When deciding what to do on a sunny July Sunday, the king of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps comes to mind. With 2558 m, Grintovec is its highest peak. Of course, a mountain like that has many trails leading to its top so you have to choose the one that suits you and your overall physical fitness.
Via Gamsov skret
So we decided to take the direct route from the Kamniška Bistrica Valley to Veliki podi, the Big karstic grounds between Grintovec and Skuta. This route via Gamsov skret (it translates as something like Chamois’s toilet or maybe turnout but toilet sounds so much better) is unmarked and demanding with super quick elevation gain and includes a few meters of climbing and a steel cable further on, but is all the more rewarding for it. Ascent on the Gamsov skret narrow ledge – which is secured – can be quite arduous. Well, you fasten your poles to the backpack, put on your climbing helmet and up you go. Would I do Gamsov skret again? Of course. Did we do it again at a later date? Of course. But that’s a story for another blog post. Let me just put this here, a view from a wooden bench slighly above Gamsov skret:
This is by all means a perfect spot for breakfast. In fact, I can hardly imagine a better one. Even the sandwiches taste better with a view like that.
From Veliki podi to the Mlinar Saddle
Traversing the karst world of Veliki podi seems almost like a walk in the park compared to what lies behind – and in front – of you. When you get to the Mlinar Saddle, the path again becomes technically demanding with exposed ridges, steel cables and some more climbing to do. Definitely not the easiest access to Grintovec. And definitely time for a second breakfast!
All in all, it takes you around 5 hours from the Kamniška Bistrica Valley to Grintovec so you have to make sure you have enough food and water in your backpack for both directions. Well, I normally eat on the way up and bring the rest of the sandwiches home with me.
At the top
Like I said, after some 5 hours of demanding slopes of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps you reach the summit and are rewarded with spectacular views all around you (if the weather allows). Not unexpectedly, as you are standing at the highest point and there’s nothing blocking your view (again, if the weather allows).
The Gamsov skret route is normally quite a quiet one, but that doesn’t mean that you’re alone at the top. On the contrary, on a day like this one was, the summit is overcrowded with hikers coming from all directions, most of them from the Kokra Saddle via Streha (the Roof), the easiest of the accesses.
There and back again
And that is the exactly the route we chose for my descent back to the Kamniška Bistrica Valley. Too tired to care about the masses of hikers and trying to get back to the car before dark we just kept going. And made it.
One of the best hikes I ever did! Here’s hoping to many more like this in the future.