IN Family hiking , Hiking , Hiking blog , Winter

What a weird weekend. It started with big plans but ended up with nothing tangible worth bragging about. In contrast to what you must be thinking right now, no, it was still a great weekend, just very different from expected. We walked up an icy trail and we’d have been ok with that if it hadn’t been for the rain which gradually intensified into a heavy downpour. The next day, I fought with incredible amounts of soft wet snow with each step sinking into knee-or- butt deep snow. In the rain again. While I’m usually not a quitter, I quit both hikes. The only things I didn’t quit last weekend were a sunrise hike up to Šmarna gora with my doggy pal Lisa and sauna pampering with my girlfriends.
a female hiker and a dog

Saturday’s lessons learned: take crampons for the whole family
As forecasted, Saturday’s weather was supposed to start cloudy and then gradually turn rainy as the clouds would roll in from the Alps. In reality, we woke up to a rainy morning which soon turned into a warm partly sunny day. Seeing the quick twist in the weather, we quickly packed our backpacks and headed out for a new adventure. The family’s goal for the day was to hike up Blegoš, 1,562 m, a scenic mountain in the mountain range close to the enchanting small town of Škofja Loka.
The trailhead from Črni Kal started icy with constant light rain making it extremely slippery. I was the only one with crampons, though, but we figured the ice would be replaced with snow as we gained altitude, so we gave it a go nonetheless. As it turned out, the trail was icy throughout our hike, and at the point when the light rain escalated into a heavy downpour, I stopped and looked at my poor wet family struggling to follow my pace, and suggested turning back. Their reaction? The little ones’ faces lightened about as much as two weeks ago under the Christmas tree. Pure joy! As a parent I think, that’s far more satisfying than pushing them to the top, besides, and they need to learn that although one needs to be persistent in life, there are situations when it’s ok to say enough.

Sunrise from the rainy Šmarna gora
I wasn’t much of a photographer last weekend, and since it was pouring on the way to Blegoš, I didn’t take a single photo, not even on my cellphone. :O So, here is one from the next morning, when Lisa and I did our classic sunrise hike to Šmarna gora. Recognize the view?

Sunday’s lesson learned: the Julian Alps have far more snow, so bring snowshoes along!
…or backcountry skis for that matter. As my family decided to stick to Pokljuka’s small family-oriented ski center underneath Viševnik, and as the two available ski runs didn’t really appeal to me, I readily volunteered to take Lisa for a walk instead. Since the trail to the spectacular 1,892-meters high mountain pass Studorski Preval was just a few hundred meters from the ski runs {yaaaaas!!}, I surely didn’t hesitate long. Marked as a 1.5-hour hike, I was excited to visit again the stunning place from back in September (Vodnik Hut, remember?), while it also fitted in those few hours I had for myself.

Mali Draški Vrh from the Studorski PrevaL, Julian Alps, Slovenia, Triglav National Park
A throwback to my September hike when I crossed the Studorski Preval on the way to Vodnik Hut.

A wide snowy road slowly turned into a narrow track, which suddenly turned into individual footprints in the deep snow. Since the snow was wet and soft, it would have been very time-consuming to make my own prints in the snow, so I followed the footprints two or three hikers had left before me. Thankfully, I had my trekking poles and gaiters, which made the otherwise strenuous walking in knee- and sometimes butt-deep snow much more pleasant.

Lisa on the way to the Studorski Preval
Lisa could barely see out from the snow on the way to Studorski Preval. ?

To cut a long story short and skip the part when I lost the dog for ten minutes {yikes…}, we had already been an hour and a half into the hike, scrambling through deep snow, yet we weren’t even close to Studorski Preval. When the light rain turned into a downpour {again!?} and the fog became so dense it was impossible to see anything other than your nose, let alone the surrounding mountains, we turned back to the Pokljuka ski center.

Pokljuka in winter
On the way back. Our umbrellas, of course, were nonexistent. Again, we were soaked through.

All in all, after two unsuccessful hikes last weekend, I can’t really say I regret going out in the rain. It might have been comfier on a warm couch, heck, I might even not be coughing right now, but I’m sure it’s the rainy adventure that will stick in my memories rather than the couch. It’s the thrill we remember and not the mundane.

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