In November 2021 we are kicking off with a new epic climbing road trip in the Balkans and here you can read some lines about Slovenia. Written by Klemen Becan, the local climber and route developer.
Balkan is a place where good things happen. It starts from Slovenia and goes down all the way to Greece. It all happened some time ago when nature decided to lift those limestone walls from the seafloor and created a perfect playground for climbing humans. Most of the walls are unfortunately turned south but don’t worry, there are still plenty of things facing all the other directions so climbing is possible all year long.
The most famous Slovenian village is definitely Osp. Every climber knows it since it’s on a climbing map of the best areas already since the beginning of our sport in the ’80s. There are three main sectors in Osp, which are situated just above the village and offer amazing routes for every climbing level. “Za vasjo” like the name suggests (behind village) is a shaded by trees sector with some crimpy technical routes. Grades here go all the way up to 8c, but the best ones are in hard 6th and easy to medium 7 (6c-7c). Above it, 10 minutes hike up is Baba. No shade here so climbing on hot days is possible only early morning or late afternoon. The best time to visit is on colder or cloudy days. The easiest routes here are graded 3 and are perfect for climbing without hands. The hardest ones are power endurance 8bs and everything in between is a top-quality routes where everyone can find something for himself. 3rd sector of Osp is a big cave called “Pajkova stream” (Spiders roof). Here you will find hard staff, mostly bolted by Klemen Bečan, who will be happy to guide you around and explain to you the easiest way over this 55-meter long monster roofs full of huge stalactites. On the left side of the cave, there are beautiful 7a-7c routes, all full of tufas, jugs, and cool moves. Perfect for learning knee baring, heel, and toe hooks. Above the cave, there is still some 100 meters of the overhanging wall with multi-pitches, and below in the river are some boulders. But who needs boulders in a place like this.
Just 500m from Osp there is another mega crag called MišjaPeč (Mouse own). Its horseshoe shape allows you to climb all year long. Sun hits first the left side and slowly moves to the right. You can chase the shade or the sun, depending on the temperature and how obsessed you are with friction. Like in Osp, everyone can climb here. The easiest route is graded 4a and the hardest one is 9a+. The left side is shorter and more powerful (20m), central long endurance challenges are up to 40 meters high and on the right is another cave with some hard stuff (Adam Ondras 1st 9a is there).
Črni Kal is a small village a few kilometers above Osp. Climbing here started as training for alpinists many many years ago. Now it offers perfect “easy” crag with lots of routes in the 6th grade. 20-25 meter wall is perfect for most humans and belayer is always in the shade from the trees. Also climber most of the time, at least 1st half of the route. The approach is short, only 5 minutes and the base of the wall is perfect for kids to play under when others are climbing. No wonder this is Slovenians top “family crag”.