re-sized Osp Slovenia

Rock climbing in Slovenia -have you thought about it?

Some months ago we talked about deep water soloing (extreme sport – Deep Water Soloing) and included it in a more recent article where we profiled Chris Sharma (chris sharma) and now our attention has been drawn to Natalija Gros from Slovenia, ranked 4th in the world with IFSC – the International Federation of Sport Climbing. We were sent the following film by Film IT newpartisancinema:

Film IT’s aim is to “merge the poetry of Film with the excellence of Information Technology.”

Kranj, the fourth largest city in Slovenia and known for its sporting facilities, hosted the final competition of the Climbing World Cup last weekend. Four Slovenians were in the finals. The usual flagships amongst the women were there: Maja Vidmar, Natalija Gros and Mina Markovič. And for the first time, Klemen Bečan made it in the men’s division. He won the first ever gold medal for the Slovenian men’s climbing team.

Slovenia’s womens’ climbing team  is probably the strongest in the world at the moment.

OK, so why are the Slovenians soooooo good at climbing? Could it be that their country offers some of the best climbing in Europe?

Well, I’m not sure if they claim that title yet as Slovenia is fairly new on the rock climbing ‘favourite place’ atlas, but they certainly have a great playground on their doorstep… In fact, there is no other country in Europe that packs such a variety of landscape, outdoor activities and culture into such a small area.

Rock climbing around Osp and TriesteRock climbing around Bled, Bohinj and western SloveniaRock Climbing around LjubjanaRock climbing around Celje and Kotecnik

There are over 80 different crags in Slovenia offering more than 3,600 different routes all of which are sensibly bolted and solid. Climbing can be split into three main areas. The total offer of routes is tremendous, both for beginners as well as top climbers.

*  Around Bled and Bohinj
*  Around Osp, including Trieste in Italy and Istria in Croatia
*  Around Celje

Please note that Slovenia uses the French grading system.

Bled is in the Julian Alps in the north west of the country and is a spectacularly beautiful area.There are 7 main crags with 350 routes to choose from on limestone rock. All the routes are well bolted and are mainly single pitch with a good cross section of grades with the majority in the 6a – 7b range. The nearby region of Bohinj is highly recommended. There are various grades on offer and everyone will find sport climbing routes on the limestone rock that will fit their climbing level.

The ideal time to visit Bled for rock climbing is from Spring through to the Autumn.

Due to the country’s excellent road structure (and relatively small size) these crags are generally easily reached within an hour, offering a wide scope of routes to choose from, including some multi-pitch routes up to 440m high.

Osp is the most popular climbing region in the country with over 600 across-the-board routes. There are 3 main crags all within 4kms of each other – Osp, Misja Pec and Crni Kal. Osp is a veritable wall rising above the rooftops of the village…

Osp rock climbing

Whilst Misja Pec, with its vertical walls and steep overhangs, is one of the finest crags not only in Slovenia but in the whole of Europe. The horseshoe-shaped overhanging crag shot to fame in recent years for the sheer number and variety of routes on offer. Stamina tends to be the name of the game, but short bouldery routes can be found on the overhangs to the left and right. There are about 175 routes here of which about 60 are above 8a, and only a handful of the 175 are easy. It is one of the best crags for rock climbers that are looking for steep quality limestone.

Crni Kal is about 5 kilometres from Osp and offers nice climbing on good quality limestone. There are a mixture of single and multi-pitch climbs – all well bolted. Although rock climbing is possible throughout the year here, the ideal time is Spring through to Autumn.

Being placed right in the bottom south western corner of Slovenia, Osp is sandwiched between Italy and Croatia. There is some great climbing to be found on either side of the border.

The third main region is Celje which is situated in the north east of Slovenia. Here there are 2 major crags, Kotecnik and Kamnik, and between them there are 350 sports routes on well bolted, limestone rock. The largest crag, Kotecnik, offers a good range of grades, while the rock climbing at Kamnik offers a wide selection of routes in the lower grades from 4 to 5c+. Both are situated within forests making them ideal rock climbing areas from spring to autumn, and are very popular in the summer.

A quick warning – out of season climbing, November to February, although possible, can be cold and wet and Summer can be very hot.

natalija osp.jpg

Natalija Gros climbing Misja Pic near Osp.

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