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Mountain ranges / Julian Alps / Stenar / Ruski križ - Stenar (via Križ)

Ruski križ - Stenar (via Križ)

Starting point: Ruski križ (1000 m)
Starting point Lat/Lon: 46.4444°N 13.7746°E 
Destination: Stenar (2501 m)
Path name: via Križ
Time of walking: 6 h 15 min
Difficulty: very difficult marked way
Difficulty of skiing: very demanding
Altitude difference: 1501 m
Altitude difference (by path): 1750 m
Map: TNP 1:50.000
Views: 17,971
Trip rating: 3 votes
Number of pictures: 104
Access to starting point:
First, we drive to Kranjska Gora, and then we continue driving towards the mountain pass Vršič. Only a little before 3rd hairpin turn of Ruska cesta or Vršič road, we will on the right side notice Ruski križ (a cross), and on the left a smaller parking lot, where we park. Because the parking lot is relatively small and quickly full we can park also a little higher on a larger parking lot little above the 4th hairpin turn (in this case, we have to our starting point at Ruski križ descend a little).
To the starting point, we can also come from Primorska side through the mountain pass Vršič.
Path description:
Only a little before 3rd hairpin turn of road Ruska cesta, we will notice by the road signposts for mountain hut Koča v Krnici, which point us slightly left on a wide cart track which immediately starts moderately descending. After few minutes of descent through the forest, the path flattens and it brings us to a riverbed of Suha Pišnica. Only a little after we cross the mentioned stream, the path turns slightly to the left and it brings us out of the forest on ample grassy slopes of the mountain pasture V Klinu, where on the right side we notice a lonely cottage, and on the left a smaller memorial park Mali Tamar. The path ahead entirely flattens, and then it joins the forest road which comes from the former hotel Erika or bridge over Velika Pišnica. Here we continue right, and we follow relatively steep forest road all the way to the mountain hut Koča v Krnici, which we reach after approximately 20 minutes of additional walking.
From the mountain hut where there is a pleasant shade we continue straight in the direction of Kriška stena through the valley Krnica at first slightly and then steeper and steeper upwards. The path soon comes out of the forest, where a nice view opens up on the nearby walls. Ahead we cross gravel, which storms bring from surrounding gullies. The path ahead becomes steeper and still runs in the same direction. The last trees are already behind us and we are slowly passing on the scree below the walls of Kriška stena. In the upper part of the scree, the path is slightly turning to the left to the entrance into the wall Kriška stena. Here starts the climbing part of the path, where we put on a helmet. The path at the beginning of the wall turns left and steeply ascends. In the wall, the path runs mostly through natural passages and in some parts we also get help from safety catches. On this part we have to be careful, not to trigger stones! After a little less than an hour of climbing on a wall, which is in parts quite difficult we step from it. Next follows few steps of walking to a crossing, where we continue right upwards in the direction of Križ and the path which passes on a wide ridge, quickly brings us on Bovška vratica, from which a view opens up on Kriški podi, where we can see the highest Slovenian lake. We continue left towards the summit of Križ (straight Pogačnikov dom), to which we only have 10 minutes of walking. The path ahead is at first ascending gently on a narrower ridge and then with the help of steel cables steeply ascends over a slightly exposed rocky plate, after which we come to an interesting passage through a natural groove. With some skills, through a narrow groove, we ascend on panoramic Križ.
From Križ we continue further on the path which on the other side starts descending steeper. Ahead with the help of steel cables and one stemple we descend on an exposed path to a little wider ridge. Here poorly marked path turns right downwards and steeply descends on a crumbly terrain. After few minutes of descent, we come on a smaller crossing, where we continue left downwards in the direction of valley Vrata (right path, which bypasses the peak of Križ). The path then in a moderate descent crosses some slightly exposed slopes and then it brings us below Stenarska vratca, where there is a crossing. We continue slightly left in the direction of Stenar (right Vrata and Zadnjica) on the path which starts gradually ascending towards Stenarska vratca. The marked path avoids saddle Vratca a little to the right and in traverse ascends to the upper slope. Here the path turns a little to the left and on a relatively steep upper slope quickly brings us to the summit.
The starting point - Koča v Krnici 45 minutes, Koča v Krnici - Križ 4:00, Križ - Stenar 1:30.
On the way: Koča v Krnici mountain hut (1113m), Vrh Kriške stene (2289m), Bovška vratica (2375m), Križ (2410m)
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