A great ski tour, surrounded by a precipitous rock faces on the north side, where powder is often found; not very common occurrence in the Julian Alps.
Distance 9.8 km
The Krnica Valley (dolina Krnice) is a deep valley above Kranjska Gora, enclosed between the steep walls of Prisojnik and Razor on one side and Škrlatica, Rakova špica and Dovški Gamsovec on the other.
The glacial cirque Pod Kriško steno, where the valley ends, is the highest point of the ski tour.
The ascent follows the well-travelled path past the Koča v Krnici hut, and further through the beech forest and increasingly sparse larch growths to the open slopes below Kriška stena. It is possible to ski back through any point in the cirque with the most common run following the east side of the valley.
Because the tour passes through the valley, the views are not as luxurious as on the ascents to the peaks, however, they are dramatic in a different way. Precipitous rock faces on both sides build a magnificent ambience and highlight the grandeur of the surrounding peaks.
Skiing Pod Kriško steno is one of the few tours in the region that is possible soon after the first snowfall, provided that the amount of new snow is not too great.
Skiing Pod Kriško steno is one of the safest tours in the Julian Alps. There is no exposed terrain where a fall could happen, the slopes are a perfect gradient for skiing with no abundantly steep terrain, resulting in less frequent avalanches. However, the walls above the valley are very steep. Avalanches are common on the surrounding walls following a large snow fall. Use caution when there are large amounts of newly fallen snow.
Tips and hints
The ski tour Pod Kriško steno is also suitable for beginners if accompanied with an experienced guide.
Each of the 50 turns of Vršič Pass are marked with unique ascending numbers. Park below the third switchback of the Vršič Pass (1018 m). (1,034 m)
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Each of the 50 turns of Vršič Pass are marked with unique ascending numbers. Park below the third switchback of the Vršič Pass (1018 m).
Park the car by the road below the third switchback where a small dirt road descends to planina v Klinu (Klin Pasture)(1000 m).
From planina v Klinu follow the valley up to the Koča v Krnici hut (1113 m) and further through the beech forest. Soon above the hut the path emerges from the forest to a wide and open ravine. The path follows the obvious ridge line in the middle of the valley overgrown with increasingly sparse larch trees.
Across the wide upper slopes continue to the edge of the walls at the end of the cirque (1950 m).
From the top of the ascent, a view of the valley opens on the Austrian side. When the weather is nice, it is possible to spot Hochalmspitze (3360 m) with an unmissable tower at the top behind Carinthia's Dobrač.
Ski back freely within the valley. Most skiers are following the biggest open slope on the eastern side of the valley. In a stretched arc, circumnavigate the forest returning to the trail towards the end of the descent, somewhere between Koča v Krnici and planina v Klinu (1000 m).
The skiing is finished on planina v Klinu, where the trail heads back up the hill to the road where the cars are parked.
all notes on protected areas
There is no public transport.
From Gorenjska side: from Kranjska Gora to the third switchback of the Vršič road.
From Primorska side: over Vršič Pass and down to the third switchback of the Vršič road.
Park along the road below the third switchback.
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Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Book recommendation by the author
Igor Jenčič: Veliki turno smučarski vodnik (Sidarta)