Sunday, 23 September 2012

Dogged steps on Kanin

Kanin summit from below

Ninety seven metres short of an Ultra, what a shame, because Kanin/Canin is a great brute of a mountain.

The top was hidden in the clouds. As I sat in the chairlift  (I know that could be seen as cheating) my hope was that there would be a repeat of yesterday's experience. Please let there be light. The cabin started to get warmer and the light a little brighter. Please let that be a good sign. And, it was. From the lift top I could see blue sky and in the time it took me to sort my rucksack out, the cloud cleared to a level just below.
View from top of ski-lift
The top of the ski-lift

And, what a view. Desolation and majesty in equal measure. I hope all these people are not going the same way as me, though. As it turned out, none of them - they went off in other directions, including a family who were going to struggle finding any nature, other than rocks, on the marked nature trail.
Okno from south
Okno from west
At first my route was difficult to find, the usual signposts were not there for my route, although all the other ways were clearly marked. After a bit of hesitation I found the track - up past a big hole in the summit ridge - called Okno - and over a pass where I managed to lose the track again. After a bit of backtracking and wandering I found the marked trail just before it met another track that comes up from the Dom Petra Skalaria na Kaninu.

Riddled - and don't the clouds make it  look like it is by the sea?
 The trail was obvious from this point and involved a long traverse across scree below the summit ridge that forms the Italian/Slovenian border. Nearer to the summit, the track rises up on to that ridge using some fairly easy VF in the more difficult sections. Then it it is a bit like Crib Goch as the track rises and falls along the ridge, past a massive hole like a tooth that has been drilled prior to filling and finally on to the summit.
The tooth needs a filling
Italy - through a gap
Kanin summit
Believe it or not, on a Saturday, I had the summit all to myself for the period that I was there gawping at the view, completing the logbook and throwing bits of my sandwich to the Alpine Choughs. Poking above the clouds I could see Jof di Montasio, Mangrt, Triglav and Krn amongst others.
Summit with Jof di Montasio in background
The clouds seemed to extend right over the Adriatic sea as if it was a high level sea fret. Over the other side of the aforementioned mountains it was possible to see the mountains of Austria, including Grossglockner, quite free of cloud - and that even the valleys to the north of Triglav were in sunshine.
Ridge with Mangrt and Triglav at back
Going back down I met several people on the their way up. Surely they would not be able to get up and down in time for the last chairlift of the day? When I reached the junction for the Dom I had about one hour twenty minutes left to catch that chairlift. It said on the rock, 20 minutes to the dom and I knew that a sign at the lift had said it was 45 minutes from the dom. Plenty of time, I might even be able to grab a cup of tea there. Even walking quite briskly it took me 30 minutes to reach the dom and thinking that maybe the 45 minutes was equally optimistic I carried straight on* - and, of course, arrived with 20 minutes to spare. Damn, I could have had a quick cuppa. *Actually, straight on is a bit of misnomer as the track had to circumvent a fair number of  deep holes in the chaotic limestone pavement.
Pozor - Danger
Whilst sat waiting, I heard something that has been very very rare throughout this trip  on the European mainland - English being spoken with British accents. I introduced myself and this lead to a very genial, generous and pleasant evening over a pizza and a bottle of wine.
Rare British presence in Slovenia

Kanin from Mrzli Vrh

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