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Day 35 – Velika Baba – New Central Direction

A detailed and complete description

This is the description we made of our climb of the famous multi-pitch Velika Baba New Central Direction (Velika Baba Nova Centralna), Jezersko.

After a first bad experience on the route we managed to complete this beautiful climb and wanted to be sure no one will get lost on the way again. Our purpose here is not to describe the climb in a perfect way, meter by meter, but is to describe in particular those passages where we got lost and where people can likely get lost. We recommend you to start early, we started at 6am, but consider starting earlier because the weather in Jezersko tends to worsen in the afternoon. It took us 10 hours in total to complete the climb and walk back to the car.

  • Vertical distance of the climb: 700m

  • Total vertical distance: from the parking (997m) to Velika Baba’s summit (2148m) = 1151m

  • Climbing time: 4-6h it took us 6h

  • Total time for the excursion: 10h

  • We didn’t find water during the excursion, consider passing by Kranjska Koča hut on the way back if you are short with water

Here are two picture of the entire way, click on it and you will have the Slovenian description and the French one.

Approach

Once reached Plansarsko lake, follow the road on the right just before the restaurant on the lake. Leave the lake on your left and follow the road until the end, there is a big parking, you cannot be wrong. From the parking follow the main path straight until the red sign (about 15min). Follow on the left the path to Lovska pot for about 40min. You will start seeing on your left a large scree. Before the scree is over, and the path continues on the right, cross the scree. In the picture you can see where to quit the path. Once crossed you will find yourself in front of a 10m tall wall, climb it towards the mountain pines.

The way from the praking
When to exit on the left
Then climb up to reach the pines

Once in the pines search for a path, it is not so evident but you can find it, in any case continue straight and avoid the edges of the cliff, direct yourself towards the cave you can see in front of you, the first pitch starts a few meters below the cave on the right.

In this picture you can see the cave (dark on the upper right part) and approximately the path you should follow towards the yellow sign, the beginning of the climb.

For this first two passages we didn’t use the rope but we put our harnesses and our material on. From the yellow sign climb the easy passages until the cave. Do not get inside it but climb on the right until the first slab.

The climb

Here you can find the first belaying stance (two nice spits). It’s from here that we used the rope. Until this point it took us around 1:30 hours. Here it begins the slab that lasts 2 pitches. The first pitch is 60m long, ourselves we had to do an intermediate break because our rope is 50m. (We read on a Slovenian website that with the new belaying stances that have been recently equipped if you have a rope longer than 60m the whole climb reduces to 12 pitches instead of 16).

The slab is bolted frequently and there is no risk of getting lost. At the end of the slab you will find a belaying stance and you will see the following bolts to reach another belaying stance (easy climbing). Here we followed the chimney on the right (there might be another way on the left but we are not sure). Here it looks like there are no more bolts, but there are a couple of old pitons (still working) and then a bolt. Follow the chimney up until the next belaying stance.

Keep following the chimney, you will not find any bolts but the climb gets very easy. You will reach a belaying stance in the middle of the chimney and another at the end of it. From here, the climb continues on the right, on a beautiful wall well bolted (you cannot get lost). This passage is a bit more difficult and ends with a nice belaying stance. Ourselves we did in two times with our 50m rope, try to find one of the bolt with a ring to belay your partner.

When your reach the belaying stance this is where you have to be careful!!

You must not go straight even though you can actually see a belaying stance from far away (there will be no bolts and then you will be lost up there).

From where you are you should go left and climb the small wall above the bolt with the ring (see the picture). This first passage might seem complicated but afterwards is very easy through some grass, keep going up leaning slightly on the right and you will find the belaying stance (no bolts in this part).

Now you should be able to identify the way easily, follow the new slab with the crack to help you and reach another belaying stance.

After the belaying stance at the end of the crack do not continue straight but follow the white arrow towards another green arrow on the right.

Go up and then left to reach the belaying stance at the bottom of a new slab. You are going to find two belaying stance, the last will be at the end of the slab and you will have to go left (keeping the overhanging on your right) until you find a belaying stance under a larch.

From there you should go up, pass the tree and go left following the overhanging until the last belaying stance. Now you just have to walk up through the mountain pines to find the end of the climb and write your name on the book (there is another belaying stance but the pitch is really easy).
It took us about 6 hours of climbing. However, our hosts that know the way say that it is doable in around 4-5 hours.

The end

Now you just have to find the path to reach the summit of Velika Baba. We didn’t really find it, we climbed up and ended up in the middle of the pines. However, we kept going and finally after a few meters we did find the path and walked the last meters to the peak. The view was amazing! (The path bringing to the summit is the one coming from the right that will lead you to the hut Kranjska Koča)

The way back can be done through this path you followed to reach the top, therefore passing by the hut Kranjska Koča; or from the other side following for ‘Jenkova Planina‘ (written in red paint on a rock after the summit). This path is the most ‘direct’ way to rejoin the parking. The first hour is pretty exposed and impressive, then it reaches the wood and in 1 hour the parking.

 

Good luck!

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