From Dom Planika we headed round to the pass Dolič and the nearby hut Tržaška Koča na Doliču which had been virtually destroyed by an avalanche blast in the winter of 2008. Part of the hut was still standing and a few beds were available for the night. Hopefully, in 2010 it will be fully operational again as it is being rebuilt, all the materials and workmen being brought in by helicopter. From the hut, there is an amazing track that winds up towards the west face of Triglav and the Morbegna Barracks, built by the Italians between WW1 and WW2. We wondered how any army would think of trying to attack a stronghold set in such a formidable place but we had already seen many trenches and dugouts in other seemingly inaccessible places dating from WWI! From Morbegna the views across to Prisank, Razor and Stenar were simply amazing.
Day Six stats – 5 hrs walking, approx 500m of ascent
Any plans for a relaxed start to the day were scuppered by the arrival and noise of the supply helicopter! The weather continued bright and clear and we made our way up to be barren limestone plateau of Hrbarice. From here, Kanjavec looked so inviting we just had to climb it! At 2568 metres it is a worthy peak and easy to reach, except for one BIG step. Our reward was some of the best views of the trip.
From there we followed a good path down to, perhaps, the most beautifully situated of all the huts that we stayed in and definitely the one with the hardest name to pronounce! Zasavska Koča na Prehodavcih. Perched on a knoll at the head of the Trigav Lakes Valley the hut overlooks two Trenta side-valleys beyond which lie Razor and Prisank. Triglav is just visible too. It is a wonderful place to enjoy the sunset, when the white limestone cliffs turn red and everything is bathed in a warm glow.
Many of the huts bake their own bread and, as it is very much a staple food in the mountains, we became pretty good connoisseurs. It is always fresh and tastes so much better than the massed produced varieties we get in the UK. With a huge bowl of piping hot barley porridge, or Ricet, it makes a meal fit for a king!
Day Seven stats – 3 1/2hrs walking, approx 475m of ascent
What little snow still remained we now left behind and, as we walked down the Triglav Lakes Valley (aka the Seven Lakes Valley) there was more vegetation, patches of grass and dwarf pines. There was also water – small lakes that supply the waters of Slap Savica. When we reached the Triglav Lakes hut – Koča pri Triglavskih Jezerih, we were overjoyed to find running water and flush toilets! We felt as if we were back in mainstream civilization! This is a big hut catering for school parties as well as hikers and it is a great base for some interesting day walks. We spent a couple of very comfortable nights here. With plenty of time left in the day we headed off to a nearby pass, Velika Vrata, explored a limestone pavement, and found our first clumps of edelweiss.
Day Eight stats – 7hrs walking, 600m of ascent
The following day, with light packs, we headed of for a circular walk, firstly through forest to the deserted Planina Ovčarija and then on to Planina Dedno Polje, where cattle are still kept during the summer. From there we turned northwest for a steady pull up to the pass Vrata, back in the barren limestone mountains again. Then followed a superb walk, overlooking the Triglav Lakes Valley, from Mala Zelnarica (2310m) along the ridge to Mala Tičarica (2071m). At the end of the ridge, grass covered slopes provided grazing for a large flock of very inquisitive sheep, the only animals we had seen apart from a couple of chamois we had glimpsed in the distance on our first day.
Day Nine stats – 6hrs walking, approx 800m of ascent