All my life I have had mountains in front of my eyes, I have one of the highest walls in Europe on my doorstep and it seemed that at one point in life, everything revolved around alpinism. Entering the alpinism world was for me a natural upgrade of my knowledge and climbing level gained from sports climbing competitions. Now that I have about 6 years of active alpinism behind me, I look back at my path, and can't believe the variety of experiences and feelings I was part of because of that quick decision to join the local alpine club. From the very beginning, alpinism has fascinated and motivated me to live. At the moment, I perceive alpinism primarily as a sport, maybe that will change. With more or less constant and thoughtful training, my goal is to become better all around alpinist. Faster, higher, longer, harder. All in free and in alpine style. It is true, however, that romance is an inevitable part of any alpinism outing, no matter how much I focus on the movements infont of me. After all, romance in alpinism is the reason I started this life path.
New route in Nepal
Me, Bor Levičnik and Žiga Oražem climbed a new route over a previously unclimbed West face of Pomlaca (6180 m). We named the route Sreaming Barfies due to cold temps during our ascent.
Peru, Cordillera Blanca - new route on a 6000 m peak
My last major climbing trip with the SMAR group. Feeling relaxed as I have traveled a lot over the years and the fact that I was on the other side of the world no longer put additional pressure on me. Bor Levičnik and I were already established climbing party and our ascent over the NE face of 6112 m high Hualcan peak was really flowy. While climbing, despite having diarrhea, I felt good in my head and without any doubt of our success. I remember feeling for the first time at high altitude, that climbing mountains could really only be pure satisfaction, although at first glance it seems like eternal suffering.
India, Zanskar - first expedition in Himalaja
My first trip to the Himalayas was quite stressful. In addition to embarking on such a trip for the first time, I was the expedition leader. The expedition was unsuccessful for me in terms of climbing. Me and my climbing partner Žiga Oražem (we were both on the expedition for the first time) did not climb a single peak in one month. One of the reasons for the failure was the high temperatures, which meant the world around us was turning into water. Due to bad conditions or better said, not knowing how to climb in such conditions, I had plenty of time to think. However, I have also found that lying in a tent without the internet can be very productive. It was at that time I realised in which direction I wanted to take alpinism and what are the steps to do it.
Georgia - little Himalaya
We had a lot of climbing trips as part of SMAR. For our first major trip, we went to Georgian part of the Caucasus. For all the members of the team, this was an introduction to high-altitude climbing and everything that goes along with it. With Bor Levičnik and Žiga Oražm, we climbed the 1100 m long West route to the top of Ushba (4710 m) in about four hours. It took us an additional four hours to descend back to ABC. It was then that I first felt the easy and fast style of climbing in the higher hills. You take only what you desperately need and start climbing.
First route in the central Alps
With Žiga Oražm, we went to Chamonix onboard a 20-year-old Clio, with the intention of climbing the Walker spur in the North face of the Grandes Jorasses, which we also succeeded in doing. We started the approach from Chamonix, as neither of us checked the railway operation time. Out of all the days of the year, the maintenance of the railway took place in those two days, which extended our approach by a good 1000 meters. We reached the winter room of the Leschaux hut fairly quickly. The next day we walked across the broken glacier under the wall. I clearly remember Žiga's remark: "We will do this in a day". I murmur something to myself and hope that his prediction will come true. We climbed for three days.
In memory of Domen Petrovčič, my fellow climber Andrej Jež and I climbeda new route Bobr (VII) in Hudičev stebr in the S wall of Prisojnik. We named the route Bobr, which was Domen's nickname at the time. The climbed memory route was only one small part of the path to restoring balance in the head and body.
During this time, I was accepted into the mentorship group SMAR (Slovenian Youth Alpine Team), which was, looking back, crucial for my further rapid progress in alpinism. Motivation at its peak, energy unlimited, ideas for climbing in abundance. On my fourth SMAR trip we visited the Bavarian Alps in winter and for climbing serious routes the conditions were pretty bad. We decided to climb the Blassengrat ridge to the top of the Zugspitze. We were not tied on while climbing the ridge, when Domen Petrovčič sliped fell into the void and lost his life. I couldn’t believe my eyes, much less my feelings. Such things always happen to someone we don’t know, far away. This is definitely not going to happen to me. But it did. After the accident I felt fine, at least that’s what I was saying to myself. Mental health was rather strained and it was not long before the psyche was joined by the body. It took me a little over a year to be able to visit the mountains again without bad feeling in my gut.
First free ascent of Kaveljc in Triglav North face
After around fifty climbed routes in one year, I felt that I gained some experience. As a result, I was much more confident in my decisions while climbing. It seems to me that the first free ascent of the Kaveljc (VIII-) was a good indicator of this mental and physical progress. Difficult climbing, finding route and very little fixed protection all at the same time.
Grade IX routes
There aren't that many, but still. After the ascent over the Sphinx face, I had a feeling that there was no route I could not climb. How disappointed I was when we didn't even manage to climb the roof in Via Italia (X) in the south face of Piz Ciavazes. This didn't shake my confidence too much, but I started thinking about more focused training. In the following months I managed to climb the routes Čingulmaki (IX-) in Rušica and Nebeška streha (IX) in Veliki Draški vrh.
First route in the Triglav North face
... was Obraz Sfinge (Sphynx face) which was greaded IX+ at the time. We approached the route over the Jugov pilar. By ascending this route, I once again moved imaginary personal boundaries. Crazly! After the ascent, I couldn’t sleep for a few days because of the excitement.
First route that I led
“Where should we go climbing?” I talk to a fellow climber at an alpine club meeting on Thursday. He proposed the idea to go to Kogel South face - Cene Kramar memorial route (grade VII). I agree with the idea without really knowing what I’m getting myself into. I look at which grade on the French scale the UIAA grade VII translates to. Around 6b. That's easy, I say to myself and think about how I climbed 7a two days ago at some sport climbing area. Given that I have never really led a pitch beforeand my climbign partner was just as inexperienced as me, it went pretty well. In just over 8 hours we climbed the 250 m route, got lost at least four times in the meantime and finally toped out over the Kamnik route with the thought that we were on the right route. Instead of the classic short descent via rappel, we descended to Kokrško sedlo and back to the car.
Himalaya - ascent on a 6000 m peak
I saved for two years for a Ljubljana-Kathmandu plane ticket. The feelings at fist sight with the highest mountains of the world were really exciting. “Is that even possible?” I thought as I watched the climbers in the normal route on Ama Dablam in the twilight. During the trek we climbed Lobouche East (6119 m). After returning to ABC, I remember the satisfaction of realizing that I had moved my imaginary boundaries in my head. Where's the limit for pushing the boundaries, I wondered. Not even by chance did I realize that it was the hunt for this feeling that would shape my future life.
Großglockner - Studlgrat route
My first route in higher mountains, which was also initiated by my father Klemen. That was also the first time I climbed granite. That the rock is not necessarily chossy? Crazly!
First climbing route in the mountains
The route name is North arete in the North face of Mala Mojstrovka. I was fourteen years old. My father Klemen, who led me across the route, also became acquainted with alpinism in this exact route at the age of fourteen.
I strongly support the mindset that the style of ascent is one of the most important factors of overall achievement.