Kozjak mountain is the very first thing you’ll see if flying into Cut up. It’s the lengthy mountain that looms over the coast, a wall of rock that dominates the view on the drive from the airport (close to Trogir) to Cut up.
I’ve beforehand written about climbing Mosor mountain. It affords a few of the finest climbing round Cut up. Kozjak may be very totally different and whereas it doesn’t have the identical altitudes and isn’t as adventurous a hike, it does have some benefits over Mosor:
1) It’s rather more accessible from Cut up. Your Kozjak hike may be began from a couple of totally different entry factors (extra on that beneath).
2) The views are unbelievable from each level within the hike. You might be principally strolling alongside a ridge the entire method, the Adriatic on one aspect, the Dalmatian inside on the opposite.
3) Problem sensible, climbing Kozjak is simple. There’s not a lot of a variation in altitude alongside the ridge. I believe it’s extra of a “stroll” than a “hike”.
4) If deliberate proper, you possibly can end the hike in Klis and go to Klis Fortress (well-known to “Sport of Thrones” followers).
See my map above. Click on to enlarge.
I’ve damaged this hike up into Three sections. The blue zone within the center is an impediment. It’s a navy base that breaks up what would in any other case be a continues hike. I’ll go over the methods round it.
Mountain Lodge Malacka to Mountain shelter Orlovo Gnijezdo
We began off on the Mountain Lodge Malacka (466 m). Utilizing this as a place to begin, you might be already on the ridge.
Getting up right here: there’s a contemporary asphalt street that winds itself up the mountain. Goran’s spouse Branka drove us from Cut up, a 30 minute drive. Guests can take Uber. If you wish to get monetary savings go to the airport by bus (#37 will get you there from Cut up) and take Uber or a taxi from there. You’ll see a small lodge, a church, and a big car parking zone. You’ve arrived.
We did this hike on a sunny January day. It was a heat day in Cut up – however arriving on the Mountain Home a chilly wind was blowing in from the inside and there was snow on the bottom. If doing the hike presently of yr be certain to put on layers.
From the car parking zone we had a small ascent. 10 minutes later we have been strolling alongside the ridge, clear views in each route. Going through the Adriatic, the airport was slightly below to our proper. Additional away we might see Trogir within the distance. Forward we might see Cut up and the mountains happening the coast in direction of Makarska.
It took us about an hour of largely flat strolling to reach at a small church. At 631 m, that is Sv. Ivana Krstitelja.
We continued on. It was gradual going with the snow, however in any other case it was simple climbing and the winds had died down. Excellent climbing climate with the solar out.
2 hours later we arrived at Mountain shelter Orlovo Gnijezdo (598 m). The shelter is correct alongside the ridge, you’re looking proper down into the abyss from right here, and is protected against the inside winds by a part of the cliff. It’s the good place to cease for lunch. That’s what we did. By then it was 12:30, we had hiked Three hours from our place to begin.
At this level you possibly can a two choices, since you are coming as much as the blue zone I’ve on my map. 1. You’ll be able to comply with trails down the mountain. If you happen to preserve to your left you’ll ultimately find yourself on the Planinarski dom Putalj the place there’s a restaurant with good views on Cut up. 2. You’ll be able to proceed on the path, going up Veli Vrj (the best peak on Kozjak at 779 m) which can be the house of a navy base.
We determined to proceed on.
After which we reached this.
There are Three choices to getting across the navy base on Veli Vrj
1) The “official” climbing route stipulates that you just return and comply with the paths down the mountain. You’ll go to the mountain home at Planinarski dom Putalj, then return up the mountain on a unique path. That’s an enormous detour.
2) We have been informed by some hikers we met that if you happen to go within the different route (ie in direction of the inside) that there’s a street that goes across the navy base. That’s true (as we’d later discover out). However at that second, strolling round within the bush in bushes and snow we didn’t discover any clear path to go in that route (word: that is one of the simplest ways nonetheless and what I’d suggest).
3) We determined to attempt to go across the navy base by skirting the fence alongside the cliff. We adopted the fence for half an hour. The fence ended and we had no selection however to stroll by the navy base. No person stopped us. Actually the entire base regarded abandoned. We continued, going up previous the massive radar…after which down by the fence on the opposite aspect of the bottom. I don’t suggest chopping by the bottom to anybody however having learn a couple of Croatian articles on the identical topic it appears that evidently hikers have ended up doing precisely what we did.
Beneath: whereas on the grounds of the navy base, we bumped into these. They’re Barbary Sheep, native to North Africa however launched right here. They’re massive and have scary horns however are timid…they walked away once they noticed us coming.
Coming down from Veli Vrj, the views are unbelievable. Proper beneath the navy base is the small church Sv. Luka. Additional is Mosor Mountain and the mountain ranges resulting in Mt. Biokovo additional up the coast.
Sv. Luka to Klis
That is essentially the most scenic a part of the route. Sadly we weren’t capable of full it…
Beneath: trying again at Veli Vrj and the navy base
We continued on after the small church of Sv. Luka, following the path alongside the ridge.
Working out of time….
We knew it will be powerful making all of it the best way to Klis. We had handed the small church of Sv Luka at round 2 pm. Indicators indicated that it was 2.5 hours extra to the height of Sveti Juraj. We didn’t know (on the time) how far it will be from that time to get to Klis (the reply is 1.5- 2 hrs). With the solar setting round 4:30 in January we realized we simply didn’t have sufficient time to finish the hike.
We determined to go again and take the path down the mountain to the Planinarski dom Putalj, the mountain home/restaurant.
It took about 40 minutes to backtrack, then about 45 minutes down the mountain.
It was about 3:30 pm once we arrived on the mountain home. The restaurant there’s standard, each amongst hikers and locals arising right here for the views and meals (largely of the meat and beans selection).
We nonetheless had a 30 minute hike after the mountain home, following the path that results in the church and cemetery at Svetiste Gospe na Hladi. There we had Goran’s father ready for us with the automobile. It was a 10 minute drive into town.
Our errors, classes discovered
We knew we have been formidable attempting to do that hike. The path is 20 km and with the quick winter days the whole lot would have needed to go completely to finish the entire hike.
Errors we made:
1. We began at 9:30. It was too late.
2. We took too many breaks: admiring views, taking pictures, having a number of snack breaks.
3. We didn’t hike with urgency till in direction of the tip when realizing we have been pressed for time.
4. The Navy base screwed us up and we misplaced loads of time looking for our method round it.
Logically, we must always – with our shortcut by the navy base – have been capable of do the hike in 10 hours. Having began at 9:30 it means we’d have accomplished the hike round 7:30 pm. So there’s no method we might have accomplished this hike throughout sunlight hours presently of yr.
Above: picture credit score to Outdooractive. They’ve a superb interactive map if you happen to click on on that hyperlink. Be aware nonetheless that the official route entails happening the mountain after which again as much as get across the Navy base (I’ve indicated our shortcut on the altitude graph above). Click on to enlarge.
Kozjak may be finished in sooner or later however you must begin early and do it when the times are longer.
In any other case, Kozjak may be finished as 2 totally different hikes.
1. Mountain Lodge Malacka to Mountain shelter Orlovo Gnijezdo, then down the mountain to Planinarski dom Putalj. Have lunch and a few drinks, then descend to Svetiste Gospe na Hladi. I estimate that this might be a 6 hr hike.
2. Svetiste Gospe na Hladi to Planinarski dom Putalj, then up the mountain. Then comply with the path to Sveti Juraj after which on to Klis. I’m estimating 6.5 hours. I’d suggest this selection, the views in direction of Cut up and the mountain ranges additional south are unbelievable.
Closing ideas on climbing Kozjak
Most guests don’t learn about Kozjak, they give attention to Mosor as a substitute. However Kozjak is a a lot simpler hike with nice views all through. And with simpler entry factors nearer to Cut up you’re not distant. Bear in mind to carry plenty of water and attempt to keep away from the excessive summer season months when the solar is lethal. I referred to as this a “failed hike” – it was truly a unbelievable hike and I loved it as a lot as Mosor, if no more. It was solely failed within the sense that we didn’t full it. I’ll perhaps have a followup put up sooner or later if we get an opportunity to do it once more.
Many because of Goran and Vedran for one more unbelievable hike!
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