Slovenia offers outstanding opportunities for sports climbing. You can test your strength and agility at almost one hundred natural climbing areas and several artificial walls set up outdoors or in sports halls. You can try climbing in any part of Slovenia except for the lowlands of the northeast. Some of Slovenia’s natural climbing areas are ranked among the toughest in Europe, so they lure the best free climbers in the world, while plenty of other highly varied shorter walls offer year-round thrills for recreational and less experienced climbers. On milder winter days you can head off to the climbing areas along the Slovenian coast, while the colder days offer safe climbing on frozen natural waterfalls. Even safer are the artificially frozen walls, since the managers know exactly when the ice is hard enough. In the Slovenian mountains you can set off with a mountain guide for unforgettable adventures and climb walls several hundred metres high, where there is no fixed protection or established routes.

Vertical sport on the up and up

With the development of equipment and accessories, which with proper use make climbing one of the really safe sports, this pursuit has become increasingly popular in Slovenia in recent years. Every year numerous new climbing routes or entirely new climbing areas are established. The most popular and increasingly frequented ones are the bigger climbing areas, where there are numerous routes both for beginners and more advanced climbers. These include climbing areas such as Črni Kal, Vipava and Bohinj. Really good climbers can test their mettle at locations such as the overhangs of Osp and Mišja peč.

A number of Slovenian climbing areas are quite small, not well marked and often rather remote, since climbers are generally not in favour of blazing big trails, and they prefer to leave nature as unspoilt as possible; in the climbing community, leaving litter at a climbing area is seriously frowned on.

Using a paper guide, or even better, a real one

Those heading off to climbing areas are strongly recommended to bring along the latest climbing guidebook, since the level of difficulty of routes is often not indicated on the wall itself. Where it is recorded, the level is generally given according to the French grades, and more rarely according to the UIAA international grades. Almost all the routes are equipped with a top anchor, so you will have no trouble roping in. Since climbing is a sport that requires skills and mutual trust in two people, rather than using a guidebook or acquaintance, whose climbing skills you might not know that well, you can go to a climbing area with a qualified climbing guide or specialised agency. It is worth emphasising that at all Slovenian climbing areas, even if you are not actually climbing, wearing a helmet is recommended.

Trust yourself and your climbing partner

If you are one of those people that are not completely sure about your climbing skills, before you go solo to a climbing area, you might want to take a course offered by several mountaineering societies and also some private companies. While most people prefer climbing in the natural environment, you can also enjoy yourself in several indoor halls with climbing walls. The sports hall in Kranj hosts world cup climbing competitions. And you can also improve your muscles and technique without the need for most equipment at several natural and artificial bouldering walls.
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