It was neither an easy nor a short trail with 2,930 ft (893 m) of elevation gain and some sections covered in ice and slippery compact snow. As an experienced hiker and a parent, I knew it was a long shot of actually reaching the top with a small child, but we gave it a try nonetheless. It is all about the journey, anyway.
Preparations that morning were quick, packing snacks, water and extra clothes for any kind of unpredicted drama on the way, but most importantly, the motivation was great. Mentally, she was prepared for some serious hiking with the just-the-two-of-us bonding adding the little extra drive she needed. Our goal for that day was Kokrško sedlo, a beautiful mountain pass at 5,883 Ft (1,793 m) with spectacular panoramic views of a range of 8k Ft summits.
We drove to the highest possible starting point above Kamniška Bistrica, v Koncu, and followed a trail marked as an easy 2:15-hour hike. To be precise, “easy” in Slovenia doesn’t mean a bench around every corner, but merely the fact that the trail doesn’t require any particular technical skills and is as such suitable for beginners. And so we began.
The first third of the trail went surprisingly smoothly, even though the path itself didn’t offer anything particularly enticing for the kids except for beautiful panoramic views of surrounding mountains, but which 6-years old cares about those, right? After about an hour we finally found the first and indeed the only bench on the way, and shared the first snack - a healthy wholegrain sandwich with salmon, and cookies. As expected, I ended up with the whole sandwich and no cookies.
With her strength back after the energy break, we happily continued our way up, which started getting more and more icy. The forest was becoming thinner and thinner until it completely disappeared into a hard rock terrain which cleared the view to a stunning panorama. The kiddo, on the other hand, seemed more interested in that one inch of icy snow, which had stubbornly resisted the last three weeks of warm sun. She kept falling over and over again and I started getting a vivid image of impending resistance “this sucks, I wanna go home”, but despite all chances, it seemed to entertain her. So we kept going.
Although the magical spell of snow gradually vanished and the last part got even steeper, we managed somehow to crawl up to the top. Exhausted but immensely proud of my daughter’s great accomplishment, we celebrated with a cup of hot tea and more cookies in the hut (well, leftovers of a halfway chewed and spit out healthy sandwich for me).
Just before we finally said goodbyes and proudly set off to going back home, the caretaker of the hut totally seriously wanted to know if we were going further up to Grintovec, a 8,382 Ft mountain (2,558 m). What do you know, maybe next time! ;)
Until then, I invite you to see a 2-minute video of our hike: