Tuesday, 28 February 2017

A unique opportunity to join our guided walking week in the Julian Alps of Slovenia for only £595 per person. June 24th to July 1st 2017.

Kendal Mountaineering Services is again, offering the opportunity for people to join us on this unique trip to sample the delights of Slovenia and in particular, the beautiful Julian Alps, with Limestone peaks soaring to almost 3000 metres between wooded valleys containing turquoise rivers teeming with Marble Trout.

We will be based at the chalet in the photo which nestles at Kal Koritnica in the Bovec Basin - an area known for its pristine beauty, it's history and for the many outdoor activities that can be undertaken on your mid-week day off.

The chalet is built on 3 levels. The ground floor has a reception area and washroom with sink toilet & shower. The first floor is open plan and has a spacious lounge area with wood fire, a TV/DVD Player where you can watch a selection of videos, a balcony where you can enjoy a drink in the sun whilst taking in the surrounding views; and a comprehensive kitchen/dining area where up to eight persons can be seated at once.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms - two double rooms with outside balconies/seats and two twin rooms. Also on this floor are a bathroom comprising of a bath/shower and sink; and also a separate toilet room.

We can accommodate, two couples; and four single persons, therefore, the group size is a maximum of eight persons. A minimum group size of six persons is required to run this trip at a cost of £595 per person for the week.

So what does £595.00 buy you? Please note - flights from the UK to Marco Polo Airport, Venice are your own responsibility. From there to the chalet, we provide the transfer and also the return to the airport the following Saturday. You will be transported to each day's walk start point and collected at the end. A continental breakfast comprising fruit juices, freshly made tea & coffee, fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereals, toast, jam & butter is provided each day along with a packed lunch. Bread and lunch items are freshly made for you each day by our host - Matt.

Evening meals are at your own expense; a budget of 30 Euros per day should be sufficient for you to buy a two course meal with drinks at one of several good restaurants in Bovec; or you are welcome to use the kitchen at the chalet to prepare your own food bought from the supermarket in town.

Bovec is a beautiful town nestling in a wide valley in the Julian Alps very close to the border with eastern Italy.

The town is well resourced with all amenities banks/ATM's, bars, restaurants, street cafes, a supermarket and all manner of shops selling local goods. There is a good bakery; and the local ice cream is just divine! The town is also a hub for local activity providers. If you love the outdoors, but also enjoy the good life, then you'll really enjoy everything that Bovec has to offer!

This photograh shows the town centre, with Svinjac (1653 metres) widely regarded as the "Matterhorn of Bovec" in the distance. Svinjac, can be climbed by fit persons, in an afternoon, from the chalet.

The itinerary for your guided walking week is broadly as follows; but can be subject to change!

Day One Arrive at Marco Polo by mid-day on Saturday the 24th of June. Transfer to the chalet (about a two hour drive) with a fresh lunch provided by Matt en route. Arrive and settle in at the chalet followed by a walk to; and alongside the nearby Soca River before driving into Bovec for evening meal. Read about last year's arrival day here.

Day two, Sunday. Arise by 07:30. Breakfast between then and 08:30. Depart on walk from chalet.

Typically on day two, we will walk over the shoulder of Celo, visiting en route, the old battlements of the Izonzo Front before continuing on along the lower Koritnica Valley amidst stunning Alpine Scenery to visit further fortifications at Kluze and Herman before climbing the wooded slopes of Rombon for around 300 metres.

This walk then traverses north along the slopes of Rombon towards Bovec where we aim to arrive no later than around 5pm. The views all around the
Bovec basin are very pretty. Total distance walked is around 10 km. Read the report about this day here.

Day three, Monday will typically see us attempt to walk a large part of the Soca River Trail.

The Soca rises high in the middle of The Julian Alps near to the Vrsic Pass where it issues from a submerged cave in a most impressive manner a short climb above the road head.

The Soca Trail is a total of 25 km from source to Bovec and it is not possible to cover the whole walking route in one day although a visit to the source (photo seven) is a must! As stated, our drop offs and pick-ups are provided by Matt as part of the holiday package and on this particular day, we got dropped off some 15 km from Kal Koritnica and walked all the way back to the chalet.

Walking the banks of this picturesque river through forests filled with flowers interspersed with small farms and chalets is a fantastic experience. Read more about our Soca Trail day here.

Day Four, Tuesday. This day will see us  head into one of a number of valleys in the area. Ideally, we will want to get you up reasonably high so that you can get a real feel for the truly alpine environment that exists here. Of course this depends on the weather, as being amongst high mountains the weather can make it's own plans irrespective of what the regional forecast might be.

Due to the mountain weather we have moved the trip forward a month; as last year, the weather and snow accumulations at higher levels caused us to modify our plans on day four.

We had a great day out in the Koritnica Valley on that day; and you can read about that here, but this was a relatively low level day and we want to take you higher into those mountains if possible! In June, the weather will be warmer and more settled, but be prepared to drink plenty of water and bring sunscreen with you! Temperatures in the valley could be as high as 30 degrees centigrade during the day!

On Day five,Wednesday, it's a day off walking in the mountains to allow you to go and sample all else that the area has to offer.

You make just want to take it easy, have a lie in and then get up and walk into Bovec via the river to soak up some of the towns charm and European culture and enjoy a coffee or lunch; or you may want to try some of the "other activities" offered by local providers in Bovec. On our day off we all chose to try out the exhilarating Zip-wire course in the nearby Ucja Valley in the morning and then a few of us went tandem paragliding in the afternoon. 

Other activities in the area include

  • Rafting, Kayaking and Hydrospeed
  • Canyoning, Rock Climbing and Caving
  • Fishing, Mountain Biking.
So there are plenty of alternatives if you want an "active" day off. Please note the cost of all activities on this day are at your own expense. Activities can cost between 30 - 200 euros per person depending on what you choose to do. Read our report from this day here.

During the final few days of your Guided Walking in The Julian Alps of Slovenia we are going to try to take you higher into the mountains to experience the the true Alpine feeling of this region. Typically, on Thursday we will drive to the top of the Vrsic Pass (1611 metres/5285 feet) at the tree-line and after a visit to the nearby viewpoint above the pass, we will begin a descent into the Trenta Valley travelling first northwards towards the very head of the valley - the Zadjna Trenta.

Photo ten is taken from the summit of Vrsic - the hill with the viewpoint located just above the pass and about 170 metres higher looking north to the Trenta Valley with a carpet of Alpine Gentians on the ground. Just beautiful!

During this day, there should be excellent views of some of The Julian Alps highest peaks all around us such as Prisojnik (2547 m/8356 ft), Bavski Grintavec (2347 m/5249 ft) and Jalovec (2645 m/8678 ft) and as we continue northwards, the summit of Triglav (2864 m/9369 ft) - the highest mountain in The Julian Alps come also into view.

Its worth bearing in mind that as we start some 1200 metres (almost 4000 feet!) higher that at Bovec, it may be as little as 10 degrees C on this day - so bring warm clothing as well as your waterproofs!

Our route eventually descends through woodland to the valley floor and we continue on past Izvir Soca where there is an opportunity to indulge yourself with a well earned bottle of Lasko (the national Lager of Slovenia) before continuing a further 4 km to Trenta where we will be collected by Matt. Total distance on this day is likely to around 12 km with a descent of around 1000 m/3280 ft) Read more about day six of your Guided Walking Holiday in Slovenia here.
As with the previous day, out final day of walking (Friday) in The Julian Alps will be aimed as getting you as high as possible amongst the really big mountains as a "grand finale" and a good progression from the easier walks earlier in the week.

Our walk will most likely start and finish in the Trenta area. On our last trip, we walked in towards Triglav and then turned north up a narrow valley under a tremendous Limestone wall (where we saw Ibex) as we climbed upwards towards our high point - the col at Cez Dol (1632 m/5353 ft).

From The Cez Dol, we have a fantastic view in both directions - back towards the summit of Triglav towering over the head of the valley (photo 13) and also north along the south side of the ridge bounding the Soca Valley.

Our descent is through a beautiful meadow and then on steeply down through forests back to Trenta where the local co-operative can supply you with another well earned beer and ice cream. Read about our final day in The Julian Alps here.

Our last night will be spent in a restaurant in the locality or in Bovec celebrating the achievements of the week before one rises early on the Saturday morning for Matt to transfer you the two hours back to Marco Polo Airport near Venice.

Our Guided Walking Holidays in Slovenia give you a unique opportunity to enjoy the stunning scenery the area has to offer whilst in the care of an English Guide and chalet owner with unrivalled knowledge of all that the area has to offer.

You need to be of a reasonable standard of physical fitness to get the most from this trip and a keen hill-walker with your own good quality outdoor clothing, footwear and rucksack.

Any questions about this trip? Do not hesitate to ask.....
We are now taking bookings for our next visit and hope you can join us. Contact us here to book your place on our next Guided Walking Holiday in The Julian Alps of Slovenia. We look forward to working with you!

Monday, 27 February 2017

Navigation Skills Training Weekends with Kendal Mountaineering Services during 2017.

Kendal Mountaineering Services are offering a number of fantastic Value Navigation Skills Training Weekends throughout Spring & Autumn/Winter 2017.

At £80 per person for a two day 16 hour course, these represent exceptional value for money.

Our Navigation Skills Weekend Courses are designed to give you the skills and ability to venture into the UK's mountains in any conditions with confidence.

View Course dates here.

On day One of our Navigation Skills Training Courses, we concentrate on giving you map reading skills starting with the most basic skills such as:-
Orientating the map to aid identification of features on the ground.
Identifying features on the ground from information on the map.
Measuring distance on the map
Pacing distances on the ground
Finding tick off features
"Handrailing" ie following a linear feature such as a road, track footpath or bridleway.

Other skills we will show you on day one include:-
Using the grid system on the map to locate a specific place using 4, 6 & 8 figure Grid References.
Using a compass to take a bearing, then walking between Grid References.
Naismith's Rule - how to time between Grid References.

Day two sees us go further up the Kentmere Valley on to higher ground to consolidate skills learnt on day one and add additional skills such as :-

Using the compass to identify an unknown object or location from  a known point and
transposing between map scales - ie identifying features or objects on different map scales. We will be working between OS 1:25 AND 1:50'000 map scales.

As part of your fee for these Navigation Skills Training Weekends, we provide you with maps in both 1:50 & 1:25 scales.

You need to bring your own compass and this must be the civilian specification Silva Type 4 Expedition Compass shown, at it's current best UK price here.

Our Navigation Skills Training Weekends are also suitable for anyone wanting a Navigation Skills Refresher prior to attending a Summer Mountain-walking Leader Training or Assessment Course or Re-assessment.

Contact us here or call Iain on 07761 483364 to book your place now! We look forward to working with you. You can read about the last Navigation Skills Training Weekend we ran here.