Košutnikov Flip – Exploring Slovenia

Hidden behind an extended Alpine valley and a gorge with plummeting waterfalls and a winding slender street going by rock-carved tunnels, is the excessive and steep jap a part of the Košuta massif. Measuring ten kilometers in size, Košuta is the longest mountain in Slovenia that boasts twelve peaks of over 2K meters. If the western facet of the massif is standard with hikers because of its accessibility and comparatively straightforward trails, amongst incessantly visited peaks being Mt. Kofce and Veliki Vrh, the jap facet appears extra distant and mysterious. 

Photograph by Rok Leben

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Right here we had been under the huge Košuta mountain that was rising up from a lush valley like a cathedral of colossal rock partitions which larger up continued into steep grassy slopes. The facility of the afternoon solar on an unusually sizzling Might day was slowly dwindling leaving us solely with two hours till the sundown. “Greater than sufficient if we proceed at this tempo,” Rok assured me, seeing my concern on the sight of an virtually 900-meter wall in entrance. Rok is a contemporary and enthusiastic panorama photographer, who repeatedly skips hours of sleep to be able to seize lovely sunrises within the mountains. Having executed the path for a dawn a yr in the past he was assured it will be good to attempt it out for a sundown too. Like for any loopy mountain journey, I used to be in.

Second to the final 2K peak on the jap finish of the Košuta massif, Košutnikov Flip, is at 2,133 m the best peak, but, surprisingly, not too standard with hikers. Extra so with climbers who deal with it from the rocky northern facet in Austria. Particularly, the identical as a superb a part of the Karavanke Alps, whose half can be the Košuta massif, the peaks alongside the 120-km lengthy mountain vary, that stretches from Italy within the west all the best way to Croatia within the east, function the border between Slovenia and Austria. But, the Karavanke Alps present two utterly totally different faces on each side; inviting inexperienced slopes in Slovenia and difficult rocky partitions in Austria. 

It occurs that Košutnikov Flip is principally recognized for its by way of ferrata which approaches it from the Austrian facet. It’s graded as C/D with a brief part graded as D, classifying it as one of the demanding Alpine by way of ferratas round right here. It’s additionally one of the engaging routes because it even crosses a dangling bridge above a niche within the mountain. 

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Our plan was to drive to the Planina Dolga Njiva Pasture in Northern Slovenia, virtually on the border with Austria, and from there ascend to Košutnikov Activate the sooner western route and go down on the 15-minute longer jap route. No by way of ferrata this time, only a good previous hike.

The path first winds by the forest seemingly innocently till it reaches the hut within the Dolge Njive pasture. From there on, the slopes appear to have a legendary fame for being steep – you ask anybody who has climbed the mountain and so they’ll nod in settlement. You’ll make a vertical ascent of just below 900 meters in a distance of mere 3.5 km, which ought to take about two hours. It took us 1.5 hours.

“The dawn is best than the sundown,” Rok instantly concluded when he reached the highest. His face regarded a bit dissatisfied however slowly loosened up seeing an enormous smile on mine. “Give it time, it’s not even sundown but,” I persevered, trying on the vibrantly lit mountains on the Austrian facet. The solar was nonetheless too excessive up to have the ability to speak about a sundown.

Photograph by Rok Leben

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As we munched on our dinner – sandwiches and fried artichokes, the colours of the sky toned up a bit, altering from intense yellow into hotter reddish hues. The Slovenian facet of the ridge had already sunk into the dreamy calmness of an early night, whereas the Austrian facet continued to wash within the final altering colours of the sundown. The views to the west adopted the curvy line of the Karavanke Alps till the distant peaks slowly submerged right into a reddish haze. The haze lingered among the many undulating inexperienced mountains of Austria on the proper as effectively and the additional the attention went the extra fuzzier the surroundings turned with solely the best peaks shyly protruding out. A sea of mountains certainly.

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The solar snuck behind the mountains and the blue of a night crept over the skies. We strapped on our backpacks and punctiliously descended again right down to the valley. The dawn being higher or not, experiencing that stunning and heart-warming sundown up on Košutnikov Flip, we had been unanimous it was an journey we wouldn’t simply neglect.

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