANA SKITOUR STAGES
For many, cross-country skiing is the most beautiful way to discover and experience the fairytale winter world in the mountains. Skiing uphill through a deeply snow-covered winter landscape is infinitely easier and more elegant than walking. Skiing from an untouched winter peak is a completely different and much more powerful experience than skiing by the lifts. We can ski to places that would otherwise be largely inaccessible to us, and if we encounter fluffy powder or forgiving slush on the descent, the experience will recharge our batteries for a long time to come in our everyday lives.
On any tour, in addition to touring equipment – adapted skis, bindings and boots, snowshoes and climbing dogs – full winter mountaineering gear, suitable clothing, a snowshoe and snowshoes are essential, as we can never know in advance what conditions we will encounter on the trail. Since companionship is the most important thing in the event of an accident, an avalanche trio – avalanche beacon, avalanche probe and snow shovel – is always a must.
ETAPA 1: KRNICA–POD KRIŠKO STENO–KRNICA (195O m ~ 9,8 km)
The Under the Kriška Wall Alpine Ski Tour is an easy skiing choice in a majestic setting, suitable as an introduction to the Juliana SkiTour. The route follows the Krnice valley, which drops deep between the steep walls of Prisojnik and Razor on one side and Škrlatica, Rakova špica and Dovški Gamsovec on the other. We climb past the Krnica hut and on through the beech forests and increasingly scarce larch trees to the open slopes below the Krnica Wall. The Ledeniška krnica, where the valley ends, is the highest point that can be reached on skis. Ski back any way you like, usually on the east side of the valley.
ETAPA 1A. PLANICA–KOTOVO SEDLO–PLANICA (23OO m ~ 16,4 km)
The Kotovo sedlo is already an ambitious ski tour. We ski from below Jalovec, one of the most beautiful peaks of the Julian Alps, which is adorned with the emblem of the Slovenian Mountaineering Association. The tour starts in the world-famous Planica Nordic Centre, continues up the Tamar valley, past the mountain hut and on under the dramatic walls of Travnik and Šit, the eldorado of Slovenian climbers. Below the unmistakable Jalovec’s fence, turn onto the vast slopes on the eastern side and continue to the furthest point on the ridge that can still be reached on skis. Ski back along the direction of ascent. The descent is smooth, except in the narrows below Šit, there is enough space to choose the most beautiful slopes.
ETAPA 2. VRŠIČ–NAD ŠITOM GLAVA–VRŠIČ (2O87 m ~ 2,9 km)
A shorter, but beautiful and scenic touring ski slope above Vršič, which is unfairly neglected compared to the neighbouring Mala Mojstrovka. Most visitors travelling over the Vršič Pass don’t even notice the head above Šit, next to the sprawling Mojstrovka and the mighty Prisojnik. The ascent and skiing from the summit is a relatively short touring and skiing adventure, but it contains all the elements of a true high mountain experience: a relatively steep ascent, a serious ambience that requires caution and spectacular views from the summit. From Vršič, we climb first steeply up below the Mojstrovka ridge, then over slightly steeper slopes to the right to our summit. The significant gradient makes the descent a real skiing treat in decent conditions.
ETAPA 2A: VRŠIČ–VELIKA MOJSTROVKA–VRŠIČ (2366 m ~ 7,5 km)
Smuk from Mojstrovke is a noble Slovenian ski touring classic that should be on the bucket list of every ski visitor to the winter mountains. From the Vršič Pass we climb to Vratca – the stub in Grebenec. Follow the ridge for about 1OO m and then turn left across the valley that divides the Mala from the Velika Mojstrovka. On the other side of the valley, continue along the beautiful passages, under a distinct overhanging cliff in the upper part of the slope, to the lookout peak. Ski the upper part in the direction of the ascent, then, instead of going back to Grebenec, continue down the right side of the valley to Drevesnica – keeping to the far right edge of the valley to minimise disturbance to the chamois that live in the area. It is only a short walk from Drevesnica to the Vršič road, and it will take just under half an hour to climb back up to the pass.
ETAPA 3: LEPENA–LANŽEVICA–SAVICA (2OO3 m ~ 21,1 km)
The connecting cross-country ski from Lepena via Lanževica to Bohinj is a true winter journey through the heart of the Julian Alps. From Lepena follow the old mulatier to the Duplje mountain. The Krn Lake, which usually sleeps under a blanket of ice and snow until May, is a few minutes out of the way, but it’s worth the sacrifice to see it. We continue up the valley past Montura, past the ruins of the Italian barracks and up to the top of Lanževica, which reigns over the mysterious Komna, a landscape of unique shapes and unique light. An impenetrable jungle of heath in summer, in winter it becomes a landscape of soft and rounded shapes, made for enjoyable skiing. There are two basic choices for the descent – to the Gracija valley or over the Lepa Komna, in both cases ending at the Bogatino hut. Continue on to the friendly and always welcoming Komna hut, which is open all year round. We then drive through beech forests down to the Savica River and the shores of Lake Bohinj.
ETAPA 3A: ZADNJICA–KANJAVEC–STARA FUŽINA (2569 m ~ 24,7 km)
Kanjavec is Slovenia’s highest ski mountain, and this tour is the most challenging on our ski route across the Julian Alps, in terms of length and altitude differences. From Trenta, we climb through the dramatic valley of Zadnjica to the foot of the north face of Kanjavec, the highest in our mountains. We continue our ascent in the shadow of the steeply cut precipices of Vršac, all the way to Prehodavci, where the fairytale Valley of the Seven Lakes opens up below us. Between Poprovec and Vršac, we climb to the edge of the sprawling Hribarice Mountains and on to the summit of Kanjavac, where we come face to face with the highest Triglav. On a beautiful winter day, the view is endless – our mountains, the High Tours, the Dolomites… – at the top of Kanjavec, the world is in the palm of our hand. We ski to the Bohinj side, around the thick head of the Debeli vrh, to the mysterious V Lazu mountain and onwards along the annual trail through the ancient spruce forest to the Blato mountain. If snow conditions are favourable, you can follow the forest road all the way to Stara Fužina on the edge of Lake Bohinj.
ETAPA 4: SKI HOTEL–VOGEL–PLANINA RAZOR (1922 m ~ 11 km)
Vogel is one of the peaks of the Bohinj-Tolmin mountain chain, which borders the entire southern horizon above the Vogel ski resort of the same name. The ascent is quite easy, as you can comfortably take a cable car to the 1535 m summit. From the top station, we take the cable car to the Zadnji Vogel mountain, from where we climb to the top of the Vogel. From here on, there are no more high peaks ahead, the view across the ever-lowering ridges is lost in the glitter of the Adriatic Sea. From Vogel we ski to the coastal side of Mt Razor. If snow conditions permit, we can take the mulatier to Tolminske Ravne, if there is not enough snow, we can descend on foot.
ETAPA 4A: SKI HOTEL–RUŠNATI VRH–PL. RAZOR (1915 m ~ 1O,8 km)
Rušnati vrh is an alternative to the Vogel, which can offer a little taste of alpine skiing. The climb to Rušnati vrh is also initially accessible by cable car to the Ski Hotel. From the Zadnji Vogel, we do not continue towards the Vogel, but westwards. Follow the signs of the Triglav Highway through the beech forests and above the forest border. At the first distinct saddle, continue straight up towards Planje Peak. Below the summit, cross right onto the ridge and continue to the top of Rušnati vrh. Ski back to the saddle and down to the coastal side. The start of this descent from the saddle is very steep, but the outrun of the slopes is beautiful. If the choice is too steep for us, we can ski from the top of Rušnati vrh to the Tolmin side in another way – instead of skiing back to the saddle, we ski on over the next little ridge and down. In both cases, we finish on Mt Razor. If snow conditions permit, we take the mulatier onwards to Tolminske Ravne, if there is not enough snow, we descend on foot.
WINTER MOUNTAIN SAFETY
In winter, mountains are the most beautiful, the most primitive and the most challenging. Mountain huts are closed, trails are hidden deep under the snow, inhabited valleys are far away, and prior knowledge of the winter mountain world is essential.
The Juliana SkiTour is a ski touring trip designed for experienced and physically and ski fit mountaineers. Touring skiers without sufficient experience should never venture into this challenging world alone. They should hire one of the licensed mountain or mountaineering guides who will safely transport them to their desired destination.
In the event of bad weather and unstable snow conditions, do not attempt the route. Follow and respect the reports on snow cover and avalanche danger at http://vreme.arso.gov.si/plazovi.
In the event of an accident, call 112.