After we pack our kayaks for the autumn, we move up to the mountains in Dalmatia to warm up our fingers for the climbing adventures. Finding sketches of routes is not very straightforward, but the rocks that form the mountains and little picturesque houses are magical. See more about the adventure.
If there is one thing you need to know about Croatia is that it hides many faces. Every island is different: from cuisine to traditions (unless you hang out in the touristy areas). You can easily get confused or lost with so many adventure options to choose from. And then, on top of this, there are the mountains. They wiggle along the shoreline dominating the landscape from Zadar to Dubrovnik. Their names lined up: Velebit, Svilaja, Mosor, Biokovo, sounds like start of mythical tale of Croatian travelers who discovered the coast in 7th century. The mountains have settled here and each one of them creates a maze of adventure options and climbing routes.
This week we went to Biokovo, a mountain range stretching for 20km from Brela and Promajna, through Makarska all the way down to Podgora.
On the drive down to the mountains, Rene, Orsat, and I discuss which route to take. We look at route sketches from climbers from all around: Slovenia, Austria, Italy. We are surprised to find some of the routes in the new 2016 sports-climbing photo guide for Croatia. Later in the day, we realized that guidebook is super convenient to use, but the route lines for the multipitch routes we climb should be taken with a grain of salt. In the end we agree on climbing ‘Para bura’ (Ripping wind(Bura).
We are following a hiking trail around Basta. Climbing gear clinging around our backs and waists. It doesn’t sound very different from the bells around the necks of some sheep we hear nearby, along with some a creative set of cursing words of, we assume, the shepard. Road twists and turns between two stone houses, we pass by a little chicken house and then disappear in the forest.
We get off the path and make our own way towards the base of the rock where ‘Para Bura’ starts.
Our route today is a Hungarian solid 6b+ with two beautiful pitches. Highly recommended. Note that the second 6a+ pitch is a bit shy on handholds.
The second day we move to another sector – Vrisove glavice (‘Heads of Vris’ in direct translation). As we set up our gear below the route we a constantly slaped by thick cloud of citrusy smell coming from under our feet. It is Vrisak – a local medicinal plant known for high nectar content. That explains some 20 hives we pass by on the way up to the sector. It possibly the origin of the sector name.
This sectors is a bit crowded as it is very easy to access and has plenty of 5s and 6s. The routes to the left of the sector seem to offer a more attractive climbing adventure. Either way, stunning views of the area are guaranteed.
What a great way to end the week.
Here is a great resource for doing this climbing advunter on your own: http://plave-gore.com/mt?id=5
‘Moving your limits’ isn’t necessarily about the highest mountains, deepest canyons or oldest ruins. But it is about great adventures. It’s about that constant pursuit of world’s secrets – cultural as well as natural. It’s about how we move in the nature and raise our expectations about each and every place in the world, moving our mental and physical limits on the way.