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Triglav North Face

Climbing in Slovenia » Julian Alps » Triglav North Face

Climbing the central part of the enormous Triglav North Face was considered one of the big problems of the Eastern Alps in the late 1800s until three Austrian climbers managed to climb the German Route (Nemška Smer) in 1907.

Today, the Triglav North Face is much more accessible. Every summer, hundreds of mountaineers climb Slovenian Route (Slovenska Smer), including foreign Prime Ministers during state visits, and dozens of roped teams climb other more accessible routes, including German and Bavarian routes.

At a glance

Difficulty
III through XI, 600 – 1000 m
Altitude
2500 m
Average time
10 h
Elevation gain
1500 m
Coordinates
Start: 46.409402,13.843458
Peak: 46.381766, 13.824647

Starting point Hiking map

  • Slovenska Smer (Slovenian Route) – a combination of scrambling and easy climbing (III/II, 800 m, ~6 hours)
  • Nemška Smer (German Route, IV-/III, 800 – 1000 m, 5 – 10 hours) and Bavarska Smer (Bavarian Route, IV+, 800 m, 5+ hours) offer harder climbing that is still accessible to well-trained non-climbers.
  • Skalaška Smer + Ladja (V+/IV, 1000 m, 6 – 10 hours) is a fantastic day-long adventure combining segments of easy climbing with numerous tricky details.
  • Čopov Steber (Čop’s Pillar, VI+/V, 450 m, 4 – 6 hours) is a legendary route with an epic first ascent story. The fun starts after you’ve successfully climbed Skalaška Smer for a total of 1000 m and 8 – 12 hours of climbing.

Notes

  • Whatever you’re going to do on Triglav North Face, it’s going to be a very long and exhausting day. Altitude gain from Vrata valley to the top is around 1500 m, and the descent alone can take up to 4 hours.
  • Unless you’re an experienced trad climber, don’t even try to climb Triglav North Face without a mountain guide. People got lost even on the most manageable climbs.
  • My wife enjoyed climbing Slovenska Smer in semi-winter conditions with Tina di Batista. The extremely long day I spent in Skalaška Smer with Tina was one of my most exciting climbing experiences.
  • Outdoors sports agencies like Kofler Sport1 regularly organize hikes to Triglav and climbs on Triglav North Face.

  1. I never climbed Triglav North Face with a mountain guide from Kofler Sport, but every climbing experience I had with them was great. ↩︎