New for 2020! – If you are a keen ski tourer in search of somewhere new and exciting, then Slovenias’ Julian Alps could be just what you are looking for. Extraordinarily beautiful and retaining a ‘wild’ feel more commonly associated with greater mountain ranges, the area boasts fantastic ski touring and plenty of challenging terrain. Planned and guided by our good friend and well known Slovenian guide Klemen Gricar, this is a very descent focused week, using a mixture of uplift and skinning to access the best backcountry terrain around the range.
Skiing in the Julian Alps
The Julian Alps are part of the Southern Limestone Alps that stretch from north-eastern Italy to Slovenia, where they rise to 2,864 metres at the summit of Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia. The range is named after Julius Caesar, who founded the municipium of Cividale del Friuli at the foot of these mountains.
Our good friend and local guide Klemen Gricar has planned this trip to show you the finest ski descents in his home mountains; so expect to plenty of challenging terrain and a few secret spots exploring Klemen’s own back yard! A large part of the week is spent skiing in the Triglav National Park, from our comfortable base in the village of Kranjska Gora in northwest Slovenia, which lies close to the Austrian and Italian borders. Kranjska Gora is a well known winter sports town, annually hosting World Cup slalom and giant slalom events, as well as ski jumping in the nearby Tamar valley.
This is an intermediate/advanced level trip. To take part you should be at Fitness Level 3 and Tech Level 3-4 (see our Fitness/Experience guidelines below). Solid ski touring experience is required to join this tour. The week involves 5-6 hour days with some steeper skinning involving kick turns and boot tracks up steeper terrain on foot. On several days we use some uplift, with a couple of 100% skinning days during the week too – so you can expect 3-1100m of ascent a day, with 1.5 – 3-4 hours skinning a day. Type of ascent: we use 50% uplift and 50% skinning on this tour – with approximately 3500-4000m of skinning up, and 7000-8000m skiing down during the week.
One IFMGA guide skiing with 6 clients.
Included in price
- 6 days of guiding
- All guides expenses
- 7 nights hotel accommodation in Kranjska Gora, including breakfast and evening meal
- Local travel in resort
- Return transfers from Ljubljana airport to Kranjska Gora
Excluded from price (see factsheet for extra cost estimates)
- Cable cars
- Lunches and drinks
- Equipment hire
Our base is the cozy Pri Martinu Inn, in Kranjska Gora. The Inn is a friendly place full of character and located in the centre of the village, close to ski hire shops, bars, restaurants and bakeries, all within walking distance of the local pistes and in the heart of the regions’ best touring terrain. Rooms are provided on a twin (or occasionally triple or quad) sharing basis, but if you wish to book a single room please let us know and we will confirm availability. Hotel details can be found on our Accommodation page.
You should arrange outward travel on Saturday, arriving at Ljubljana airport in time for your pick-up. Upon arrival at the hotel, your guide will run through kit checks and safety routines, as well as hand out any rental equipment, before going on to discuss the current weather and mountain conditions and how these affect our plans. We’ll have maps and guidebooks of the area to show you, so if you’ve any further questions or last minute requests, then this is the ideal time to bring them up. Overnight in the valley.
We start with a short 15 minute drive to Italy. From Tarviso we’ll ascend with the cable car to Monte Lussari and spend the first hour or so getting our ski legs back. Your first ascent of the week is the Cima del Cacciatore which is a gentle 1 hr 30 minute climb. We’ll enjoy a traditional lunch in Rifugio “Pri Juretu” before skiing back down to the hotel in Kranjska Gora.
The maximum gradient (in ascent/descent) is 40°, with 500m of ascent and 1500m of descent during the day.
From the hotel it’s another short drive to the trailhead on the Vrsic pass. Today’s climb is up to Slemenova Spica (90 minute climb) from where we enjoy the 1000m descent to Planica and lunch in the “Tamar” hut. Our recommended dish here is Jota, a typical Slovenian cabbage dish and apple strudel. At the end of the run in Planica, we will see one of the biggest ski jumps in the world and remember “Eddie the Eagle” who jumped there! Return to the hotel.
The maximum gradient (in ascent/descent) is 40°, with 400m of ascent and 1000m of descent during the day.
Drive to Sella Nevea (40min). Sella Nevea-Kanin is the biggest ski resort in the Julian Alps. Ascend with the cable-car up to the Prevala saddle. Ski descent to Krnica “B” station. Use the cable car to return to Kanin from where it’s a short skin/climb to the “Window” in Mont Prestreljenik. Amazing ski descent back to Sella Nevea. Return to Kranjska Gora.
The maximum gradient (in ascent/descent) is 45°, with 300m of ascent and 2200m of descent during the day.
Drive to Bohinj (50min), to take the cable-car up to Vogel for a morning of off piste skiing. In the afternoon we’ll climb Mt Sija, before returning to the car and back to Kranjska Gora.
The maximum gradient (in ascent/descent) is 40°, with 200m of ascent and 1400m of descent during the day.
A full day’s ski touring to the Fussine Lakes and the Mangart saddle. We return the same way.
The maximum gradient (in ascent/descent) is 35°, with 1100m of ascent and descent during the day.
A full day’s ski touring to Mt Mala Mojstrokva. The day starts with a short 15 minute drive to the trailhead on the Vrsic pass. Mt Mala Mojstrovka is a classic, beautiful mountain. We enjoy a great ski descent to Drevesnica and the short skin back to Vrsic pass. Return to Kranjska Gora for our final night.
The maximum gradient (in ascent/descent) is 35, with 1000m of ascent and descent during the day.
After breakfast we return back to airport Ljubljana. Depending on our flight time you may have time for some sightseeing in this delightful city.
Your course meeting point is Ljubljana airport (LJU), before onward travel to Kranjska Gora.
Fly to Ljubljana – your guide will collect you from the airport at 18.00 on Saturday 22nd Feb 2020, please do not book flights arriving later than the pick-up, to avoid the rest of the team having to wait too long! For transfer to our hotel (approx 1 hour) and travel during the trip, your guide will drive the team in a 9 seater minibus.
You will be dropped off the following Saturday morning 29th Feb, in time for return flights from approx 9am. Your guide will make one drop-off for the early flights, so if you wish to take a later flight you can arrange your own taxi/transfer from the hotel, or travel with the group and wait in the airport.
If you are not able to meet the pick-up please let us know and we will recommend a shared airport transfer service (similar to Mountain Drop-offs etc in Chamonix).
Easyjet offer direct flights from London Stanstead, or Air France and Lufthansa fly with one change from Manchester, Edinburgh and various other UK airports. Check the Sky Scanner flight comparison site for your best option.
Further information and travel links can be found on our Travel Planning page.
To enjoy this trip you should be comfortable operating at Fitness Level 3/4, and Ski Tech Level 3/4:
Fitness Level 3
You do 3-4 hours cv training/sport per week. At this level you are happy doing a 5-6 hr hillwalk, 50ml cycle or 3-4hr mountain bike ride without being totally exhausted. If you are into challenges – then the thought of doing a road sportive, or training to do a 1/2 (or maybe even a full) marathon, wouldn’t seem too ridiculous. On foot: you should be able to do the full Langdale Horseshoe: Langdale – Pike of Stickle – Angle Tarn – Bow Fell – Crinkle Crags – Pike of Blisco – Langdale in a day without finishing up exhausted. On skis: you can skin uphill at 300m/hr for 3-4 hrs a day (ie 8-1200m of ascent each day)
Tech Level 3
Confirmed Off Piste Skier. You can put down a reasonable set of tracks in powder, but difficult snow types – eg heavy wet snow, crusts, poor visibility or 40dg slopes – can all cause problems (though you can cope with them safely, if not elegantly!) *Equivalent to Ski Club of GB Off Piste Level: Purple – Advanced*
Likely to say: ‘I’d like to handle difficult snow/steep slopes more confidently in better style’
Our Advice: Off piste coaching still useful. Intermediate off piste weeks are at your level too. If you want to get into ski touring, try a touring course or intro level ski tour. If you’re an established ski mountaineer, then intermediate level tours are generally suitable.
Tech Level 4
Advanced Off Piste Skier. You can put turns in through heavier snow and on icy 40dg slopes, but difficult breakable crusts and skiing a fresh track off piste in zero visibility are still somewhat challenging! *Equivalent to Ski Club of GB Off Piste Level: Gold – Expert*
Likely to say: I’ve been skiing ten/twenty years – I’d like to do your ‘……’ tour.
Our Advice: You will enjoy our advanced level trips. If you are new to touring – then you could do a Haute Route with two or three days of skills training beforehand (but don’t overlook the physical fitness needed as well). Mileage is the best way to improve your ability level.
To view all of our Ski Fitness Levels and Off Piste Technical Levels, please visit our Ski Ability page.
If you need to top up your fitness for this trip, please see our Ski Touring Training Advice page.
Day Touring/BC Ski Course Equipment List
Just remember, every extra kilo on your back knocks 10% off your enjoyment on the descents – so try and keep the weight down!
- Waterproof Jacket – preferably lightweight and breathable
- Overtrousers/ski pants – preferably with side zips
- Fleece mid layer or equivalent
- Spare fleece or lightweight insulated duvet jacket
- Socks – specialist ski socks or a warm loop lined pair of mountain socks
- Wicking thermal top – not cotton please…
- Thermal leggings or ski pants
- Thin inner gloves
- Warm ski gloves or mittens, if you suffer from cold hands
- Warm hat
- Water container – at least 1 litre
- Personal medications and blister kit – regular meds, zinc oxide tape, compeed and painkillers etc
- Ski goggles
- Sun glasses – CE rated 3 or 4 with side protection
- Sun and lip cream – factor 30+
- Wallet, passport and insurance docs
- Rucsac 25/35l – try and avoid ones covered in too many features, just ski and ice axe attachments required
- Freeride boots or ski mountaineering boots – check detailed factsheet kit list for preferred boots
- Skis with touring bindings – check detailed factsheet kit list for preferred skis and bindings
- Velcro ski strap – to keep skis together on your rucksack if we need to carry them
- Ski poles – with good size 5cm+ baskets (telescopic poles are not needed)
- Climbing skins – they come with the skis if you hire your kit
- Harscheisen (ski crampons) – they come with the skis if you hire your kit
- Metal snow shovel – must be a full metal shovel (plastic blades don’t work in real avalanche debris!)
- Avalanche probe
- Avalanche transceiver – must be a modern digital model (older analogue models are now obsolete)
- Harness, with 120cm sling and locking karabiner
- Crampons – bring them if you have them
- Ice Axe – bring if you have one
- Ski helmet – a lightweight helmet is recommended for off piste skiing
Your guide will have all other safety kit, first aid and survival equipment.
Recommendations and Advice
Visit the Knowledge Base section of our website, where we publish an annual review of the years best new skis, boots and touring equipment, plus a range of other interesting tips and recommendations. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch!
Backcountry UK in Ilkley offer an excellent ski boot fitting service, one of the best ranges of ski mountaineering equipment in the UK and top notch advice.
Please visit our Equipment Hire page for recommended hire shops in your resort, and Alpine Guides hire equipment price list.
For this trip you must have specialist travel insurance providing medical, emergency search/rescue and repatriation cover for the following activities: off piste skiing and ski touring in glaciated areas requiring the use of ropes, up to 5000m altitude. We also strongly recommend that you purchase cancellation cover, in case you’re unable to attend your trip due to personal circumstances or injury.
Please arrange your insurance as soon as your trip is confirmed to run.
Insurance for UK residents
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This gives you reciprocal health care in European countries. You can apply for an EHIC card online here or from most Post Offices. You need an EHIC in addition to your travel insurance.
European residents (non-UK)
Austrian Alpine Club. Available to all European residents. AAC insurance is cheap and works ok for minor accidents and rescues, but is not as comprehensive as many other insurance providers. The medical cover included would not be enough for complex treatment or a prolonged stay in hospital. It also doesn’t include cancellation cover. If you choose to use AAC we recommend you take out extra medical cover with another provider, to ‘top up’ the AAC medical limit, as well as a separate cancellation policy.
Travelex. For US citizens – a range of policies with comprehensive cover.
For any nationality
Global Rescue. Cover offered to all nationalities via a combination of GR membership and their separate insurance policy.
If you choose an alternative provider, or if there is any doubt about the scope of your chosen policy we recommend that you send your insurer the link to the relevant Alpine Guides trip webpage, and ask them if cover extends to those activities and has the required components (search/rescue, medical, repatriation and cancellation). It’s worth mentioning that rescue and medical expenses in Switzerland can be significantly more expensive than in other countries, so a decent level of cover is required for Swiss tours.
We recommend that you send us your insurance details before the trip commences, and they must be brought to the course briefing at the start of your trip. However, we cannot check the detail of every individual policy, and it is your own responsibility to ensure you are adequately insured.
What happens to my deposit if I book a trip, but it isn’t confirmed to run due to insufficient bookings?
You may transfer your booking to different dates, a different course, or choose a full refund.
What happens if the weather or snow conditions are poor, or the avalanche risk is high?
We will make every effort to stick to the itinerary, but sometimes its necessary to change plans and ski in a neighbouring area or even further afield. Many of our itineraries are designed with flexibility in mind, and it’s usually possible to ski in most conditions with some careful alternative planning.
Does Alpine Guides ski with customers from overseas, including the USA and Canada?
Who goes on our trips?
We climb and ski with a broad range of ages and experience levels, and a large number of our customers come back year after year. We’ve guided 10 year old Ollie up the Old Man of Hoy in Scotland – now the youngest person to climb it. And 70 year old David has climbed the Matterhorn with us, as well as out-skiing people half his age!
How do I book a ski trip?
For scheduled ski trips it’s easy to book online, directly from your course page. For hire a guide/bespoke courses please get in touch for a quote.
Is there an age limit on any of our ski trips?
Under 18’s must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. There is no upper age limit, but please get in touch to discuss suitability if you are concerned about your age, with regard to fitness and pace.
How do I rent ski equipment?
You can rent certain items of specialist equipment from us, and the rest can usually be hired in resort.
What happens if I need to cancel my course?
If you wish to cancel you must notify us in writing, where upon the following charges will be applied from the date we receive your notice of cancellation:
- More than 8 weeks (56 days) before start date – loss of deposit.
- Between 4 and 8 weeks (28-56 days) before start date – 50% of course fee or loss of deposit, whichever amount is greater.
- Less than 4 weeks (28 days) before start date – full course fee.
Can I book a single room on my ski trip?
Yes – this can be done during the online booking process. Please add the single room option to your order, and we will confirm availability asap.