The summer hiking season is definitely almost over. Only about ten people slept at the Kamnik hut. And as always, getting up early and venturing out in the cold mountain air before sunrise was one of the highlights of the day. The light of dawn behind Planjava was mesmerizing, and Sandi and I spent those magical moments taking photos instead of hiking.
Turska gora and Rinke were glowing in the first sun rays.
Soon the peaks were bright red.
Ojstrica peeking from behind Planjava.
Views from the slopes of Brana back over the Logar valley.
The rock at the jagged col of Kotlici was a little damp but with a bit of caution we were soon across the slippery section.
The red patches and grass on Turska gora.
The so-called "bottomless barrel" is a hole through which you have to climb with a little help of steel cables.
At the summit of Turska gora the panoramic view of the western Kamnik Alps opened up. From left to right: Kalski greben, Grintovec and Skuta.
Our next goal was Mt. Skuta, looming over us as we approached.
After crossing the scree we started climbing again.
We saw a couple of climbers on the ridge connecting Skuta and Rinka.
After an hour of steep climbing we only had views to the east - two Rinkas in the photo - and the north; the rest was enveloped in fog.
Only when we started to descend down the other, much less demanding, side, did the clouds clear a bit.
The Dolgi hrbet ridge in front of us made our heart jump with joy. We were both looking forward to this part of the hike as it was one of the most precipitous and adventurous trails in the Kamnik Alps. The trail traverses the ridge right at the top so you often find yourself riding the narrow crest with precipices on both sides.
There are also two notches in the ridge with an overhang which requires a lot of strength in your arms and hands when you hold the steel cable and support your body weight.
The whole time we were traversing the Dolgi hrbet ridge, the clouds danced around us, revealing and hiding the valley below us. Right at the top we had a dramatic view of Grintovec.
The descent to the Mlinar Saddle involved some more climbing.
Climbing Grintovec wasn't really part of the original plan, but at the Mlinar Saddle we said, what the heck, let's climb that one too. And we did. I was happy at the top as you can see. ;)
An hour of basking in the sun at the summit and taking pictures in all directions was glorious and the light was becoming sweeter by the minute. But there was still a long way down to the Kokra Saddle.
Our knees and feet were quite beat by then and photo stops were a handy excuse to rest a bit. Not that the views in front of us didn't deserve our attention though. This is the bivouac below Kocna in backlight.
Skuta in dramatic light.
Kotlici looked so harmless from this direction.
We admired Kalska gora, which was planned for the following day.
Another peak to be conquered the next day - Kalski greben.
Oh, the trail to the hut dragged for so long ... but with the views like that, who would complain?
Kalska gora and Kalski greben.
We reached the hut just a few minutes after sundown. The housekeeper's dog was happy to see us and wanted us to play with her but first we had to take some more photos. :)
Again, there were only three other people spending the night at the hut, two of which were Italian.
More photos here and on Sandi's blog.
To be continued ...
Day 1 here.
Day 3 here.