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Photo Gallery: Slovenia—Climbing in Europe's Limestone Capital


Soča River Valley Julian alps Slovenia James Lucas Bouldering Rock climbing
Photo: Kevin Corrigan

James Lucas swings for a high foot on East’n Bull (V5), Soča River Valley, Julian alps, Slovenia. The powder blue water of the Soča River is as cold as it looks.

Bled Castle cliff Julian alps Slovenia history europe
Photo: Kevin Corrigan

Perched high on a cliff, 130-meters above Lake Bled, sits Bled Castle. This is thought to be the oldest castle in Slovenia and was first mentioned in writing in 1011. Today the castle is a tourist destination. There are no documented climbing routes on the cliff below the castle.

Nina Williams Vitez iz Poljam Velika Stena Osp Cave Slovenia Sport Rock Climbing
Photo: Andrew Burr

Nina Williams floats Vitez iz Poljam (5.11d), Velika Stena, Osp, Slovenia. Hard sport routes cover the ceiling of the massive Osp Cave in the background, while the walls outside feature more moderate routes.

Marko Bratina Sršen Soča River Valley Julian alps Slovenia Bouldering Rock Climbing lip
Photo: Andrew Burr

Local Marko Bratina lip-surfing on Sršen (V6), Soča River Valley, Julian alps, Slovenia.

James Lucas Hugolina Misja Pec Slovenia Sport Climbing rock limestone
Photo: Kevin Corrigan

James Lucas follows the right-angling line of Hugolina (5.12c/7b+), Misja Pec, Slovenia. Misja Pec has a high concentration of steep bolted routes, and as such draws strong climbers from all over Europe.

Nina Williams Zgajnar-Durjava Retovje Slovenia sport climbing rock city park
Photo: Kevin Corrigan

Nina Williams onsights Zgajnar-Durjava (5.11b/6c+), Retovje, Slovenia. The crag at Retovje is located just off a walking path in a city park and, as if that wasn’t convenient enough, the wall also features a topo sign listing the routes.

James Lucas Romantika Bitenj Potok Julian Alps Slovenia Sport Rock Climbing limestone
Photo: Kevin Corrigan

James Lucas high on Romantika (5.12d/7c), Bitenj Potok, Julian Alps, Slovenia. This heavily wooded crag featured long limestone routes and was located midway between the scenic lakes of Bled and Bohinj, and within 20 minutes of about a dozen other crags.

Nina Williams Neon Forest Soča River Valley Julian Alps Slovenia Bouldering Rock climbing
Photo: James Lucas

Nina Williams goes for it on the smooth white stone of Neon Forest (V9), Soča River Valley, Julian Alps, Slovenia.

Butcher's Bridge Slovenia Ljubljana Locks eternal love river travel
Photo: Kevin Corrigan

Initially planned in the 1930s and then delayed by World War II, Butcher’s Bridge in Slovenia’s capitol city of Ljubljana (pronunciation) wasn’t completed until 2010. Shortly after, these padlocks began appearing on the bridge’s wires. The locks are placed by couples and meant to symbolize eternal love. Today the city center is car-free, making it a pleasant and peaceful area to walk and explore.

Janja Garnbret Plus Climbing Slovenia Gym Indoors Bouldering rock
Photo: James Lucas

Despite the country’s small size, Slovenia has had strong podium representation on this year’s IFSC World Cup circuit. Here, top Slovenian climber Janja Garnbret competes at Plus Climbing in Koper.

In November 2017, the Climbing Magazine staff travelled to Slovenia in Europe to sample the country’s climbing. While the country is small—it takes just two and half hours to drive across it—the cliffs seem infinite, like the entire country is made of limestone. In fact, the geological term “Karst” is named for the Karst Plateau in southwest Slovenia, an area that includes the world class climbing areas of Misja Pec and Osp. We clipped bolts and explored boulders up and down the country’s western half and barely touched the potential. Check out the photo gallery above and then see our upcoming November issue for a full report from the trip.