Ice climbing: an adrenaline-filled experience for adventurers

Snow and cold turn Slovenia into a stunning winter fairy tale. Nature creates true artistic sculptures from waterfalls and streams, which are not only attractive to look at. For ice climbers, frozen waterfalls and icy walls are a special challenge that is always different. But one needs to know that danger lurks behind extraordinary beauty at all times, so ice climbing must be approached very thoughtfully and only with the proper equipment. Good physical and mental fitness and experience are required, so it is recommended that you go ice climbing in the company of experienced guides. And if you are really ready, we invite you to the most beautiful ice climbing spots in Slovenia.

Before you embed yourself into the icy incline…

…don't forget about proper equipment and safety! Climbing in winter conditions is suitable only for experienced climbers, as it is much more demanding and much more dangerous. If you are not experienced enough, do not climb icy walls on your own, but only in the company of an experienced guide!

ledno plezanje_varnost in oprema

 

The equipment that you need

In addition to the mandatory climbing equipment, including a climbing harness, carabiners with a locking nut, and a helmet to protect you from falling pieces of ice, for ice climbing you also need:

  • two ice axes
  • winter boots
  • crampons
  • protection accessories (ice screws, ice pitons, carabiner systems, Abalak tools)

Ask about the conditions

As is true for anyone who goes to the mountains in winter, ice climbers should also check the conditions of icy walls. Above all, it is important to inquire about the state of frozen waterfalls. Unlike rocky walls, ice conditions constantly change. The difficulty of climbing, which is measured by the slope, abundance of water in the waterfall in autumn, the cold and the structure of the ice, also changes. The difficulty of climbing the same waterfall can be completely different from year to year.

Usually, the best conditions for climbing are from mid-January to March, but it all depends on the actual air temperature. Ice climbing is very specific and demanding, so you need to be more physically prepared than for climbing rocky walls.

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Top ice climbing spots

Now that you are ready for your icy feat, you can find out where the best ice climbing locations in Slovenia are. You will find the largest number and most popular frozen waterfalls and icy walls in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and the Julian Alps.

The Kamnik-Savinja Alps

Ice climbers will definitely find their piece of paradise in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. The most attractive is the Logar Valley, where you will find more waterfalls of different levels of difficulty than anywhere else in Slovenia. The neighbouring Matk Valley and Roban Valley feature waterfalls suitable for ice climbing. You will also find excellent spots on the other side of the mountains, in Jezersko, and in the valleys of the Alpine rivers that originate from under the second highest mountain chain in Slovenia.

The grandeur of waterfalls in the Logar Valley

The Logar Valley is rich in waterfalls, which in winter turn into a training ground for ice climbers. On the slopes above the valley, you can find 39 waterfalls that have been climbed, 11 of which are rated at least grade five. The icy waterfalls are 80 to 300 metres high, with the different difficulties of the waterfalls offering ice pleasures for both beginners and the most experienced climbers.

The grandeur of waterfalls in the Logar Valley

The grandeur of waterfalls in the Logar Valley

The Logar Valley is rich in waterfalls, which in winter turn into a training ground for ice climbers. On the slopes above the valley, you can find 39 waterfalls that have been climbed, 11 of which are rated at least grade five. The icy waterfalls are 80 to 300 metres high, with the different difficulties of the waterfalls offering ice pleasures for both beginners and the most experienced climbers.

The icy waterfalls of Jezersko

Although there are not many frozen waterfalls in Jezersko, they are very demanding and therefore represent a true challenge for experienced climbers. You will find the most challenging ones in the valleys of Makekova Kočna and Ravenska Kočna peaks, and some of them are also visible below Čedca from the road to Zgornje Jezersko. They are 140 to 350 metres high. The Sinji Waterfall, which features belay stations, is more suitable for beginners.

Winter Kamniška Bistrica for ice climbing

Ice climbing is also possible in the valley of Kamniška Bistrica. On its way, the stream has formed pools and small waterfalls, which freeze over in winter. Some of them are suitable for ice climbing.

 

The Julian Alps

In the Julian Alps, you will find the largest number of frozen waterfalls and icy rocks in ​​Kranjska Gora, the Soča Valley and Bohinj. The ice kingdom among the highest Slovenian peaks offers challenges for demanding ice climbers. There you will also find the only ice climbing centre in Slovenia, where you can practice ice climbing.

The Tamar Valley for ice climbers

It only takes a pleasant stroll from Planica, the valley of ski jumping hills, to get to the mighty rocks of the peaks above the Alpine valley of Tamar. Several waterfalls in this area are shrouded in ice in winter, attracting ice climbers. The waterfalls of Sveča, Skriti Slap, Centralni Slap, Desni Slap and Zadnji Slap are usually arranged for safe ice climbing.

The Tamar Valley for ice climbers

The Tamar Valley for ice climbers

It only takes a pleasant stroll from Planica, the valley of ski jumping hills, to get to the mighty rocks of the peaks above the Alpine valley of Tamar. Several waterfalls in this area are shrouded in ice in winter, attracting ice climbers. The waterfalls of Sveča, Skriti Slap, Centralni Slap, Desni Slap and Zadnji Slap are usually arranged for safe ice climbing.

"Devilish" climbing in Gozd Martuljek

"Devilish" climbing in Gozd Martuljek

If you are one of the biggest ice climbing enthusiasts, you must try to solve the winter puzzle of the Lucifer Waterfall. In summer, it hides among the rocks of Mokre Peči, and in winter it displays its mighty appearance, which immediately attracts the attention of ice climbers. But don't be misled by the devilish name. The waterfall is not among the most demanding ones, but it is certainly a big enough challenge for even the most enthusiastic ice climbers.

Ice climbing in Log pod Mangartom

Ice climbing in Log pod Mangartom

In the embrace of steep walls, around 100 large and small waterfalls await your discovery in Log pod Mangartom. Most of them freeze over in winter and provide suitable training grounds for ice climbers. The hidden Log Koritnica Valley features a number of interesting waterfalls that rise 100 to 400 metres in height.

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The frozen waterfalls of Bohinj

The frozen waterfalls of Bohinj

The most famous waterfall in Bohinj is Savica, which never freezes due to its abundance. But Bohinj has more to show in the side valleys, which take on an icy appearance in winter. There are two waterfalls in Soteska: the first one is 200 m high, and the Vis a Vis Waterfall is 100 m high. In the Voje Valley, you can go ice climbing on the 300-metre-high Lušev Graben Waterfall.

The Mlačca Gorge – the first ice climbing centre in Slovenia

Located in the idyllic Alpine village of Mojstrana, the Mlačca Gorge turns into an ice kingdom every year. Literally. During the holidays, it gleams with countless lights and artistic ice sculptures. The icy wall is also the only developed training ground, i.e. ice climbing centre in Slovenia, where climbers can find different levels of difficulty, be provided with guides and rent the required equipment.

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Where else can you find frozen waterfalls and icy walls?

Find other options for ice climbing in Slovenia when it is cold enough and waterfalls turn into ice climbing spots.

Vršič - Prisank

There are some difficult and some easy waterfalls for ice climbing on the north face below Vršič. The ones that are developed most frequently are the short waterfalls below the Prednja Glava peak in the Krnica Valley. Also known to ice climbers in the north face of Prisank is the waterfall called Centralni Slap.

Borovnica near Ljubljana

When temperatures drop well below zero, the waterfall in Pekel near Borovnica in the Ljubljana Basin also freezes over. In favourable conditions, there are five waterfalls suitable for ice climbing there.

 

Idrijska Bela

There are some frozen waterfalls popular with climbers on cold winter days in Idrijska Bela: Slap v Ovinku (80 m), Slap Izgubljene Rokavice (150 m) and Slap za Kapelico (150 m).

 

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