• Grintovec
  • 2558 m
  • Primary factor 1706 m
  • Location: North 46:21.428, East 014:32.124 (GPS at the summit)
  • Slovenia
  • Difficulty: YDS class 2+ (cables and pegs)
  • Climbed: July 18, 2012


How to get there:
First, locate Hwy. A-2 / E-81, running north from Ljubljana to the city Kranj. From Kranj, follow Hwy. 210 north towards Preddvor, the road turns more east there. Continue along Hwy. 210, but measure from the turnoff (left) to Preddvor. Drive 8.3 kilometer. You are looking for a road that forks right, immediately before a bridge on Hwy. 210 that crosses to the left side of the river. This location is N46:19.708, E014:29.668, elevation about 587 meter.
An alternative approach is to carefully count the bridges on Hwy. 210 that crosses the river after the intersection that serves Preddvor. Your turnoff is then immediately before bridge number 5.
Drive this small sideroad uphill for 3 kilometer. The road forks here and you will easily locate the parking area mmediately on the right hand branch. There is room for more than 10 cars here. Park, this is the trailhead, location N46:20.108, E014:30.625, elevation 897 meter.

Here is an overview of peaks climbed at my Europe 2012 summer trip.

Route description:
The rute is generally well marked. Go back to the roadfork and walk uphill. This road curves left towards some farm buildings. Just before the farm, turn right and continue uphill along a forest road. Higher up, this road bends right and a smaller forest road forks left. Continue along this road. The trail forks right from this road a bit higher up. (The two forest roads and the trail merge back together higher up, so this is not critical.) As you get back out on the forest road it enters a clearing and there are some side roads going off. Continue straight ahead (uphill). Shortly, you will find a signed trailfork. Here, there are two alternative trails for climbing a steeper headwall up front. I took the left (shortest, but likely a bit more steep.) The trail continues up to a natural cave, from here the steeper section starts. It is protected by a few cables and iron pegs, higher there are also two nicely made wooden ladders. As you get up onto less steep terrain, the two alternative trails merge back together.
Next, there is a signed trailfork where you should take the right (straight ahead) branch. The Cojzova Koca mountain hut may be seen ahead up on the main col.
From the Cojzova Koca mountain hut, the route climbs left (north). Shortly after the hut there is a signed trail fork. The shortest, most direct and easiest route is going left here. The trail now contours around in order to climb the south ridge of Grintovec. Shortly after reaching the lower part of this ridge, there is yet another trail fork (signed). Take the right (uphill) branch here. Actually, the route climbs across and ascends slightly on the (left) west side of the main ridge in order to avoid a steeper section on the ridge itself. The trail gains the main ridge above this step, then continues the remaining short climb to the summit.
We were staying in Kranjska Gora from where I had climbed Triglav the previous day. Thus, I left sometime after 0400 and drove towards the trailhead located beyond the village of Preddvor. Despite an accurate description by Lee Newton (that I thought I had memorized!), I still got slightly confused about the trailhead. His description said 4 bridges, but there are 5 bridges between Preddvor and the trailhead. (This depends on when one starts the counting.)
There were already 3 cars at the trailhead and another car arrived while I was having my breakfast. I was ready to leave at 0600. The weather looked very promising and my legs felt fine despite the long Triglav hike on the previous day. I quickly walked up the road and decided on the left (and steeper) trail to negotiate the headwall. There, I overtook the two ladies that had arrived while I had my breakfast. I reached the Cojzova hut already at 0730 and took a 10 minute break while talking to a couple of young men with a dog, it seemed like they had left the trailhead before my arrival.
The continuation to the summit was prettty obvious, clouds were now drifting around and obscuring the view. I arrived at the summit shortly after another woman that I spotted above me just before the final stretch. The time was 0930, so 3.5 hours. We chatted about mountains and Slovenia, she lived in the valley and told me she climbed Grintovec quite frequently.
As we sat on the summit, a nice family of 6 chamois deer came climbing up from the opposite side. They did not seem to worry about us, slowly advancing up the steep terrain. A very nice memory from this peak. These animals are so elegant and incredibly competent climbers! They run where normal people must rope up and climb rather carefully.
The two young men with the dog arrived and as the time was now 1000, I started my descent. I was back down at the Cojzova hut in 1:20, meeting quite a few (local) hikers on their way up. I bought a bottle of Coke and took another 10 minute rest before descending back down to my car, arriving there at 1250.
This completed my mountain climbs during our summer trip to Europe 2012. Returning to Kranjska Gora, then preparing for the drive back north to Bergen, Norway the next day.