Sunday, 23 September 2012

The fact of the Matajur

Matajur  (1642m) may not be the highest hill  in the area, the most rugged or the most difficult to bag. However it is quite pretty with good views and it is quite prominent at P1392.
It is another border mountain. These borders weave around so much it is sometimes a surprise to meet one. Why couldn't they do what the colonials did in Africa and just draw straight lines, then you would, literally, know where you stand?
It is possible to tackle the hill from the Italian side from the Rifugio Pelizzo (1300m) quite close to the summit. There is a much longer route that involves a lot more ascent from Kobarid in Slovenia. I went for the middle ground and started at a little car park at Avsa (890m), which is near to Livek.
Matajur from the east
The marked path goes through pleasant woods and meadows with occasional lumps of karst limestone until it meets a more substantial track near Mrzli Vrh. This track has reinforced edges that made me wonder if it had been built for border patrols with armoured vehicles prior to the fall of the 'iron curtain', rather than a farmer's track.
I kept on the Slovenian side of the summit ridge and this meant going over a limestone pavement and then up a bit of a steep limestone escarpment.
Clints and grikes
Matajur summit
For people who carry inkpads and booklets to record their ascents

The summit is marked with various military and political plaques, including one to Muzzolini. There isn't a cross, however, on the Italian side there is a chapel that doubles as a shelter with an Italian logbook.

The views across to the main Triglav summits were extensive and in the other direction it was possible to make out Trieste and even, possibly, Venice, but I wasn't really confident about that. There was a hazy view of the Adriatic.

Going back, I kept to the Italian side and then dropped down steeply through some woods to join the border road. Then I went up over the top of the lower summit of Mrzli vrh which, to my surprise, had its own, Slovenian, logbook. From there it was easy to find the track used for the ascent.
Mrzli vrh summit and Matajur in background

Matajur from Krn

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