There are days when I need a challenge and days when I just need to take it easy, relax, even meditate in a way. That's how I pick mountains. I usually turn in for the night with a ready backpack, but no real plan where to go the next day, only to make one during my morning ritual. If it seems impossible to decide in the evening, it all clears up in the morning. My Wednesday pick two weeks ago was no different.
I woke up early when others were still sound asleep, an hour before my actual alarm. I set out in complete darkness and drove towards the mountains. Since the snow was still fresh from the day before, the greater risk of avalanches outweighed my wish for a true adventure. My safest bet, thus, was Mt. Begunjščica, a 2,060-m or 6,760-ft mountain in the Karawanks range, also called a mountain of a hundred ravines. I figured it would make a great winter escapade; nothing technical, just pure pleasure.
Even though fourteen more or less demanding marked trails lead to the summit, two of which call for some serious alpinist skills, I took a standard trail, starting a little further up Begunje in the Draga Valley. It’s the trail I know best and was sure there would already be footprints in the fresh snow. Not that those would be crucial to the ascent, but knowing someone had already walked there does add a certain mental comfort to the hike.
It was still night when I hit the road. Truthfully speaking, there are things that work great in theory, but don’t quite add up in practice, and hiking alone in total darkness is one of them. The headlamp improved the situation a bit, however finding the right path in the forest was another issue. Luckily, I soon caught up with another hiker and followed his light.
Although I met a few fellow hikers on the way to Roblek, a hut at 1,657 meters or 5,436 feet about an hour from the mountain peak, they all seemed to be returning back down instead of continuing further up. I, on the other hand, adamantly continued. Mildly put, it was rewarding.
All in all, the hike was perfect and definitely calls for a repeat. Until next time!
In the meantime, you are welcome to watch a two-minute video of the hike: