Touring skiing in the

Julian Alps

    Ski touring in the Julian Alps

    Winter has already whitened the peaks of the Julian Alps and attracted an ever-increasing number of cross-country skiing enthusiasts to the slopes. Despite the number of touring skiers, the dangers in the mountains have not decreased. What's more, in certain cases they could also increase because of those numbers. Here, we are referring mainly to the illusion of security, that we get from the flood of images on social networks and that can make us go to the mountains despite the dangerous conditions. Also, the influence of the sheer number of visitors on our perception of danger should not be neglected, because we all know, that in a group of people we subconsciously feel safer and more confident.

    The Julian Alps, with their beauty, good snow conditions and rugged terrain, are the most popular ski touring destination in Slovenia. With the right choice of terrain, depending on the snow and weather conditions, they also offer enough “safe” options to ensure that the visit will not be in vain, no matter the conditions.


    Touring skiers face two dangers, slip/fall and avalanche. Timely detection of the areas where these two dangers lie ahead of us is essential for safe ski toruing in the Julian Alps. Patience and constant focus on the surrondings are key to successfully avoiding hazards. Patience means that we do not rush into the slopes of the Julian Alps like a rabbit in a cabbage patch, but rather think it over twice, check weather forecasts, snow conditions, warnings and all other circumstances that may affect our trip. Pictures on social networks should be the result of smart decisions, not a reason to go to the snow covered hills!


    Attention must be maintained throughout the trip, combing the surroundings and discovering dangerous areas, patches of ice, suspicious deposits of snow and paying attention to what the other people around us are doing (especially above us). In the beginning, it is strongly recommended that you go to the Julian Alps only in the company of experienced guides (but in as small a group as possible) and also regularly practice the rescue procedures, locating & escavating buried people and the use of rescue and climbing equipment. When we are going to an unknown terrain, hiring an experienced guide is a very smart option, which also allows a slightly greater possibility of relaxation and enjoyment. Mountain guides have expert knowledge of the terrain and weather conditions and, at the same time, a good guide will help you improve your skills on icy terrain and reach a higher level of ski touring knowledge.


    Foto: Mojca Odar

    Ski touring on Rodica

    But where, in the Julian Alps?

    For a multi-day discovery of the Julian Alps, we definitely recommend the Juliana SkiTour. It is a four-day touring ski trip across the Julian Alps. It is a combination of four different touring slopes. Their sum together with transfers enables a touring ski adventure across the entire area of the Julian Alps, from Kranjska Gora in the north to Tolmin in the south. You can also do it in the opposite direction.


    Each of the four stages is offered in two versions, so that it is easier to adapt the trip to actual winter conditions at the time of departure.


    The basic idea of this tour is a touring ski trip, where you don’t have to spend the night in cold bivouacs in the mountains, but you return to the valley every day, where you can enjoy a warm shower, a normal bed and a decent dinner. An exceptional winter adventure thus becomes more accessible, even for less experienced touring skiers, of course with a qualified guide.


    If we talk about day trips, the kings of ski touring in the Soča Valley is definitely Krn, which is accessible practically all winter, and the Italian side of Kanin, which can be reached via the Kanin cable car (or from the direction of the Sella Nevea ski resort), or Hudi Vršič above Krnica. Downhill ski from Kanjavac is intended for more demanding fans of remote slopes in the center of the Triglav National Park. For easy ski touring, go to Kobariški Stol, Čisti vrh, Matajur (the best skiing here is on the Italian side though) or across Dren above Mangartska Planina. Examples of demanding touring skiing in the Soča Valley are Turn pod Razorjem and Kanjavec from Zadnjica. In any case, if the conditions permit, go on one of the classic skiing tours – Lanževica from Lepena and the south side slopes of Krn.


    In Karavanke, you can go to Hruški vrh, Klek, Korenščica, (in good conditions also Golica), but these are only some of the peaks, as the ridge is long and offers a wide choice of both open grass and forest slopes. If we move higher, towards Kranjska Gora, there are even more opportunities for touring skiing, from the friendly peaks of Karawanks on one side, to more challenging skiing, such as skiing from Kotovo sedlo, Krnica, or behind Cmir, on the other side. Above Bohinj is a real little winter touring ski paradise, to which Komna represents the entrance. A classic tour in this area is Rodica in combination with Vogel or Vogel in combination with Komna or Komna in combination with Lake Krn and Krn.


    The Soriška Planina with Možic and Slatnik hills is also a popular ski touring destination, suitable even for beginners, as the descent and ascent are not technically demanding. If you are in Bled, then the hills that rise above Pokljuka, such as Viševnik and Debela peč, are definitely worth a try, and you can also choose terrains towards Mrežce, which offer safe forest skiing terrains.


    Foto: Kofler Sport