Exploring potential Wilderness in Triglav National Park

Last week the European Wildernes Society team hiked high up to the core zone of Triglav National Park to explore the potential Wilderness there. Triglav National Park is Slovenia’s only national park located in the north-west part of the country in Julian Alps. Its name comes from Slovenia’s highest mountain Triglav which is dominating above the park.

Please also read: Wilderness in Triglav

A long hike up

We hiked up for four hours to reach the hut at Kriški podi in the park’s core zone. During the hike we climbed 1400 m of elevation, ascending to 2050m above the sea level. We were impressed by the fantastic views of Zadnjica and Trenta valleys and the surrounding mountain peaks. The trail we took is a “mulatjera”, a path suitable for mules, making it gently sloping but with hundreds of switchbacks. Such paths were built in Slovenia during and after the 1st world war, when there was military fighting and later on Slovene-Italian border in these high mountains.

Above the treeline diverse meadows full of mountain flowers awaited us. Some of the beautiful flowers we saw include edelweiss, which is one of the oldest protected plants in Slovenia. We also saw a few orchid species, including dark-red helleborine and Nigritella rhellicani. The meadows also showed signs of past grazing. Additionally, we also saw a marmot and an ibex in the distance. The hike was made even more beautiful by two alpine lakes that we passed, Srednje and Spodnje Kriško jezero. After a break with some delicious food at the hut we headed back down from the mountain paradise.

After the hike we assessed the potential Wilderness using European Wilderness Quality Standard and Audit System 2.0. With the natural forests free of logging on the steep slopes and little human infrastructure the area seems to have a good potential to be a Wilderness. This was also shown by a previous visit to the park.

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